Feeling far away

Monday, June 30, 2008

Last night was a rough one. I called my dad and got his voicemail, then called my mom to see what she was up to with my nephews who are spending a few weeks with their Grammy and Popo. I called about an hour into their naps and the oldest woke up in time to chat with me. He's growing up so quickly...he talks in the cutest voice my ears have ever heard and articulates the most innocently sweet things. I fought back a well of tears when he told me that after he goes to visit Austin, he's coming to visit me - next Friday. I told him I wasn't sure if he would be able to and explained how long a trip in the plane would be for him. "Well, what about in a car," he asked. After a short explanation for the Atlantic, I told him we could see each other on Friday, but through the computer. I probably just shattered his little anticipating heart - and mine too; I was a mess until about 1 am. I miss my family, and even though I'm crazy-happy here, it's so much tougher than I ever expected to be so far away from them.

Pique-nique by the Seine

Last weekend, we were invited to a pique-nique to celebrate our dear friend, Anto's birthday. Could you believe that I'd never been on a proper picnic in Paris? It wasn't exactly picnic weather when I first arrived, but now that the sun's been blazing day and night, there's no reason I couldn't picnic everyday during the summer...if I wanted to.

So, I asked Gui what we should bring, thinking he would say something like sandwiches, some crudites like carrots and fruit and maybe a tarte. But, actually the picnic food of choice around these parts is a little less fancy. So, we picked up a container of our favorite hummus, some pita, a few meringue cookies, some rosé and a very cute bucket of barbe à papa (cotton candy).

When we arrived, it was around 8:30 pm and the sun was just settling down for the evening. We set up shop just next to Notre Dame and the scenery was great. I was definitely disappointed that I hadn't done this sooner! We enjoyed an evening of friends, rosé, and random but delightful snacks by the Seine (avoiding the blinding lights of some of the tourist boats). It was one of the nicest evenings I've ever spent in Paris - the city that I'm slowly and surely falling in love with.

My first day of school

Besides the fact that I didn't get my outfit ready the night before, today felt just how the first day of school always feels - I was excited, nervous, anxious and tired all at once. I was a little worried that I went to bed a little too late last night and thought I might fall asleep to the melodic sound of French during class, but nothing of the sort happened. From the moment our teacher came in, it was go, go, go and all very interesting, too. There's only one guy in our class of nine and besides the two Brazilians, no one is from the same country. Let's see, there's someone from Columbia, Mexico, Austria, Spain, Russia and Serbia. Oh, and me of course from where else? Texas!

I didn't even realize the time flying by and before we knew it three of our four hours had passed and we hadn't taken a break. So, all the kids (us students who range in age from 18 to at least 27) grabbed some coffee at a little boulangerie where the topic turned to, what else? Politics - American politics to be exact. Everyone was so interested to know what a Texan thought of Obama's chances of winning the election and what could possibly be done with the election of a new president. I learned a bit, too. The Spanish girl told me that to some Europeans, it doesn't really matter who's in the White House because Americans always take the same stance on international politics. Wha? I think I missed something in the choppy English translation, but I thought that was an interesting bit of information to digest. When we returned from our coffee break, we got a little chastised for speaking English until I explained that we were discussing politics, which, to my surprise and content, our teacher quickly agreed was a necessarily English-only topic.

I'm really happy about this class so far. I've already learned so much, but know I have more to learn, still. One of the things that surprised our teacher was that more than half of us weren't very familiar with the past-tense, which kind of worried me at first. I remember learning the passe composee, but that was years ago and I don't remember all of the verb conjugations or past participles. It's something she's going to work with us on next time. It's amazing how much more efficient one can speak a language just by learning the past tense. I think I'll practice a little with Gui tonight - he's actually a really good teacher if I could just get past the idea that he's my husband and all.

Blog of the month, c'est moi

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I recently signed up with a site that hosts blogs for people all over the world going through similar experiences as me. They were nice enough to feature my blog as June's expat blog of the month, which you can read about here. I'm flattered and hope this will be another opportunity to make some new friends!

