Mon Dieu! Am I French? Have a Salad and Ponder the Question…

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Sacré Bleu!  Has it happened?  Have I become French?  Can one just wake up one morning and be a different person than the night before?

Let's consider the evidence:

Am I fluent in French?  Non, just the other day I commented on how lovely the flowers would look under the table. (As opposed to the more common practice of having them ON the table.)

Do I have a mistress?  Non, not my thing. 
Although I have thought it would be nice to have a wife.  I already have a husband and he's quite handy, but a wife could do other things:  laundry, ironing, Hoover and wash the floors, make the bed, wash the dishes, do the shopping, drop off the dry cleaning…. definitely worth thinking about!

Would I care if mon mari had a mistress?  That would depend…would she: do laundry, ironing, Hoover and wash the floors, make the bed, etc.?

Do I get and use the feet when I buy a chicken?  Non, and I still give the fish heads to someone else at the market.  Don't use pig's ears either, although now I can actually contemplate giving them to the dogs… I said contemplate...

On the other hand:

I absolutely adore cheese; the runnier and smellier the better!   But I've always loved cheese, nothing new there.

In recent weeks I have made both moules and clafoutis.

The proof:

I was bitten be a mosquito last night.

When we moved to Ireland I saw something that looked like a mosquito, and the neighbors assured me it was a mosquito, but I knew it was something else.  It didn't bite me, therefore it was not a mosquito.

I am what's known as a mosquito magnet.  It's lovely for all the people I'm with because no one else is bothered when I am present.  Wherever I am, the thirsty, little blood suckers only have eyes for me.

Therefore, Ireland did not have mosquitoes.  Neither did Andorra.  Oh, some people said they saw them in the mountains, but they weren't real mosquitoes.  I knew better. 

I maintained this belief for several years until I was offered an alternative hypothesis: perhaps, they were, in fact, mosquitoes, but they didn't bite me because they didn't like American blood.  The taste was, how shall we say, off.  This theory did seem to fit, since other people were being bitten and I was not.  One can only go against the tide of reality for so long.

I eagerly embraced this idea.  I was perfectly happy in the belief that Andorran mosquitoes bit Andorrans.  It only followed that French mosquitoes bit the French.   I continued in this bliss, noting the appearance of mosquitoes and marveling that they totally ignored me.  Life was good.  Until last night.

I heard the buzz.  I saw her land.  The unthinkable happened.  She bit me. 

Therefore, in order for the actual events to fit into my current belief system, I must be French!  One must never allow the facts to influence true belief!

In honor of my new-found French-ness I am submitting a salad with lots of roasted shallots and garlic to Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, (who is having a wonderful time at the BlogHer Conference in Chicago) and hosted this week by Anna, of Anna's Cool Finds.

First, a word about alliums:  There are roughly 1250 species of alliums, of which the most familiar are onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and chives.  World's Healthiest Foods states that  they help with gastrointestinal health and work to lower both blood- sugar and cholesterol.  Studies have shown that eating onions can reduce the risk of many cancers and contributes to healthy bones.  They are a very good source of chromium and hardly have any calories…. What's not to like?Chickenshallotsalad

Chicken Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Alliums

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbs Balsamic vinegar – divided
3 tbs olive oil – divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 – 5 shallots
3 – 4 cloves garlic
2 small red onions
2 medium potatoes
Lettuce – enough for 2  salads
handful of basil leaves
A crusty, French baguette if desired.

In small bowl whisk together 2 tbs vinegar, 2 tbs oil and garlic powder.  Pour over chicken.  Clean onions and cut into quarters vertically.  Clean shallots and garlic.  Cut potatoes into large bite-size pieces.  Mix 1 tbs vinegar and 1 tbs olive oil, add potatoes, onions, garlic and shallots and toss to coat.  Cook on barbecue grill in any old metal pan that has been designated for barbecue use – stir frequently and cook about 25 minutes or until brown and done. OR put in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes or until done- stirring half way through cooking time.  Remove chicken from marinade and cook on barbecue for 14 – 18 minutes OR sauté for about the same amount of time, until done.  Tear lettuce if needed and put in large salad bowl along with basil leaves.  Add 2 – 3 tbs vinaigrette and mix with tongs.  Remove vegetables and chicken from wherever.  Slice chicken.  Arrange chicken and vegetables on top of salad, drizzle with a little more vinaigrette and serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.


