Have I been time-traveling?
Transported back to the 18th century?
I have chilblains….
You know, the ailment that the heroine, whilst posing as a dairy maid, gets in all those cheap romance novels.
Can you imagine?
Does that justify all my bitching and complaining about the lack of heat at Vlad’s house?
I’ll go to just about any lengths to prove myself right…. But this may be too far, even for me.
And it’s my ‘mouse’ hand….
I’m absolutely positive that no actions on my part have contributed to this painful situation…
But, I should tell you…
First, French houses tend to have very, hot tap water.
In my house in the US, I had to heat water to get it to 110F to ‘proof’ yeast.
In the Vendée, I had to add cold water to the tap water, which was 140F, but I could rinse dishes under it.
At Vlad’s house I can’t put my hands under the running hot water.
Well, at least I can’t normally.
I can when my hands are very cold, say, from working on the computer, losing track of the world and letting the fire go out.
Which happened the other night.
I just thought a quick run under the hot water would speed the warming process up a bit. I actually stopped when my hand started getting red… It wasn’t warm yet, but it was looking, well, peculiar.
I’m sure that had no bearing, whatsoever, on the current, painful situation.
But, in case I’m wrong, which has happened, (I think the last time was August of 1999), I would suggest warming your hands more slowly, or, here’s a thought, not letting them get so blasted cold in the first place.
Of course, that would involve not spending the winter in Vlad’s house, which I also, thoroughly recommend (not doing)!
I told mon mari he had to cook dinner tonight as my hand is too swollen to hold a knife.
He added ‘Gin, tonic, lime’ to the grocery list.
I’m not sure if that’s meant to help me or him….
We tried something new last weekend.
Endive is a big vegetable here in France. There are big displays of it at the markets this time of year, and one can even buy it canned. I had always thought of it as a bitter green that one ate as a part of a salad or crudité plate.
Well, that makes two things I learned this week!
This is a simple first course for late winter or spring, before the lettuce is in season, but when we are looking for something a little lighter – a warm winter salad. The creamy avocado offsets the natural bitterness of the endive.
Sautéed Endive with Avocado
2 Belgian endive
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
Remove 2 or 3 outer leaves from endive and rinse lightly. Cut each endive in half the long way. Heat oil, over medium heat, in a nonstick skillet large enough to hold the endive flat, in one layer. Add endive, cut side down, and sauté until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and sauté the other side. Add water and soy sauce, cover and simmer until the stem end is tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 7 – 10 minutes longer. Uncover, spoon the liquid over the endive, then continue cooking another 1 – 2 minutes.
To finish: Cut the avocado in half, remove pit and cut into slices. Put a dollop of vinaigrette on 2 plates. Arrange 2 endive halves on top. Fan avocado slices next to the endive. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
3 tbs olive oil, the good stuff In a small bowl whisk vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil, until emulsified.
In addition to the above, for the week of February 6 we have Tomato Flan with Pesto Vermicelli, Scallops Provencal, Chicken Tarragon Risotto, Farmhouse Pasta….
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Now I’m going to go find some mittens…. Do you think I can right-click with mittens on?