Loving this

Friday, June 27, 2008

I hate to admit it, but I'm captivated by this.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

I spent the better part of my day browsing through Les Soldes in the happening part of town today. It's funny because even though everything's on sale here, it's all still so expensive. I really need to get used to the idea of living with Euros. Since I can't work yet, I was only looking for things that we really "need," like, for instance trousers for Gui. He "needs" another pair because he's getting tired of wearing - and I'm getting tired of seeing him wear - the same two pair in rotation each week. So, I scooped up a pair of new slacks and a couple of very well-priced dress shirts for him from his favorite shopping destination, Zara. I hate going in there during soldes, though. I barely took two steps into H&M before busting a U-ey outta there. It's so. crowded. And this is in the early afternoon when everyone should be working...or studying...or something.

I haven't been to La Marais in a while, so I was happy to take in the loveliness of the neighborhood again. Gui's cool aunt lives around there and I was wishing she didn't have to work so she could have joined me in my (un-) shopping spree. I came away with two very reasonably priced tank tops, but my biggest treat of the day was stumbling upon this:

Yes, boys and girls, that's a very fake Pinkberry in the middle of Paris' 4th arrondissement. Myberry (with two little dots above the "y" in "my") is the latest copy-cat in the yogurt (or non-yogurt) hype brought on by the famous Pinkberry. I'm not gonna lie - I love Pinkberry and I would have eaten there every single day when we lived in Long Beach if Gui didn't give me the stare every time I asked(and if I could have afforded it). So, I walked past this place, giggling to myself, snapped a photo, walked some more, then turned right back around and indulged in a "0% fat" Myberry yogurt with mango and strawberries (they didn't have Cap'n Crunch).

And, it was GOOOOD! I'm glad I indulged because I inexplicably forgot to eat lunch (must've had something to do with all the half-price stickers on the walls) and didn't have another bite until sometime around 5pm.

French feet

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How do walk-aholic Parisians maintain their feet so well?? Now that sandal season is in full swing, I'm desperate for a pedicure. I'm not sure how to even go about looking for one in French, and I'm scared to see how much a foot massage and paint job is going for around here. There aren't "nail ladies" at every intersection like back home, so it's going to take a little investigating on my part. I don't mind it, though. My feet have never walked like they do now, and they're screaming to be professionally exfoliated, smoothed and painted.

My first pesto

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My most memorable dining experience while living in Italy for a summer was the seafood pesto ravioli that I had at a friendly trattoria in Genoa while visiting my former Italian professor. In fact, perhaps it's my most memorable dining experience ever since I mention it every time I have pesto pasta, which is pretty often. Since then, I've had good pestos, my favorite being the Trader Joe's store brand jar that's vibrant green and flavored to near perfection.

I've always wanted to try making my own sauce, but I wanted to wait until I had my own supply of basil. Last weekend Gui and I picked up a couple of plants to keep in our kitchen (I've since moved the chive plant to the outdoors for some much needed fun in the sun), and thus began my search for the perfect pesto recipe. Naturally, for my first experience making pesto, I chose the most physically-challenging (and most authentic) recipe I could find. It was a bit of a challenge, and I should have waited until I had a mezzaluna like the recipe calls for (I looked in two stores in our 'hood and didn't find one...booo).. But, it was worth it in the end. My hard work and sore arm were not in vain because I ended up with a very fresh and tasty pesto linguine. Next time, I'm trying pesto-stuffed chicken...or maybe I'll even give seafood ravioli a try.

10 p.m. on Sunday

And it's still this bright outside. We have something like 15 hours of sunlight everyday and I absolutely love it.

Fête de la musique

(FYI: The videos below are not the best quality and the sound can be a bit loud.)

Every year France opens its streets to musicians of all sorts for one full Saturday. Streets get jam-packed full of pedestrians, and at every corner a new genre of music envelops the block. After being comatose for a few hours in the early afternoon, we met up with some friends and headed out to the heart of Paris where we planned to catch some Rugby then follow the crowds towards the sounds of drums, amped-up guitars and synthesizers.

The first show we happened upon was drawing all kinds of foot traffic. It was some sort of orchestra-ish act, complete with trumpets, tubas, and other various instruments that had the street up in a roar. (I somehow only snapped video of the beginning/tamest part of the show.)

Moving along, we found ourselves in between two shows - one heavy metal act that was far too loud and totally unappealing to me and a strange, funky, not-sure-what-kind-of-music duo who had a more "mature" crowd engaged. Too bad the music from the "thrashers" across the street was trickling into the other band's show.

On our way to see a friend's band perform, we stopped to listen to a bit of jazz. It was meh.

