The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Or so they say.
I say if they are right I must be well on my way.
But I really do try.
First the food…. I need sustenance.
Pork and mustard go well together.
It makes a lovely, quick, mid-week dinner, yet ‘gourmet’ enough for unexpected (or expected) guests! If the tenderloin has a lot of ‘silver’, trim it with a sharp knife before slicing.
Pork Tenderloin with Mustard and White Wine Sauce
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 pork tenderloin, 14oz (420gr)
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) white wine
- 1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs chicken stock
- Thinly slice the onion and finely chop the garlic.
- Sauté onion and garlic in oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Slice the tenderloin into 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick slices.
- Brush 1 tbs mustard on one side of pork.
- When onion starts to brown, move it to the sides of the pan and sauté pork medallions mustard-side down for 5 minutes.
- Brush remaining mustard on top and turn.
- Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add thyme, stock and white wine to pan, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in chicken stock.
- Uncover, increase heat, add cornstarch and stir until sauce is thickened.
- Remove pork to small platter, spoon sauce over and serve.
One of the hardest aspects of trying to master, or at least, learn a new language is the dreaded ‘phone call’.
When you are speaking face to face with another person, even in another language, you can still see and read the hand gestures, facial expressions and so on.
And the other person can see yours.
Sometimes most of the conversation happens non-verbally.
With phone conversations, all that is taken out of the exchange.
I do fine when I initiate the call and have a simple request – an appointment with the dentist, for example. Beyond that it gets more difficult.
It’s been windy here.
The wind blew the telephone cable off the pole.
It was hanging over the road, still connected to 2 poles but drooping. My neighbor, on her way to the airport last week, stopped to tell me she had called the phone company to report it.
Good! I didn’t have to make the dreaded phone call.
They didn’t come.
It got windier, the phone cable drooped lower and lower.
Mon mari tied a ribbon on it so drivers could see it more clearly (alright, it was reflective tape).
It drooped lower.
Monday mon mari decided he’d just fix it himself.
We went out to assess the situation.
Before he could actually do anything, it fell off the other pole and lay across the road.
He tied more ribbons on it.
I hoped the Powers That Be would send the technicians.
Last night, at conversation class, I got all the technical words I would need to make the dreaded phone call. Words that don’t come up in everyday conversation – like telephone pole (it’s a special word).
Today it was time to make the call.
I couldn’t find the phone number.
I could find numbers and email addresses to report slow internet, lost mobiles, non-functioning land-lines but none for general problems.
Every number I called (and I tried a lot of them) would be answered by an automatic system that would verify my number and then tell me that my line was working or that it wasn’t a mobile number and to call a different number or whatever. Basically, every call I made resulted in a computer voice telling me it was some other computer’s problem and hanging up.
I looked for more numbers.
I looked in the white pages, the yellow pages and on the internet.
I asked the dogs.
I googled and googled.
One of the google results was for a ‘France Telecom in English’ number.
I didn’t want to…. I had tried and tried and tried to do the right thing and call the French number and explain my problem in French.
I called the English number. It was answered in English, my number verified in English and I was asked what the problem was in English.
And I said the wrong thing….in English.
I said ‘my phone line is down’.
Before I was re-routed yet again I managed to shout NO, NO, NO into the receiver and explain, correctly, that ‘my phone is working but the cable has fallen off the poles and is lying on the surface of the road where it is being run over by cars and trucks.
I was then told that my line would be checked anyway. I wanted to say that I knew it was working since we were talking over it at the moment, but I didn’t.
I was then told that my problem would be directed to the appropriate department but I could not be assured as to when it would be repaired.