Thursday, December 27, 2007

Misc Christmas Things

1. I saw a Hummer in Nantes. A Hummer. In Nantes. Can any of you imagine a Hummer in the streets of a French city? As I saw it drive by a huge WHY came out of my mouth.

2. And I've been so good. I got a Nespresso coffee machine for Christmas. All my good itentions out the window. We'll see how moderate I'll be. If today was any example, a little more self-discipline is in order.

3. Christmas dinner lasted 3 hours. Want to hear about it? Ok, so, first, for apéritif, we had, well, apéritif stuff - olives and cashews and cherry tomatoes and champagne. Then, foie gras, which my mother-in-law makes (it's DIVINE) with onion confit and fig confit and arugula. With that, we drank a wine called Sensuel (and it was) which is made from the vendanges extremes in the Loire region (also divine). Then we had two different seafood terrines, served with homemade mayonnaise and Chardonnay. Then we had duck with a St. Nicolas de Borgueil. Perfection. I skipped dessert and had chocolate truffles with my coffee. So much lighter than dessert.

4. The label of this post (down below) is a blatant ploy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joyeux Noël

It's a strange Christmas this year for a variety of reasons. I hadn't bought any gifts as of saturday. Yeah, the saturday we just had a couple of days ago. Nor had I planned my menu for last night's dinner. Which, thankfully, ended up being delicious. I made my first tarte tatin, with extra caramel au beurre salé, of course. The boys loved it but still wanted chocolate sorbet afterwards. I haven't been in the mood for Christmas at all this year, also very strange. But here it is anyway. Enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So, do you want to hear some more about the spa?

I got there saturday right after lunch. I checked into my room, stared at the sea for a while and then went to the spa desk. Where I was served an herbal infusion while I waited 5 minutes for my massage therapist to arrive. She led me into a hot room, filled with candles. I undressed and got on the table, which was covered with heated towels that smelled like honeysuckle. The rest is kind of a blur. I know it involved warm scented oil and what felt like 50 hot hard snakes slithering over my skin for the next 90 minutes. Amazing.

I had a essential oil facial after that. And then I went back to my room and stared back out at the sea for a while.

I'm actually surpised I came back.

As of last night, Boy2 has the stomach flu and I'm knee-deep in vomit covered laundry. Timing is funny.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In recent news

I went away to a spa in a 4 star hotel this weekend. In Saint-Malo.

It was the most sensual weekend I've ever had that didn't involve sex. Which is exactly what I needed after my recent ass-kicking.

I got massages and salt water spa treaments and I ate foie gras and lamb and 3 kinds of sorbet and stared out at the sea from my window for hours.

Things I learned this weekend?

I like 4 star hotels.

Spas are nice.

Mango sorbet is more appealing as an idea than as an actual sorbet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I love knowing things. I love having things figured out.

But recently, life has decided to remind me that I know little and have nothing figured out. Kicked my ass, really.

So here's my question: when was the last time life kicked your ass?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


1. What happens when you apply the rule everywhere? My brother and his wife are always referred to as Uncle Daryl and Aunt Denise. Logical, that's what they are to the boys. So, yesterday at breakfast, Boy2 says,
- -hey mama, Uncle Daryl's my what?
Your uncle.
- right so Uncle Billy and Uncle Daryl are my uncles. And what's Aunt Denise?
She's your aunt.
-Right! So gramdma's my gra and Christi's my Chri and Nicolas is my Nic. I got it!

2. I'm the victim of my own success. Last week was the Christmas market at the boys' school. Things made by the parents are sold for cash for the school. I can't sew or build things, so I cooked. I made 25 jars of salted butter caramel sauce and 65 100-gram sachets of fudge, brittle, and toffee (which they don't really have here). I arrived at school on thrusday evening to help out. Doors opened at 8. At 8:25, there wasn't anything left. So, the president of the PTA asked me, very nicely, if I could possibly go home and make some more for the next two days of the market, which I did. I am so sick of sugar.

3. The blinding headache is back. 7 hours of oral English exams with my second year students. Torture for them and for me.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Saturday was my birthday. And, as my brother put it, "That makes you, well, that much closer to 40." He's so nice.

So my two favorite presents were an ice cream maker and a cast iron waffle iron.

My wise friend Julie said, "They should have just given you the chain they're going to use to chain you to the kitchen."

But I was very happy with both gifts. I've been wanting an ice cream maker forever. Chocolate sorbet. White mint sorbet. Salted butter caramel ice cream. Violet ice cream. See, you want some too.

And waffles. Who doesn't love waffles? I even found an eggless waffle recipe for Boy2.