The highlight of the fête was the last show we caught with an amazing singer (who we found out later is SIX months pregnant...and barely even showing!) and a band that included a very cool violinist, too (sorry, the clip sucks).

It was such a cool experience, and the fact that all of France opens its doors to showcase its talent is the most amazing thing. Sure, there are negative consequences to having so many people take over the streets of a major city...

... (and by the end of the night, it was at least three times as bad - hey, at least people were trying) but, it promotes the artistic abilities of every citizen, and it's what makes Paris such a cosmopolitan city. Here are a few more snippets from our day in the heart of Paris.

We stopped for dinner and I had a steak with green butter...delish!

Lovely summer light on the first day of summer.

The singer (Margot) and the bassist/violinist. He was very good!

Our friends, Adrien and Aurelie

I tried to get a good shot of all the people in the streets as we were leaving, but it came out blurry. The streets were packed!

Eating good in the neighborhood

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Despite the tantalizing options in and around our 'hood, we've been pretty pathetic about eating out at any new places since we moved in. I guess with yummy goodness like this:

and this:
...being produced in our very own kitchen, why eat out? (Baked Maille salmon with basmati and salad, that I made this evening.)

When Gui's mom and sister came by, we decided it was high time to try one of the many, many Asian restaurants around these parts. Within a one-block radius, there are seriously four Japonese/Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese restos to choose from. Gui and I tried the trendy Vietnamese place just a few doors down our street for lunch a while back, but left feeling overdosed on cilantro (coriandre) and not nearly full enough, considering what we paid. But, they do proudly brew Illy coffee, so I'll likely return when I'm out of or too lazy to fix my own cup of joe and in need of a quick fix.

This time we tried the "Thailandese" place just on the next block. I'd always been curious about this place - it seems really busy at times, but at other times, it's totally empty. It was empty this time, but after we were seated, our waitress/hostess seemed awfully busy. Only after a few people came and went did we realize that she was preparing take-out orders - and lots of 'em! It was a good sign already and so was the low-priced menu. I ordered the pho for a starter and beef and onions with rice for my main course. Big mistake. The pho came out in a bowl big enough to serve all four of us. It totally hit the spot, though, and I quickly made up my mind that I'd be back in ordering the soup on the next rainy day (shouldn't be too long now). Everything else was good, too, which gives me confidence in whatever else lays undiscovered in our 'hood.

Saturday was full of more happy chewing and full bellies. After skipping breakfast (just me, Gui always finds something with chocolate to eat for breakfast), our stomachs were rumbling right around noon and we narrowed our choices down to a "traditional" restaurant and a pizzeria. I'd been wanting to try both since my mom and I had walked past them during the lunch rush before we even moved into our place, but something about the "traditional" place pulled us towards it and we had a seat inside. Despite seeing crazy-big, butter-soaked steaks and platters o' fries, we both opted for the couscous. Neither of us was prepared for what we were served, but after a few "OMG"s, we dove into this:

Yeah, there're like TEN pieces of merguez there - and that was one order. You can't even see what I ordered, which were the brochette, and there are at least five under there. It's probably not even necessary for me to explain that this all made me really happy, and really full. It brought back memories of my comatose meals in San Antonio a few weeks back when I couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up. I vowed then never to eat that much again, so this time I only ate enough to knock me out for a couple of hours without needing a stack of pillows to prop me upright. This place is definitely another keeper.

Bits and bobs

Friday, June 20, 2008

I've been catching up on a very missed American TV show today, which I think has contributed to a reduction in my daily brain functionality. My mind doesn't have anything remotely clever to type, but I feel obliged to blog about a few things.

Nothing too extravagant happened today. I sat in front of Gui's computer watching show after show, pausing intermittently for food, bathroom and email breaks. My grand plans to go to the bank, run an errand to Fnac, go see Sex in the City, and iron were all shot to shiz after I discovered my shows were ready for viewing...SEVEN episodes!! Three of them are two-hour specials, and I somehow made it through almost all three. I finally had to peel myself away from the computer chair to meet Gui at his dad's place for birthday champagne with his sister.

We did have a visitor this evening, though. An old friend (also one of my witnesses at the wedding) who just came back to Paris from a six-month internship in Mexico City joined us for tacos tonight. Yeah, that was totally a coincidence - the taco meat had been thawing in the fridge since yesterday. I used one of the packs of taco seasonings I got back in Texas, which made all the difference. While slicing avocado, I somehow managed to slice a bit of my thumb, which resulted in quick first aid administered by my fast-acting husband (also thanks to my strategically-placed first aid kit in the kitchen). We enjoyed a nice meal with good company, celebrated with some leftover birthday champagne and endured over two hours of Croatia v. Turkey soccer before Turkey finally took the win in overtime kicks...err, something.

