Leek and Acorn Squash Tarts; French class

I had an extra leek in the house (didn’t need it for the lasagne) and I had one, last, small acorn squash left.

A little tart seemed like just the thing.

You do remember I’m rather fond of Small Plates.… 

Leek and Acorn Squash Tarts

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 1 small acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 small leek, sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 squares puff pastry, 2 inches bigger than the tart dishes, about 1/2 sheet

Leek and Acorn Squash Tart


  • Place acorn squash cut side down on a baking tray. Bake, 400F (200C) for 15 minutes, until soft. 
  • Sauté leek in oil until soft.
  • Add chili powder to leek, stir well and remove from heat.
  • Fit puff pastry into 2 small tart dishes.
  • When squash is cooked, scoop out of the shells and put into a small bowl. Use 3/4 – 1 cup of squash.
  • Add creme fraiche, mustard, leeks and stir well
  • Spoon into the tarts. Brings the corners of the pastry over the top. 
  • Bake, 400F (200C) for 12 – 15 minutes, until top is golden brown. 
  • Remove and serve.

I don’t think I am considered a good student.

I personally think I’m an excellent student. I work hard, do my homework, pay attention in class and participate when appropriate.

I also question the teacher when I don’t understand something.

The problem (possibly) is I continue to question the teacher until I DO understand it.

I have the impression that French students accept the word of their teacher and do not question.

I also have the impression that French is a much more complex language than I (and many others) have been led to believe, to the extant that native French speakers don’t always agree on proper usage. Actually, I’ve been told that the French often argue with each other about proper usage.

Yesterday, in one exercise, we were talking about losing and finding things.

The teacher said that one could lose money but not find it.

One won money.

I asked if I wouldn’t find my wallet after I lost it.  

Yes, I would find the wallet but I wouldn’t say I found the money (that had been inside the wallet).

The verb ‘to win’ was always used with money.

Then I said that I could win money in a lottery.


But if I had a good day on the stock market, and increased my money, I would not say I had won it. 

Correct, I did not win it.

I earn money from the advertising on my blog (not much – not the point) .


And if I got a raise at my job I would have earned it.

No, I would have won it.

But if I earn my salary wouldn’t I also earn my raise?

No, you win your salary and you win your raise.

But I earn the money from advertising.

No, you win it.

I am now standing on top of the Tower of Babel.

I questioned some more.

One of the other students told me to just accept it as the way it worked.

I’m happy to do that – when the teacher doesn’t contradict herself.

I decided it was time to let it rest.

I never did get a clear answer….

I’ll work on it before the next class – lay out my questions as clearly as I can.

Our entire class is conducted in French so sometimes figuring out how to ask the questions to get to an answer is very challenging.

And, yes, there are a lot of things I accept as ‘just the way it’s done’.

I understand that many words and usages do not translate literally.

I’m okay with all that….

As long as the answer doesn’t change.

5 thoughts on “Leek and Acorn Squash Tarts; French class”

  1. We moved to France when our children were toddlers. We never taught them French – we spoke English at home and they spoke French at school. They are now both in their 20’s and this is still one of their problems in English. They always “win” money. They are OK with “finding” money that has been lost or “receiving” money as a gift but they do not get “earn”. And they do not understand why it bugs the parents when they say they “won” 10 euros babysitting! It was the same with points at school – they were “won” not “earned”. Grrh!

  2. Val, I’m a great believer in pantry cooking LOL
    Zoomie, and that is simply not the French way… Teachers are not questioned.
    Manningroad, I have come to accept that.. ;-))
    syrahsuzie – oh thank you for letting me know I’m not totally dense and did understand (while not agreeing…)

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