One of the many challenges we have, living in a foreign country, is adjusting to the local schedule.
When I lived in the US, I ran errands on my lunch hour.
In most, if not all, of Europe one eats lunch on one's lunch hour.
One does not run errands because everything is closed.
For two hours.
Everyone is eating lunch.
We were a bit early at our favorite DIY store the other day.
And speaking about lunch: don't even think about going early or late. The restaurants are open between 12:00 and 2:00 in France.
Not earlier; not later.
On Saturday we stopped at a cute, little Crêperie at 1:55. Too late: 'we're no longer serving… Désolé' (sorry).
One must also be wary of the holy days.
Yes, I said holy days, not holidays.
The Mediterranean countries are Catholic countries and things close on holy days as well as holidays.
The same DIY store that was closed for lunch is having an 'Overture Exceptional' on Nov. 1, 'Toussants', or the 'Feast of all Saints'. Most stores will be closed that day, but, as with the occasional grocery store now being open for a few hours on Sunday morning, there are a few stores that manage to be open on some holy days.
Aren't the malls open on Sunday, you ask?
First, what malls? There are a few… Very few.
Second, don't be a twit! Of course they 're not open on Sundays. It's Sunday!
Thankfully both the postal carriers and the fire fighters allow us to contribute to their Christmas funds in exchange for calendars that clearly lay out holidays, holy days, bank Mondays, and all the other days when shops are closed.
As to that cute, little Crêperie…
I'll just make my own!
Well, I cheated a bit. I don't have decent kitchen equipment here, in Vlad's house, certainly not a crêpe pan or blender or anything fancy like that.
But I have a nonstick skillet (that I bought at the local Shopi for 10 euros).
So this is kind of a cross between a crêpe and an omelet…
Egg Crêpes with Leeks, Ham and Chevre makes 2
1 tsp water
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp butter
3oz (90gr) ham
2oz (60gr) creamy chevre (goat cheese)
1oz (30gr) shredded cheese
2 tsp olive oil
Clean leek and roughly chop. Cut ham into small pieces. Heat olive in a medium nonstick skillet . Add leeks and ham; sauté until leeks are tender and just starting to brown. Remove, stir in goat cheese and set aside. Whisk eggs and water well. Sprinkle flour over the top and whisk well. Melt 1 tsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 egg mixture and cook, undisturbed, until dry on top, 3 – 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining egg mixture.
Divide leek and ham mixture in half and spread on the edge of each crêpe. Roll up and put into a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 minutes, 350F (180C), or until heated through.
Since I have the oven from 'The Little Shop of Horrors' I put mine back into the skillet, covered it and heated it over low heat for 5 minutes. Worked a treat!
Note the IKEA plate, knife and fork….