Now, I'm ready to hit the hay. We're planning to hit the streets of Paris tomorrow afternoon for some crazy street music festival (called fête de la musique) after sleeping in a bit. Hopefully, it'll turn out to be a nice, sunny day. It'll be great to finally enjoy a weekend that doesn't require a trip to Ikea or some other furniture store.

Below, a few pics from Gui's birthday.

Beginner's banana-nut bread

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I've never baked a bread before, so I've always been impressed when while staying with Melynda and Brian, there was already a loaf of banana nut bread baking away in the oven by the time I was ready to start the day. Brian always said it was easy to make, so I decided to give it a shot when I started getting sick of looking at my black bananas on the shelf.

As my first bread baking endeavor ever, I was a little worried about how it would turn out. I had all the ingredients I needed on hand except for baking soda. I knew from an earlier baking experience that I'd need to look for tiny pink packets when I went to the grocery store, but I somehow forget exactly how to say baking soda in French. I knew it was something, something chimique. So, when after searching high and low at least three or four times around every single aisle in the store, I still couldn't find what I needed, I asked someone. French folk don't really seem to be approachable, but I've figured out that all it takes is being really nice and smiling to get a positive and friendly reaction out of them. (I know I'm generalizing, but I've yet to find an exception to that generalization, so when I do, I'll be sure to let everyone know. It's pretty much the same idea with everyone, everywhere, except that in places like the US and Italy, people in general seem more approachable.)

So, I asked in my best French where I could find the soudre? chimique...je ne sais pas...le poudre pour faire le pain, mais pas le farine [in english: soudre (non-existent French word) chemical...I don't know...the powder to make bread, but not flour].

He responds, farine de mais? (Me, not really understanding) oh oui, oui, je pense oui. [Yes, yes, I think yes.]

(He motions toward the corn meal.) OH, desolé, pas ça. Il est un poudre chimique. [OH, sorry, not that. It's a chemical powder.]

(He's looking more and more confused.) Pas le farine? [Not flour?]

(Me, giving up.) Non, mais c'est pas grave. Merci beaucoup. [No, but it's OK. Thanks a lot.]

(Him, relieved that I'm going to leave him alone so he can get back to work) De rien. [You're welcome.]

I decide to take one last look at the disproportionately small section where the flour is to make sure I didn't miss anything. Sure enough, tucked waaaay back behind an empty box was an entire tray of levure chimique Alsacienne. I gave a little chuckle and snapped a photo so I could prove that the little pink packets were hiding in the back of the shelf for no one to find (except my memory card wasn't in my camera and I don't know where my cable is to connect my camera to the computer, so sorry, can't post the pic).

When it was finally time to make the bread, I realized I didn't have a loaf pan to bake it in, so I improvised and used the smallest ceramic baking dish I have. It was interesting to convert everything into grams. I used a hybrid of two recipes, and I know you're not supposed to in baking, but I tweaked the recipes a bit and even added a spoonful of Nutella just because. The end result was decent - Gui loved it , but next time I'm going to chop the walnuts up a bit more and definitely use a loaf pan - it makes a difference. And I might use a bit less sugar next time since the Nutella is so sweet. Overall, it was a success and the perfect breakfast this morning with a cup of pressed coffee.

All the ingredients - ready for baking.

Smashed bananas with melted butter. Yum.

The only picture I got of the impossible-to-find baking soda.

I think the walnuts were too big...oops.

Need to invest in a loaf pan.

The apartment smelled great and it was so good fresh out of the oven.

Yesterday's experiment, this morning's breakfast. :)

LOVING this!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

hehe...Kanye says "rubbish."

Happy birthday to my [young] husband!

Bon anniversaire, honey!

Last year we were in California, the year before in Texas, the year before you were in Canada, this year, for the first time in three years, you celebrate your birthday at home, in France. I'm happy to be here with you. I love you!

Notre apartement

We're finally settling into our apartment now. We still haven't decorated any and I'm dying to put up pictures and art on our bare walls, but all the furniture has been put together and set up and things are starting to come together.