1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs Balsamic wine vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil – the good stuff
1 tbs freshly snipped chives
1 tbs freshly snipped basil
1 clove garlic

In small bowl whisk mustard and vinegar.  Slowly add oil whisking constantly.  Finely mince garlic and snip herbs.  Add to vinaigrette and whisk.

Now, If you'll excuse I'm off to find some calamine lotion.  I wonder how I say that in French?  I must know… I'm French, after all!

Bon Weekend!

16 thoughts on “Mon Dieu! Am I French? Have a Salad and Ponder the Question…”

  1. Congrats on finding you “Frenchness”! I think this is something to celebrate in the life of an ex-pat – I will rise a toast to you this weekend!

  2. I ask myself, who would be more French, if I would visit you? I think I am international. If there is any mosquito, it bites me ;-(

  3. Gosh. I hear you about the mosquito magnet thing… The landlord has a pond in the backyard = prime mosquito breeding area. He never ever gets bitten, but guess who does? 😉 Sigh…
    Congrats on your newfound Frenchness!!

  4. With this new found Frenchness, I believe all you need do is approach the chemist and French for calamine lotion will emerge with perfect accent!
    The salad looks heavenly Katie.

  5. Funny post! Know your mosquito experience well. Foreign bugs love me, can’t get enough of my blood – so much so, in fact, that people know to sit next to me to avoid being bitten. But do Scottish midges bother me? Never. ???

  6. Thanks, Anna, roasted onions and shallots are wonderful… funny, though, I don’t like either raw…
    Jenn, A votre sante!
    Thanks, VC, It’s tough being so atractive to the little blighters, isn’t it?
    Ulrike, here I thought I was going to finally be lucky, only to find out…I’m French!!! That’s not a competition I want to engage in (the most mosquito bites in an hour?)
    Bien sur, Tanna, why didn’t I think of that? Thanks, (about the salad)
    Wendy, Apparently I’ve a bit of Scottish blood as well! The midges didn’t bother me…

  7. Lucky for me, the mosquitoes prefer my significant other 🙂 Tant mieux pour moi et notre bébé. 🙂

  8. Katie, that was hilarious! In India, I’ve heard people say that mosquitos are attracted to you if you have “sweet blood” or are diabetic. Some consider it an indicator or becoming diabetic later in life!

  9. There are swarms of mosquitos around here, and the only good thing about them is that we have *tons* of toads to gobble them up! Not nearly enough, but at least watching the cute toads helps keep my mind off of just how many welts are appearing on me, lol. Your salad recipe does look much too delicious…my belly is growling…I’m making that tomorrow! 🙂

  10. TCN, mon mari is the lucky one in this family. I keep pointint him out to the little blood suckers, to no avail!
    Sra, I hope NOT. I’d rather think it was my sweet disposition… Yeah, right LOL
    Cyberdelia, we had a toad in the house last night – maybe he was looking for mosquitos? So far this year we’ve had a snake, a bird and now a toad. I’ve got to teach the damn dogs how to close the door! (they open it)

  11. How funny! Yes, it would be great to have a wife AND a husband sometimes so we could just be ourselves…
    I’m sure you have become European, anyway, because you talked about Hoovering rather than vacuuming!

  12. Lydia, I maintain it’s the sweet dispostion that attracts them… and, of course, being French
    Betty, I’ve been trying to work this out for years.. No luck. I still have to Hoover! lol

  13. Great picture of the salad, and it does sound truly delicious. I’m one of those lucky people who just don’t appeal to mosquitos that much, no idea why.

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