Zucchini (Courgette) Gratin; The Importance of Leaving August

Courgette (Zucchini) Gratin

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:

Mon mari: I can't get through to the (insert business here)!

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:

Mon mari:  I'm going to (insert shop here) to get (insert item here).

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.

August 10: 

Mon mari:  I sent an email to (insert business here) and they haven't answered.  Is something wrong with the internet?

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….

In August.

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.


Not anything.

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?

This is the last one….. Promise!

Easy Zucchini ( Courgette ) Gratin

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
2 eggs
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…

11 thoughts on “Zucchini (Courgette) Gratin; The Importance of Leaving August”

  1. I went back to work on August 28 and was amazed how empty the office were. And this is a teaching establishment! I thought that the August thing was changing with people spreading out their holidays more over the year, but now I’m not so sure.

  2. Tanna, Every day… One would think after 12 years he would get it! He knows it; just can’t understand it!
    Betty, the summer went fast, didn’t it? Welcome back – to your smaller family…
    Lydia, you were thinking you wanted to experience the hordes???? Or the quiet of Paris in August?
    Janelle, it IS funny, now… in September…
    Zoomie, yes, then there is the invasion of the zucchini in August, as well ;-))

  3. I had a conversation with the manager at the bank (which was open in August) about why the money we moved from our bank in America to our bank in France hadn’t arrived in France yet. When he shrugged and told me it was August and the vacances, I tried to explain that my direct debits didn’t know that it was August! He just looked at me with an expression that said, “please go away.”
    Thankfully it is September and all is back to normal now. And we can enjoy going to the beach again!

  4. I know – I couold not believe it when I heard every high-end restaurant in paris closes up shop for all of August!! Amazing.
    Love the zucchini dish too – anything with zucchini and cheese has GOT to be a good thing!

  5. I made this as part of dinner tonight, and WOW. It was AMAZING. My dinner guest wanted the recipe, so I’m stopping by to grab the link and send her your way. Absolutely delicious, and I agree — smoked paprika in this is really quite fabulous. What flavor and what texture, even with fat-free yogurt!

  6. Loulou, I think August brings out the worst in people!
    Jeanne, cheese makes everything wonderful!
    Yeah, Paris in August is strange.
    Genie, I’m so glad you liked it!

  7. I thought this dish sounded great but I tried it and it look great when it came out of the oven but resembled scrambled egg when I dished it up!! I followed the recipe exactly. What did I do wrong??

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