Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cooking French Food for a French Person

A strange thing happens when you live in another country long enough and start to build a life there - your blog quits being a story about this great adventure you're having and just becomes a story about your life . . . I'm learning that I'm not quite comfortable with that.

I simply don't want to publish details of private moments on a public blog.  When the highlight of your week was time spent with a friend or the low moment was having someone you trust really let you down, it doesn't feel like a "shareable" moment for me.  I know there are ex-pat bloggers who do it because I've read the blogs, but it doesn't work for me personally.
Having said that, I think there are plenty of broad cultural differences, weekend adventures and other topics that I can post on . . . but we'll see how it goes.  I'll be in Germany for work next week, so that will provide a fresh topic.
One upside of my knee feeling better is that my house is really coming together!  The downstairs is basically finished (living area, dining room and kitchen) and there are only a few non-critical furnishings to build still . . . except my armoire, but that's so large, I will certainly need help.  The other upside is that I've met a new friend since I started driving again, so my social circle is broadening even more.
I also had the bright idea of hosting a dinner again and making a classic French dish for a French person.  It sounded like a great idea when I first decided to do it; however, as I started following the recipe, the doubts began . . . "wow, that looks like a lot of onions.  Really, that much onion?!?  I swear there weren't so many onions at the restaurant."  Then, "there are seriously enough potatoes here to feed 10 people, not 2 people.  How many servings is this . . . I guess that explains the huge pile of onions . . . I swear there can't be enough cheese in that container for all of this."  Followed by, "Ugh, this is what I get for using a tartiflette recipe in English - why would I trust a French recipe that's in ENGLISH!  Merde!"
I did have a small win in managing not to overcook the potatoes, so they were easy to slice and didn't turn into mashed potatoes.  It still didn't quite look right to me . . . and go, "He's probably been eating his mother's authentic-absolutely-perfect tartiflette since he was a toddler.  What level of American arrogance made me think that cooking a traditional French dish for a French person was a GOOD IDEA . . . why didn't I cook something American, like . . . wait, what is actually American food?  Not spaghetti, that's Italian.  Umm, nothing Mexican.  I can cook Indian, but still not American . . . fried chicken?  Do I really have no "go-to" recipes that are originally American?  Screw it - I'm making this tartiflette and he's going to eat it and like it!"😈
In my defense, it must not have been too bad because, even with a starter and dessert to follow, he still ate two servings.  The recipe could use a few adjustments, but the leftovers have been even better - the cheese really melted down in and mixed with the cream & wine sauce, so I'm not too disappointed that I've been eating the leftovers all week.  BUT, it is heavy enough that I'm also not terribly disappointed that the season for making it is winding down and lighter fare is on the way!  Like, a chèvre salad I hope.  I miss my chèvre chaud salads!


  1. Hi Brooke, I've recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed your posts about living in France and French culture.
    Keep them coming!

    1. Thanks Fiona! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! If you're curious about anything culturally, let me know.