August is over.
'I know that!', you think.
But do you truly understand the significance?
For the last 5 weeks, conversations, chez nous, have gone something like this:
1st day of August:
Me: It's August, they're closed for the holidays.
Mon mari: But someone must be there; it's a business!
Me: It's August.
Mon mari: I guess I'll wait until next week.
Me: It will still be August.
Mon mari: They surely can't be closed the whole month!!!!
Me: They can if they want… It's August!
5th day of August:
Me: Don't bother, it's August
Mon mari: But they must have it; they're a store!
Me: Yes, but it's August; whatever it is will be gone by now, and they won't restock until September.
Me: No, it's August; no one is there to answer your email.
Mon mari: Blah, blan, blah, blah
Me: It's August…..
August 11 – 31: repeat
We have been trying to buy a house, arrange for a move, get contracts signed, documents organized, find a place to live for a month or two, find a place to store our worldly goods….
When all of Europe closes and goes to the beach.
No one is working… except for the few unfortunates who have to take care of the hotels, restaurants and campgrounds catering to the hordes.
It is very, very difficult for 'Type A' Americans to get their arms around the concept that one simply cannot get anything done in August.
No, not even that!
Our little local post office was closed for a week. (Yes, there are some people forced to work in August… They go on holiday in July)
The mail was delivered, but the small offices take turns closing. Just check on the door to find out which one is open which week.
Wednesday, September 4, was La Rentrée.
Every child in France went back to school on that day. All of them; on the same day.
And all of their parents went back to work. All of them.
Our world is back to normal.
Well, except for the shops. The shelves are bare everywhere and it will take a week or so for the trucks to get loaded and back on the road, delivering everything that was ordered…. In July.
Still have zucchini?
Easy Courgette (Zucchini) Gratin
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes Serves 2 – 3
Sliced courgette, mixed with eggs, yogurt, Parmesan and baked. What could be easier? The paprika adds a bit of spice to the dish, and a lovely pale orange color. Use Smoked Paprika if you have it.
1 medium zucchini, about 8" (20cm) long
1/3 cup (5oz, 150gr) plain or Greek yogurt
3 tbs Parmesan cheese
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp olive oil
Cut the zucchini in quarters the long way, then into thin slices, 1/8" (.3cm). In medium bowl lightly beat eggs, Parmesan, yogurt, mustard and paprika. Add zucchini and stir to mix. Brush the olive oil in a baking dish large enough to hold the gratin easily. I used a 7" (18cm) round. Pour zucchini mixture in and bake for 30 – 35 minutes at 400F. Center should not jiggle when done (or only slightly). Remove and serve from baking dish.
A side note: Because it's been August, we still have not seen any bills for any of mon mari's medical fun…. Nothing, not even for the May hospital bit.
Maybe August isn't all bad…