Click here for the full slideshow and descriptions.

(I'm trying out Flickr to see how it compares to Google Images, so let me know how you like it. Click on the first photo to start browsing, and click on the next image to continue through the set of photos. I added comments and notes to some of the pics, too. Enjoy!)

Walking in from the outside hall.

Learning to be Parisian

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I've been a hermit. While Gui runs off to work each day, I usually do some form of organizing that we've been putting off, and do laundry (gosh, I've never done so much laundry in my life!), and clean and organize and clean. It seems like the quest to furnish and organize our apartment is never-ending. I feel like there's so much to do.

As much as I'd like to say that the cause of my hibernation is that there's so much to do at our apartment, I know that it isn't. There's a part of me that's becoming a little intimidated. The feeling of being a foreigner is starting to set in for me, and that feeling has been keeping me at home everyday, away from the strange world that I'm now calling home. I'm just now realizing that I'm no longer that young college student, eager to put myself out there and dive into a foreign place and culture without hesitation. I reflect on my summer abroad in Rome and remember how brave and resourceful I was. It never crossed my mind that I should be worried about what people with think of me, of my accent or my appearance. I was so ready to submerge myself into a new culture and become one of them. The same goes for my time in England. Now, I question more, I think more, and I do less.

If I was my therapist, I'd probably tell myself that I've been feeling the need to nest as a way to make my own comfort zone in what I feel is an uncomfortable place. I'd diagnose myself with STDS (no, not that kind of STD, but the "Scared To Do Shiz" kind) and prescribe as a treatment, a day outside of my comfort zone in an effort to expand it.

So, I took that prescription on Monday and shortly after Gui left for work, I walked to the metro stop, boarded line 9 and headed toward the opposite side of town. I've been meaning to sign up for my French class, and I decided that there was no time like the present to get off my arse and do it. It takes an hour to get to the school, but I only have to change lines once, which for me is what matters most (for some reason Guillaume always looks for the shortest distance even if there are a gazillion stops, which in theory maybe saves 5 minutes if you're lucky and get a metro right away on the next line, but in practice, I'd rather save my legs some walking and leave 5 minutes earlier).

The metro is a great place to people watch, and I spent enough time on the metro to remind myself how attractive Parisians really are. Sure, Paris has its fair share of ugly folk, but it doesn't take much effort to find a really good-looking Frenchie around these parts...not that I'm looking or anything!

So, after getting off the metro and searching a few minutes around the neighborhood, I found the school (score! it happens to be 100 meters from Paris Plage) and after a little waiting, I signed up for my summer French class, and I did it all in French! It was really easy to understand the lady at reception, and everything she asked me I actually knew how to respond to in French. I think being in an environment where it's OK to sound like a jackass definitely makes me more confident in my skills. It took about an hour to get all signed up, and after that, I headed back home, across town. I made a much needed pit-stop at the post-office (I'm still a little intimidated about going there to send something other than a letter stateside because then I actually have to talk to a person, not a machine), and came back to my little comfort zone.

I'll have to find a few good reads to keep me occupied on the metro - as much fun as it was looking at the pretty people, I can only check out someone's fab 'do or swanky shoes so many times before I want to stick a heel in my eye. (In the words of my adorable nephew,) mmmmm...BORRRING. I'm taking suggestions for books to order on Amazon or to search for in the few English bookstores around town. I'm hoping to catch up on some classics that I've missed (Catcher in the Rye, War and Peace, Jane Eyre, The Prince) or philosophy (Plato, Camus, Aristotle), but I'd be interested to see what else is getting readers' attention these days.

My classes start June 30th (20-hrs/week, yo!), so for three weeks, my hibernation will cease to exist. I'm hoping to meet some new people (from what I gather, there aren't many Americans/Brits/Aussies enrolled at this school, and it has a high population of students from Eastern Europe, Asia and South America...sweet!) and I seriously can't wait to have the confidence to be out on my own in the city without such a large language barrier. Je suis très content!

Visual summary

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I know I promised to blog about our Texas trip, but the only people who read my blog were there anyway, so I think linking to an album will suffice for a summary. It was a blast, and I enjoyed every minute of it - even when my nephew shot me with a water gun while I was feeling like poop and so exhausted I could barely walk. Love you, Nate! :)

But, really, it was the perfect way to introduce Gui to the rest of the familia, and we couldn't have asked for anything more (except for maybe more time to eat at every place we had on our list). I can't wait for the next visit!!

