I realize that most of my friends at home won’t even look at this post until sometime next week, because it’s Texas-OU weekend, and that’s some serious s*it where I come from. But I can’t get any football on my TV, and nobody in Paris gets it when I ask “what time is it” (it’s _____ minutes before _______ and OU still sucks), so I’m just going to go on with my little French life and pretend like someone out there is listening. You might show me some mercy and send me a score every once in awhile, if you are one of the few who do glance at this during the pre-game festivities.
The most exciting development in my life is that the handyman, who I was starting to think was just a figment of my imagination, finally made his second appearance at my apartment yesterday. He assembled a huge entertainment center that had been scattered in pieces around the place, and he also hung a light fixture in the living room (the three exposed wires protruding from the ceiling were so NOT attractive) and a few remaining pictures. I wish I could say that our relationship is now over, but we have a lingering issue with the two light fixtures we thought we were being so smart to bring with us. After being repeatedly assured that our lights from home would work with French bulbs and that it would be so much more affordable than buying them here, we brought the crystal chandelier from our Houston dining room and also a new lantern I ordered from Wisteria just for the apartment. The chandelier is still in its wooden crate, which is the size of a small room, and the Wisteria lantern is hanging, bulb-less in the foyer, because now it seems France no longer makes chandelier bulbs small enough for American fixtures. Isn’t that just dandy? So the handyman is trying to redeem himself to me by checking with an electrician friend of his to see if there is any way to score some bulbs. If yes, all is forgiven and my handyman will be canonized immediately. If no, he gets to come back (some time before Christmas would be fabulous) and take down the lantern and hang two new fixtures which we will have to pay out the wazoo for here in Paris, and the two rejected fixtures will occupy what space in our storage “cave” isn’t being taken up by my collection of pots and pans that won’t work here, either. It isn’t all glamour here, kids, believe me.
Fashion week came and left Paris and I didn’t see a single famous person (that I recognized) nor any fabulous outfits. What people and outfits I did see were on the New York Times fashion video, if you want to check it out. The video said that everyone brought fall clothes and then baked here in Paris, where it was unseasonably warm last week, and so stripped down to white blouses and backless evening wear for morning shows, just to stay comfortable. I found that my Nike shorts and Wash U t-shirt worked for me.
I still have not found my culinary mojo, and wake up every morning worrying about what rabbit I’m going to pull out of my hat for dinner that night (not literally- I haven’t even looked at the rabbits hanging in the market- I promise) . Fall appears to have arrived.
This morning was grey and slightly chilly- just enough for a light jacket and rosy cheeks, and I was inspired to take the bus to a real grocery store that many of my friends in the 16th have been going on about. I rolled my little red shopping trolley onto the bus and felt like I had woken up as an 85-year-old woman or something, but it was fun being 85! The bus wasn’t crowded at all, and the ride was only ten minutes, and waiting for me at the end was a beautiful store that could have been a really nice HEB at home! I was in heaven. I found cheddar cheese and corn tortillas and lots of other things I hadn’t seen in a month. I didn’t buy as much as I would have liked, since I was rolling it home, but I did sign up for a frequent buyers card, which will entitle me to use the free delivery and also on-line shopping with delivery! Pretty sweet when it’s cold and rainy, right? Also, the street leading to the store was lined with specialty shops- cheese, meat, fish, fresh pasta- so now I know just where to go when I want a little something special or need advice on what cheese to pair with the wine I just bought.
I still go to the Wilson Market, of course. Here was last week’s unintentional splurge, similar to the melon mistake of yore.
I knew the yellow ones, called girolles, (at home they’re “chanterelles”) were special and available only for a short time, so I grabbed this box and one of more ordinary-looking ones, too. They were sold by weight, not by the boxes they came in, so I really was clueless about how much they were going to cost me. Which was a good thing, because had I known, Martha would never have had her beloved Ina’s Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, which is where these babies ended up. So good. I don’t know if you can tell but from the photo, but the other mushrooms had so much dirt clinging to them that I could have grown my own crop in it. Maybe that’s why they were so heavy on the scale!
Fresh herbs are usually cheaper here than at home. Check out this gorgeous thyme and its cute little bag.
Thanks for listening to me ramble and I hope you found something in it that interested you even an iota. Now go watch football and Hook ‘Em Horns!