Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paris Again

Le Grand Palais, Paris
     Hello World! How have you been? I'm back on the internet....Even though I'm not supposed to be. I'm supposed to be in Normandy sunbathing. But, sometimes plans get spoiled when silly pickpockets steal your wallet which didn't have any money in it but did have your greencard so then you have to return to Paris to go to the American Embassy which ends up telling you it can't help you. Sigh.

AB and AGD sunbathing in Normandy
     Well, now that that's out of the way, let me tell you that otherwise my vacation has been amazing. Awe-inspiringly amazing. I have seen Notre Dame and Mannekin Pis and eaten the most delicious caramelized waffles with dark chocolate sauce and duck breast stuffed with foie gras. Imagine that! I tasted foie gras for the first time. In Normandy, we have made pasta salad with tomato and spinach and it has tasted like the best food in the world, along with epic cheese plates. Hopefully, I will find a way later today to upload pictures to go along with this post so you can see all this bounty.

Pasta Salad in Normandy
     That is a very random assortment of snippets of what I have done. I have barely had time to reflect on this trip myself, so I'm not sure what to tell you yet. For now, I just wanted to let you know I am alive and well, and thank you for still reading this! Hopefully I will have more steady internet in India so I won't disappear for such long periods of time, but I will write at least once more before I leave Paris. Miss you all!

Mannekin Pis in Brussels....he is not very intimidating

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fondue and Sacre Coeur


 

     Well, I am in Paris. It was my second day today. Do you know what I did yesterday? I ate lots of bread and cheese. Then, for dinner, I ate oysters. (I mean, we did stuff in the middle too, I’m just giving you highlights here.) We were staying at AB’s house and her father got us fresh oysters, which we learned to open with oyster knives! We ate them just plain or with a squeeze of lemon. Do you know how hard it is not to litter this post with exclamation points? Do you know how delicious fresh oysters with three different types of pasta (yes, three- arrabiata, pesto, pesto rosa) and fresh salad with actually Flavorful veggies and many things including grapefruit tastes? Place many exclamation points after the adjective you think of it and then put it here.


     Onwards, what did I do today? Wait, before I keep barreling forwards, I just realized I haven’t introduced you to anyone: I am in France with CV (stressed friend from Montreal I sent care package to?), and his two friends he goes to school with (AB and AGD), and AB’s friend whose initials I do not know so I cannot give her a name yet. Right now, as you know, we are in Paris. OK, now I can continue. So, today: Woke up, and had a crepe with Nutella. (After so many years! Back in Paris and eating a crepe!!! Anyway…) Had a baguette with jambon (ham) for lunch (with everyone – I’m not just wandering  around eating food alone here….). Walked around Le Marais, which is a great neighborhood full of little vintage boutiques and boulangeries and really cool art galleries, one of which we walked into. After a short break in the middle of the day, we then wandered out again. To where? To Sacre Coeur.


     Sacre Coeur is one of those places I have always wanted to experience. It has just always seemed so grand and gorgeous to me. And it is beautiful. We wandered up the hill to where it is, and saw the most amazing views of Paris. I have nothing to say, look at the pictures. But, then we went into the basilique itself. Being in churches brings me so much peace. And old cathedrals like Sacre Coeur have so many beautiful statues and mosaics, its awe inspiring. It’s great to walk out of somewhere like that and be faced with a beautiful view of the world as well. I take a contented sigh in contemplation of it all.
What did we do after so much beauty? 

     We wandered around the area, which is all tiny cobbled streets winding down the hill. We saw the Artist’s Square where there’s all the portrait painters, and passed all the touristy restaurants with waiters wearing cutesy red berets. But, we were on a quest. To find a fondue restaurant that AB’s friend (which makes me sound as though I don’t know her name, ew, but she knows I do…) had once been to. After much searching and asking at the tourist office, it was found! And it was awesome.


     It was a set menu: A plate of appetizers (olives, bologna, salami, red-sliced things that looked like pepperoni, cheese, pickles, and spicy potato) and then the choice between cheese fondue or hot oil in which to cook raw meat and potatoes (i.e. fondue bourguignonne). We got both. The meat fondue came with four different types of sauces, something like a béarnaise, something mustardy, something ketchup, and something good and creamy which I can’t put a name to. Do you know how our dinner was? It was an experience. It made us all very full of bread and cheese. Ooey gooey awesomely delicious cheese. I ate a lot of fried up beef with the béarnaise-y sauce. SO GOOD. And just when you think you have eaten enough, CV reminds one of the crusty cheese that forms on the bottom of the fondue pot. I have run out of appropriate words for the meal. Good food in France. It just never ends. I could keep on going forever as well, but there will be other things to tell soon enough. Enjoy my little bit of Paris for now and see you soon! 

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AND I'M BACK

     Kind of. I'm actually leaving....to go to France and then India, have I told you?

     Let me tell you now: I am going to PARIS. Then, I am going to Brussels and Amsterdam. THEN I am going to Normandy. I am returning to Paris and then flying out to BOMBAY. It gets better. I have a summer home, on the beach. Mhm. Then, I get to go to Delhi and mooch off the best relatives in the world and get stuffed with food. Anything else? I'm traveling with lovely friends, two different sets of friends in fact (France and India) so I won't have time to miss anyone. AND I'm gone till JULY. Yes people, I fly out today and I'm gone till July 1.

     So, what does this mean for the blog? Well, I won't be able to post so often. Are you rolling your eyes considering how long it's been since I last posted...? I promise when I come home in July and am settled, I will cook all the time. Just between school ending, my three GREAT science finals in the space of three days (sarcasm....), packing up my apartment, driving back to Boston, trying to see all my friends who are home, unpacking and packing for France...well I haven't done any cooking.

     I probably won't be cooking much in France or India anyway. But, various people (Hi AN!) have suggested that I turn this into a travel blog and just write about what I eat...pastry eating blog? I could do that (see Paris Patisseries on my sidebar who is already doing that and has far better pictures of pastries than I ever will...). And of course, if I do ever cook, I will try to post about it. But, I don't know when I will have internet, and I'm not taking my laptop. Still if ever I am at an internet cafe, someone's house, or....um...someone's house...I will write to you! See you soon from Paris!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Excuses Excuses

Dear Hearts,

     I promised myself ever since I started this blog that I would make some kind of provisions for finals week. I would cook a lot before hand and set the posts to automatically be published, so I wouldn't have to deal with them. I would be studying far enough in advance that I would have time to have at least a couple of posts, to cook one or two things, take pictures, and write.

     Fail. No cooking (lots of scrambled eggs and take-out). No picture taking. No writing. Two exams on Tuesday and one on Thursday, and poor physics for Thursday hasn't even been Looked at due to the other two. Sigh. I promise a flurry of activity in the future but right now? No no.

     So, enjoy your week, good luck for your own finals if you have them, and I will be back on Thursday (or Friday...I also have to pack! and leave Philadelphia! time is moving so ridiculously fast.)

Me