J'aime my new shoes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

While we were in San Antonio, I found a pair of the cutest flats at Gap and decided to get them because I figured if I found something better in Austin, I could always take them back. I don't know why, but I'm always really skeptical about buying something at the first place I see it...it worries me to think I'll find a better bargain or a higher quality items somewhere else. Anyway, I held on to these shoes - tags and all - until I got back to France (I had no need to wear them in Austin where the 100-degree temps called for strictly open-toed shoes). So, after a rainy day, I slipped these babies on and took to the streets, and found that they were totally worth the wait to wear them. I absolutely love how they feel and they go with practically everything I own. And, I know I could never have found a better or comparable deal here in Paris, so I'm a very happy shoe-wearer these days.

Things are not always what they seem

Yesterday I made a quiche. It's such a great recipe that after tasting it at her place, I made Melynda send it to me while Gui and I were living in Long Beach. I remember Gui going back at least twice to put another slice on his plate at Melynda's, so I immediately asked her to send me the recipe (it didn't hurt either that the recipe is pretty much a no-brainer if you get the pâte brisée pre-made). So, I've made this quiche a few times since, and it always brings a smile to Gui's face when I tell him that it's baking in the oven.

The recipe calls for bacon, which isn't something easily or cheaply found here, and is definitely not sold at the small supermarket by our place. What is sold, however, is lardon (fatty pork pieces that taste and cook similarly to bacon) which I can't help but think was the original ingredient for this recipe until it adapted to the more commonly found bacon in the States.

I find quiche to be such a delightful, satisfying dish that's filling, tasty and just pretty to look at. While I was picking up the lardon, I grabbed the rest of the ingredients I needed: Emmental (Swiss cheese), pâte brisée, and demi-écrémé - what I assumed was half-creamed milk. It wasn't until after I mixed the demi-écrémé with the eggs that I realized something was a little different. The mixture wasn't as dark or thick as it usually is. Maybe it was the eggs? Or, maybe the cream...did I translate that correctly? I remember Gui's mom asking me what I like to have in my cafe au lait, and when I told her "half-and-half," she showed me a box of demi-écrémé, to which I nodded and replied, "yes, half-cream and milk." It seemed right, but now, as I'm thinking about it, why did she always have such a large container of demi-écrémé in her fridge when she only drank espressos? Maybe demi-écrémé isn't "half-creamed milk," heck, I don't even know what half-creamed milk is. Half cream and half-milk, no? After googling it, I realized - while the quiche was baking in the oven - that I'd used skimmed milk in my quiche, instead of half-and-half. Doh!

The quiche turned out ok, actually. It tasted great, but wasn't firm like it's supposed to be. It worked, though and Gui was happy to eat anything even remotely resembling his favorite quiche. I'm quickly learning to keep my French-English dictionary handy when grocery shopping or translating ingredients. Oh, and I also learned that half-and-half is called demi-créme or créme light or something like that; just not demi-écrémé.

Unfortunately, I feel that this isn't going to be my last airhead moment while living here. In fact, just today I went to the store to buy bottled water. After looking at the grandiose water aisle, I grabbed the bottle in front of me, read eau minerale naturelle, took two and checked out. When Gui came home just a few minutes ago and offered me a drink, he asked why I bought the weird-tasting water that makes you regular. I bought wha? Yeah, apparently, the "natural mineral water" I thought I was purchasing was actually water for old people who have trouble going. Hey, I was just looking for something to keep me hydrated, if there's a few extra minerals in there, so be it. It might actually be better for me, what with my newly-acquired cheese-enriched diet. I'm just a little embarrassed at what the cashier was thinking when all I bought were those two bottles of "regularizing" water.

It's so nice to have pâte brisée stockpiled in every supermarket in town.

Des lardons cooking away in their own fatty goodness.

I couldn't keep Gui from stealing a few pieces before they went into the quiche.

The best part of the crust is the mustard spread on top and baked in before the quiche. You can taste the difference.

Almost nothing smells better than onions cooking in pork fat. :)

Yummy lardon sprinkled about.

Emmental added.

It looks and smells like a quiche, but is it a quiche?

The skimmed milk didn't really thicken, so it turned out less solid than usual.

I guess it turned out OK. But, as you can see, it didn't turn out to have the best texture in the world.
TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.