Cauliflower Soup with Gruyère; Bless the Bureaucrats; the Weekly Menu — 14 Comments

  1. It’s so fun reading this and remembering I heard the “Who’s on first” routine. At least I get the feeling you are getting closer and closer . . . but I’m not sure it’s a good thing to actually get there.
    Putting cauliflower on the shopping list.

  2. This is hilarious, Katie. Course not so much when you’re going through it. I love the way you find humor in even the most vexing situations. Hope you’re doing well!
    And I LOVE this soup. Gotta try it.

  3. Ooooo, this sounds good! And I can actually eat it (so hard with a metabolic condition)!
    Glad you had a nice, windy walk today, even if it had to be to yet another bureaucrat’s office.

  4. Bureaucracy in a foreign country can be so hard to deal with. When we lived in Italy, I was so frustrated by the amount of time it took to get things done. But after coming back to the U.S., I found that customer service here left a lot to be desired too. Comfort food is the only remedy. The cauliflower soup hits the right spot. Love the addition of cheese too.

  5. Lovely soup and humorous story!
    (No, you are not too late to join the festa Italiana. You have until Monday, sweety!)

  6. Don’t I know it, Katie and Ciaochowlinda. In Brussels, we lived in a Flemish-speaking “commune,” but the bureaucracy was French. I had to go WITH OUR LANDLORD to pay the final utility bills and close our accounts (each one in a ridiculously distant part of the city). In southern Italy, my landlord scheduled electricity turn-on for me, as I spoke no Italian. I took off at some expense from work to await the man to switch it on: 0800 on a Monday. The truck came up the street and stopped at an apartment about 40 meters from mine. The man went in. OK, I thought, he’s working there first. By 1200, I was getting worried. By 1600, I was drinking wine. The truck was still there, and it stayed there until Thursday, when the man came back to it, started it up and drove the 40 meters to my place. My landlord let him in to switch on the power.
    I do agree that customer service in the US is quite variable. And the worst offenders seem to be the telecoms that offer the most advanced service. Those guys don’t seem to realize that they offer advanced services that people could actually live quite well without. You think they’d be more customer-friendly.

  7. What a great description of the joy of bureaucracy. The Italian version has its own characteristics as well. Great soup: I put it in my “to do” list.

  8. I don’t know why, but it has never occurred to me to make cauliflower soup. This sounds lovely! And just the thing after a long day with bureaucrats. (Having said that, I have a sneaking suspicion that if I buy cauliflower and gruyere, I’ll end up making cauliflower au gratin. I just can’t help myself….)

  9. Although all our own experiences actually ended up working fairly well (if you don’t count the endless hours waiting for your number to come up)at the French prefectures (our ten year renewal is up this fall –fingers crossed), we’ve certainly heard the nightmare stories from others. Civil servants have a lot of power, and they know it. And supervisors don’t appreciate your going over the head of anybody. Glad you got through it all unscathed.
    However, when I had to deal with a government office while back in the States, I discovered the US equivalents aren’t any better. We just never usually have to deal with some of them so don’t know any better. I think civil servants are the same all over the world.
    Your soup sounds lovely. Can’t wait to get the cauliflower. Frustrating, as I have everything else!

  10. I’m glad you are keeping to the rules so as not to inconvenience your local bureaucrats. I just hope they don’t find your blog, or you’ll be in really hot water!

  11. Living in New Zealand seems a piece of cake compared to France but we are a million miles away. AS much as I am loving our long hot summer, that cauliflower soup had me wanting a slightly colder day so that I could make some soup. Hope this doesn’t come back to bite me on the Posterior!!!
    Looks yummy Katie

  12. Glad the Carte de Séjour finally came through!
    Required before moving to France: Infinite Patience.
    The soup looks amazing!

  13. Tanna, I love that routine!!!!
    Susan, we have to laugh… or else!
    tacebooks, glad it works for you!
    Ciaochowlinda, it is a challenge, and different in every country.
    Maryann, I’ll be there.
    Tikipundit – that is hilarious!!! Poor you!
    Simona, yeah, the joys….
    Elizabeth, hmmm, cauliflower gratin….
    Azurienne, 10 years… Lucky you!
    Zoomie, wouldn’t that be awful!
    Gilli, glad you are having a nice summer – ours is coming… soon, I hope!

    Loulou – yeah, you, who just got her 10 year!
    Thanks, Ashley