Noodles with Egg Sauce; Holidays

Noodles with Egg SaucePasta_egg_sauce

I would like to apologize to all of my readers if I F****d up your feeds today.

Naturally, it's not my fault.

I lay the blame for the debacle squarely where it belongs: on the French government.

Today is a holiday, you see… May Day, aka Labour Day.

I knew it, of course…

I knew that there would be marches and protests and demonstrations of solidarity from the French workers.

For some reason, my neurons misfired and the connection between it being a public holiday and the stores not being open was never made.

Off we went to do the shopping, only to find all of the supermarkets closed.

For some bizarre reason, the little green grocer I like was open, as was the butcher next door, so the trip wasn't a total loss.

Still, I was back in front of my computer (still raining) with an entire, unplanned afternoon to do all sorts of things I'd been wanting to do, which, naturally, gets me into all sorts of trouble.

So… Sorry about the missing feeds… If, in fact, they are missing….

This isn't the first time I've gotten a holiday wrong. When one moves to another country, one really needs to pay attention to these things as they tend to sneak up on one.

In Ireland, our first stop out of the US, it was fairly straight forward.  They're a lot like the UK and just put everything onto 'Bank Holiday Monday's'.  The one or two Catholic holidays they couldn't rearrange I remembered from the nuns, so we we were good.

Andorra was a different story…. Which we learned the hard way.

It was a Thursday, in September.  There are no Catholic holidays in September; no bank holidays scheduled, we should have been fine.

We drove down the mountain and everything was eerily quiet.  There were no cars on the street.

Normally, in Andorra the streets are so jam-packed with cars, parked in every conceivable nook and cranny, that the only way to 'run in for a loaf of bread' is to stop in the middle of the street, put the flashers on and go into the shop.  One has to be quick so as to get the car moving again before the circulation police can write the ticket, but everyone does it.

Usually, the cars are left running.  As someone pointed out, one doesn't really worry about having one's car stolen in Andorra.  There are only two ways out of the country, both secured by police checking for smuggling.

And the traffic rarely moves fast enough to make a run for it…

There's simply no where to go.

Back to the empty street… Nothing was open; not even the coffee bars.  Everything was shuttered up tight.

There were no people on the street.  It was like a scene from one of those disaster movies where the main character looks out the window and realizes he's the last person on the planet.

It was Meritxell.

The Andorran national holiday celebrating Andorra.

It's illegal to work on Meritxell. 

It's not just that businesses are closed; it's actually illegal to work.

No mowing the lawn, picking tobacco, doing construction on your own house… Nothing.

And don't even think about making noise! (Mon mari learned this in later years… trying to use his power tools in the garage.)

People went to church, then up into the mountains for family picnics.

Andorra really has a good grasp of the whole holiday idea.  As an independent Catholic Co-Principality with ties to both France and Spain, they celebrate all of the French holidays, all of the Spanish holidays, all of the Catholic holidays, and a few of their own.

Being a shopper's paradise, though, Meritxell and Christmas Day are the only two days the shops are closed.

Oh… And Christmas?  They have Father Christmas sitting in front of the shops for the kiddies to give their lists to right up until Christmas Day.  The day after Christmas the Three Magi take over the spot, to get the lists for the King's Day presents. 

Oh… And if your wondering what to serve with the Stir-Fried Scallops and Ham?

Noodles with Egg Sauce

Noodles with Egg Sauce

I used spaghetti for this, but rice noodles should work, as well. The simmering stock is whisked into the eggs to 'temper' them, so they will be more like a sauce than scrambled eggs.

3oz (90gr) spaghetti
2 green garlic, white and light green
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbs sherry
1 tsp soy sauce
2 eggs

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
Trim and slice white and light green ends of green garlic. In drained pasta pan, over medium heat, heat oils. Add green garlic and sauté lightly, about 1 minute. Add stock, sherry and soy sauce; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low.
Whisk eggs. When stock is simmering, whisk 2 tbs of hot stock into eggs. Immediately whisk eggs into hot stock. Immediately after that add pasta, stirring and tossing to heat through and coat noodles without curdling eggs. (Tongs work best.) Serve.

In addition to the above, for the week of May 1 we have Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus with Caper Egg Salad, Steak with Caramelized Onions, Warm Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables and Grilled Chicken, Fresh Strawberries, Pasta Primavera….

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10 thoughts on “Noodles with Egg Sauce; Holidays”

  1. The egg sauce is a great little tip that I’ll have to remember. Thanks for that one!

  2. They say that Toronto has two seasons, winter and construction. I think a holiday of quiet sounds wonderful!

  3. lovely story – may day for us was not raining thankfully and we could enjoy it
    the greeks and the french love their days off, dont they?

  4. I LOVE the idea of having a holiday where it’s illegal to work! Wow! We need that here in the U.S.! People would go crazy, but they just might get into it after a few years…

  5. You can end up learning the hard way that May 1 is apparently the most sacred day in France. Places that are even open on Christmas will be closed on May 1. And Labor Day is not a day for barbecues, it’s a day for laborers to take to the streets, for whatever reason. (Do they need one?)
    However, you will probably find that businesses can’t handle a day off two weeks in a row, so yesteryear’s sacred May 8 will probably find most businesses open, exceptionellement, of course.
    May is actually a fabulous month in France. It’s a game to see how few days you can work. Tons of holidays. The worst is when they are on the weekends (no compensating weekday substitutions) or Wednesdays. They will make a “pont” (bridge) to string out long weekends as much as possible. The next two years will be a bummer with May 1 and 8 coming on the weekend. 🙁

  6. I need to move to Andorra – they have the right idea about holidays! When I was a little kid, businesses actually closed over the weekend and everyone was off, even in the US! Now, however, the powerful god, Commerce, holds sway in the land.

  7. Tanna, I miss them too – I think once one gets past the kids/work bit they just slip by.
    Scott, I’ve never made it this way before… I forget too
    Natashya, that was true of Minnesota, too. Still is!
    Maria, holidays are sacred. We could learn from that!
    Toni, illegal to work and impossible to shop!
    Azurienne, yes the overture exceptional – I’m seeing the signs
    Andorrans loved to make the bridge, too.
    Zoomie, I remember those days… it was nice… relaxing even.

  8. OMG, I am moving permanently to Andorra at the earliest possible opportunity!! I’m sure when we were there once (can’t rememebr if it was December or March though) there was an independence day parade too, and everything was closed?? Jokes aside, though, I do like a country where a holiday means a holiday. The UK/US idea of shopping our way through every single holiday because all the shops remain open is an abonimation…

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