Simple Spinach Gratin; Going Abroad — 14 Comments

  1. Always! Great story Katie! I remember the first time being faced with the hole in the ground – Africa. A skirt it’s the only way! I don’t own any panty hose. I think that might make me a bad person.

  2. We call those type of toilets ‘footsteps in the snow’ and for information you usually face the door you went through to get to it and you have to be very careful not to leave a deposit of any sort in the clothes you re-position for the act, usually by pulling them forward with a spare hand. Hope that helps – very funny blog though, made me smile.

  3. Too funny Katie! But, been there and done that! Yep we were at a gas station filling up the car on the “Autobon”. I really had to go! Went into the bathroom and thought, now am I suppose to pee in that hole in the floor???? I did! I had a pair of jeans on so I must have looked really strange all contorted, but like you, I have been hiking and camping enough to “rough it”!
    I like how you go right into talking about food! You are so fun!!!!

  4. Toilets and food; what better a subject for blogging (joke).
    I went to a hotel in York recently which had very large and echoic toilets – very posh but a little scary – not a place where you like every sound to be amplified!

  5. Ah yes, the joys of the Eastern style toilet… I first encountered the porcelain basin set into the floor with a hole in the center when travelling in India. It had handy foot-shaped areas on either side. I remember never really solving the dilemma of whether to stand forward or backward and I got pretty good at the deep kneebends while somehow clutching my bag and clothing under one arm while holding the cuffs of my trousers well away from the often filthy floor.
    The worst one was on a train. A lurching train. A very very crowded train. A very very crowded train that had already had many enthusiastic users with quite inaccurate aim of said toilet. After unsuccessfully trying to flush the previous users’ crap (literally) away by reaching the chain precariously, I stood at the sink washing my hands with my own soap in the tiny trickle of water over and over, staring into the mirror and pathetically sobbing. I too left unrelieved and tried the western style toilet across the aisle. A western style toilet that had no seat and was only bolted down on one side …it was a LONG very uncomfortable train journey.

  6. Excuse me for commenting twice; I just couldn’t quite bear to launch directly into mentioning that the spinach gratin sounds delicious.

  7. Using the bathroom in Europe is a bit tricky 🙂 Two-speed toilets, the “tray”, weird flushers…and that ominous hole in the floor (which fortunately I have never had the adventure of trying).
    All of my toilet encounters in Paris were surprisingly normal, aside from the people with their hand out waiting for change at McD. My husband, though, ended up in a co-ed restroom. Don’t think I could have relaxed for that!
    The hotel where we spent our honeymoon in England had a cord to pull hanging from the ceiling.
    In Belgium, I nearly burst my bladder whilst waiting through a three hour long+ accident, then had to get reinforcements to figure out how to flush the toilet at a gas station (very much not a public bathroom). There was that incident too where the Polish tour bus pulled up to the rest-stop but rather than heading for the toilets, they dropped their drawers for all to see and barely faced the woods. I should have finished taking that picture 😉

  8. Great write again Katie!
    We learned pretty early on that it was best to stand in “escape routine” while flushing those footstep toilets in France. Door ajar, facing out, ready to run and reaching back to flush. You would never know how far this thing was going to flood…
    Ahum yes, we all love spinach here!

  9. I love how this simple function brings out so many great stories! Thanks for sharing… and for the award…. much appreciated!

  10. Very nice, very simple-looking gratin!
    My daughter got food poisoning from a bechamel-based spinach gratin at a school cafeteria, so those are out for now in this family!

  11. My biggest dilemma currently is public toilets with a 3-year-old! They aren’t big enough to hover and all attempts to assist her in this effort have resulted in pee all over my legs and feet. I’ve resorted to carrying cleaning wipes for the nastier public facilities! Ah, for a lovely, cleaned outhouse! Not sure how we’d navigate the hole in the floor … ugh.

  12. Oooh, Betty, too bad about the food poisoning – that can put one off for a long time.
    Expat Chef, I have no advice on that one…. sympathy and empathy, yes… advice, no. Unless you just do what the country people do here – go behind a bush.

  13. LOL – my husband went into a hole-in-the-floor facility in Italy (Mantova) and was very bemused! Somehow it’s less distressing when you are out of doors, and you don’t have to put down bags and belongings on mysterious damp patches…