jeudi 14 novembre 2013
The bigger question has been, how do you write a blog about life as an ex-pat if you aren't an ex-pat any more? And, how do you avoid writing a blog about being a mom? Not that there's a problem with writing a blog about being a mom; I just thought it was a bad idea for me to try, since I was relatively new at the job.
But, I've been thinking, I want to have a space to verbally process ideas about how to be a mom of "reverse ex-pat" kids. I made that term up in the shower about 15 minutes ago (yes, I managed to take a shower, with a newborn in the house. *and there was much rejoicing*). A reverse ex-pat kid is a kid who is American, living in America, but have parents (also American) with a strong connection to another country, and want to pass that connection on to their kids. That's us. So...here is my blog about being a reverse ex-pat parent.
vendredi 29 juin 2012
But I guess the smile works, too; when we get back to the US, we'll be living down the block from them. I'd say that's almost worth missing out on the goat cheese.
mercredi 27 juin 2012
Our first day back in "The Olde Countree" was, in my mind, infinitely blogworthy, and overcame a year of blogging inertia. Because...we ate frankfurters in Frankfurt. !!!!! I could be dramatic and say this was a dream come true, but that would A) be not true, and B) make my dreams look pretty lame. I CAN say, though, that after a VERY disappointing first trip to Germany, when we saw the European equivalent of Trenton, New Jersey, I was hoping for a visit to a beautiful city that would redeem my mental image of the motherland. And boy did I get what I was asking for. We got to Germany (a looooong layover on our way to France, with enough time to leave the airport for a few hours) on a national holiday, and were greeted by a brass band as we got near Frankfurt's main square.
Not bad, huh? We very quickly put mega miles on our new stroller. Lil' Miss Bout-Chouette did a GREAT job on the flight over, but after only 3 hours of sleep, she pretty much disintegrated into a puddle of screaming mush every time the stroller stopped. So, we saw a lot of Frankfurt.
...which she definitely liked. No apple wine for babies, but the sauerkraut was also a hit. This trip is full of culinary firsts--she had her first taste of pizza at Pizza Capri in Aix, which, I would posit, is the best pizza in the world, hands down. She ate enough of my slice that I had to get another one.
And, we were planning to hold off on sweets until after her first birthday, but we kindof blew that. She had her first glace (not counting when I let her lick a spoon that had lightly touched some vanilla ice cream a few months ago); lavender flavor, in Place Richelme. We want to make sure her tastebuds know that she's a petite aixoise.
vendredi 22 juillet 2011
I'm really pleased with this recipe, because I think it has a lot of potential. The zucchini is sliced so thin that it doesn't have to be pre-cooked, saving TON of time. It's possible to make a white sauce with a really small amount of butter once you get good at it, so you can cut some calories in that department. With about 15 mins baking time, and about 15 mins prep time, this is a really easy side dish. AND it eats up the masses of zucchini everyone with a home garden has these days.
BUT...I think the recipe could use some extra magic. So, here's the "challenge"--suggest a change to the recipe that would add no more than 5 minutes prep time and no more than 3 extra ingredients, preferably pantry staples. The goal is to come up with something more closely resembling a mille-feuille. If you can add protein to make this a main dish instead of a side, kudos.
Here's a picture of some leftover mille-feuille, pre microwave...next to a slice of zucchini moussaka, made exactly the same way but with spiced ground beef moussaka filling instead of the white sauce for most of the layers. This recipe can multi-task.
It looks a lot prettier when it's hot, since the layers slide a little and you can see how delicate the zucchini ribbons are.
Here's the recipe (serves 4...you should double or triple this for a full-sized baking dish):
3-4 smallish zucchini (if you have giant ones, slice them in half before ribboning so they fit through your veggie peeler)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1.5 cups milk
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used emmenthal, but mozzarella or comte would also be tasty)
A few Tbsp grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
(Pre-heat oven if you're into that kind of thing--about 350 should do the trick. Our oven is small enough that we can just flip it on at the end and it's ready to go in about a minute.)
1. With a veggie peeler, slice the zucchini long-ways so you have a giant pile of zucchini ribbons.
2. Make a white sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. dump in the flour, whisk frantically, pour the milk in little by little, continue to whisk frantically. Let thicken a bit.
3. Mix 1/2 cup grated cheese into sauce, add salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a small casserole dish (mine was 5x8), alternate layers of sauce and zucchini slices. I did a double thickness of zucchini slices for every zucchini layer because they're SO thin.
5. Finish with a layer of sauce and sprinkle on parmesan (grana padano would be good too).
6. Bake at 350 until it's golden brown and bubbly. Let it set for a minute or two and then serve in slices, like a mille-feuille!
vendredi 8 juillet 2011
jeudi 12 mai 2011
We have bien aimé having a garden this year. Josh's mom planted it with him while she was visiting in March and it's been a joy (and great study break) to watch things bloom--things planted AND things springing up as a surprise!
We have carefully tended the strawberries, lettuce, and mint, and pansies...
And been surprised by wild onions, wild grape hyacinth, and a whole bunch of other plants we haven't identified.
And then our driveway is lined with poppies, irises, and other wildflowers:
Lots of things growing around here this spring!