Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cooking Blues

Mini fondants au chocolat cooked in my blue ramequins

No, this is not another half-whine, half-mourn about how sick of cooking I am. This is actually a response to a tag. Well, let's say a tag I invited myself into because I've been such a lame blogger that the tagger, my dear friend Loulou thought of tagging me but figured I'd be too uninspired to carry through!

Now there's a challenge that would revive any blogger...

The original tag from Croque-Camille
was "find seven blue objects in your house and do a little show and tell." Loulou took this one step beyond in her lovely post and showed all sorts of blues in and around her village.

If I lived where she does, I might do that too. But here in Aveyron, things are a little greyer, or pinker, or just plain colorless. However, blue is my favorite color and I figured I could find seven objects just from my kitchen...and revive some food photos at the same time.

My, there are four blue objects in this photo alone:

  1. A mug from who knows where, containing a type of individually-served Mexican rice salad from the days when I was doing imaginative cooking
  2. A plate from a set that my husband picked up at the local Leclerc supermarket
  3. A napkin that goes with a tablecloth set I bought in Avignon -- these are generally reserved for company, so maybe I brought them out to offset:
  4. The unmatched utensils, including a blue teaspoon that goes back many years!

I've got at least two blue things here, maybe even three if you count that my shirt as reflected in my blue stove looks blue. I picked up the colander at a supermarket too -- one can find a lot of nice kitchen objects in French hypermarchés.

I could go on and on, as about half of the things in my kitchen are blue.

What about you? Where do you have "the blues?" Feel free to play...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Adieu, Cuisine Quotidienne


There are two activities I am really sick of right now: cooking and laundry.

Now I never ran a blog about laundry, so that poses no online-life issues. But I did write a cooking blog for nearly four years -- and over the summer, I realized I just had to let it go.

My terse, virtually commentless farewell post on the site itself bears witness to how out of steam I am on the subject. But what I didn't say there is that the problem isn't really blogging -- although I am going through a dry spot there too -- the problem is cooking.

I will have been living in France for twenty years come next April, and as another expat friend with a similar background said to me a few months back: "Let's face it -- we've done one heck of a lot of cooking."

I've mastered the basics of French cuisine; I've thrown dinner parties that took me a day of planning and shopping followed by another day of cooking; I've prepared meal plans and shopping lists to correspond to particular recipes; I've worried too much about what my husband and family would all like to have on their plates.

Been there and done that now.

I don't know about my friend, but cooking-wise, I'm burnt out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All I want is a room with a view

(Not the best light, but I couldn't wait to post this picture...)

And now we have one. Okay, my eldest daughter has one -- and more than a room. She is gradually moving into a darling, old, one-bedroom apartment right in the center of Rodez.

A year ago, we weren't expecting her to end up in Rodez for university. But various factors led to that decision, and we all couldn't be more pleased. Eldest daughter is thrilled to be going to a small university, because she has heard plenty of horror stories about Toulouse Le Mirail, which is the closest university besides Rodez that offered her chosen major.

The apartment is a bonus, in a way, but when faced with buying third car, having her do a 34 km commute every day, and her having nowhere to go during her big breaks in her schedule, the downtown living quarters appeared as an obvious choice. Besides, maybe it's my American background, but I like the idea of students gaining some independence.

My youngest daughter, back from the USA, has of course bought into the concept heart and soul. Her high school is less than a five-minute walk from the place, so she will stay there a few nights a week when transport, or the notoriously late French school days, pose a problem for us.

(Downtown Rodez abounds in funky, hidden courtyards. We get to look out on this one.)

And another great thing: Mom has unlimited access to the place! So now I finally get to use a little pied-à-terre in town. I won't be there constantly or anything, but at times it is going to be very practical.

A new chapter is opening up in our lives, and it's coming at a good time. I feel like I need a little change of routine -- and it's so fun to be a part of Rodez's inner sanctums.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009