What I Ate for Breakfast Today aka Ghetto Living in Paris, Part Deux

I’ve got blogstipation, big time.

I have plenty of writing projects and topics. In fact, that is the problem. There are so many topics I want to write about that they are backing up on me now, and I am paralyzed as a result. I cannot seem to make a move to post any *one* thing when twenty things clamor to be written about. It has built up to a high level of frustration and I’m about ready to pop.

I have decided, therefore, to just sit and write something to get a post up, since it has been way too many days since my last post.**

In other, more disgusting, words (but to continue the metaphor), I am about to dump a big deuce of a blog here. Finally. *whew*

I am about 2/3 of the way through the writing on a post on Versailles (still). Just as the Château and estate are huge, there is too much to write about and organize my thoughts in order to get it all written in one sitting of a few hours. Plus, there is this distraction problem I have with many emails to reply to, and blogs and posts to read on other sites. A large part of my life over the past nearly five years has developed in the online world, and I have a lot of friends and loved ones who need attention online. We are invested in one another at this point, and my life only feels replete if I have checked in with how each person is doing at least a couple times a week.

Then there is what is in my Google Reader. Heavens. It has swelled to something like 130 blogs that I am tracking, 25 or so which are Paris-based blogs. Some of the blogs I read are written by dear and personal friends; others are ones I follow with masses of other people like this one here or this one here.

I have created this sort of a “job” — the reading and writing of blogs — for myself in the absence of “real” work so that I  feel I am accomplishing something other than just ensuring that the toilet bowl is disinfected for the week.

(Oh crap, that reminds me — I have to do some laundry. Grrrr. Later. I have to get this done first today, at all costs. Back to it.)

So, I was making something to eat this morning. And it looked kind of pretty in the dish. I decided then and there as I pulled out my camera, “I think I will share about what I ate for breakfast today.”

** With irony, I am here a day later to write that this blog was actually started yesterday. By the time I began in the late afternoon, there was not time to finish in the couple of hours I left myself to write. Today, I found myself looking at other blogs and so on, especially as I link many blogs in this post! I really have to find a way to not like to read so very much, a way that preferably does not involve the removal of my eyeballs. FOCUS. I need to focus…

Breakfast

This is thon avec riz et le houmous et les panais rôtis et patates douces. That is the sexy, French way of saying tuna with rice and hummus, and roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes.

Remember the Ghetto post I wrote before? This is another one of those posts to explain yet another way in which Paul (PJ) and I live the Ghetto Life in Paris.

If you missed the first blog on this topic, please go back and check it out, or at the very least recognize I am being tongue-in-cheek about the whole concept. What I intend to communicate with the “Ghetto Paris” posts is that Paul and I in no way live high on the hog here in the city. We live in one of the poorer neighborhoods in the NE part of Paris, far from the beaten path of the inner sanctum of the first six or so arrondissements, or districts, in the city. We live away from the touristy and luxurious parts of Paris; it is not the chichi life we lead. We have a very unpretentious life in a city that often seems to thrive on pretension.

So, ya know, it is kinda the white trash expat life we live. Even though we are educated and do things like write blogs.

Ghetto Tuna and Rice

Breakfast

A small can of tuna, about a cup of leftover rice, and a couple heaping tablespoons of hummus, heating in a pan on the stove.

Tuna and white rice is the kind of gluten-free ghetto meal I thrive on. I have Paul’s Expresso (ex-wife) to thank for this one, via Paul. A daughter of North African immigrant Jews, Expresso comes from legitimate ghetto roots in Paris. I don’t know if it is something she ate as a kid or what, but she introduced Paul to tuna and rice when they were first married and living in a teeny tiny hovel of a studio in Pigalle (ghetto!!). What you do is make a lot of rice and then dump a can of tuna in. Doesn’t get more simple than that! You can then dress it up with a dollop of mayo or some Thai hot sauce, or maybe a little soy sauce or tamari for a dish that is like a California Roll without the seaweed nori wrapper (I have even eaten this dish with sliced avocados to further the Cali Roll connection). Paul will sometimes grate some Emmental into the dish, or add a little Parmesan cheese for a cheesy rice and tuna dish. It is nice to dress it up a little is what I am getting at.

I have stopped using tamari (contains soy) and mayonnaise (contains egg), and just plain tuna and rice lacks a little, I have to say. One day, I put a little dab of hummus I had made in the bowl with my tuna and rice, and a lovely meal was born.

Hummus, the Mediterranean chickpea dip you can find in Middle Eastern restaurants or the deli section of health food stores like Whole Foods, is very, very easy to make at home. I have been using the basic recipe from food blogger Blue Jean Gourmet for a while now (BJG’s hummus), but then discovered David Lebovitz posted a version on his site, too (DL’s hummus). Both are good recipes that can use canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans.

I don’t get very fancy-schmancy with mine — I use a stick blender and dump everything into the tall container that came with the blender and blend it all up. I use a can of undrained chickpeas, which must be around a cup and a half of beans, I’m guessing, put in a couple tablespoons or more of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, or the whole lemon if I want it to have a little more kick, a clove or two of crushed garlic, a couple of tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste/butter), some salt, and… I think that’s it. I shake a little paprika over it once it is blended.

I am not sensitive to any of those ingredients I include and I like the simplicity of this yummy dip. You could add more things to your dip. Blue Jean Gourmet’s recipe calls for cumin and David Lebovitz’s includes parsley and chile powder. I have a friend who adds sesame oil and sometimes tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) to hers, which gives it a smoky, Asian flavor. But I like to keep it cheap and simple, and allergen-free, for me.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

I don’t really know if I have eaten parsnips before now (maybe? Not that I was aware of, at any rate), but I have been big on winter veggies like squash and sweet potatoes this winter, and I am not the only one. My favorite food blogger likes them as well, and he posted about it here. The other day I saw some panais, or parsnips, in the Canal Bio health food store not far from where I live.  I thought I would give them a try. First, I put one in some chicken broth I had made using the leftover chicken carcasses I had on hand along with a leek, a carrot, a couple cloves of garlic and a stalk of celery and its leaves. It made a wonderful and cheap vegetable soup (not vegetarian, but using water instead of chicken stock easily makes it so).

Then I had two more parsnips to use up along with a couple of sweet potatoes, so today I cut them all up and roasted them in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, for… well, too long. LOL. Here are the toasted-looking results:

Breakfast

I put them in this morning at about 7:45 am and I think it was about 9 am when I remembered they were still in the oven and discovered that some of the pieces were too black to eat. I should have set the timer and gotten them out a wee bit sooner. David says he roasted his for only 20 minutes. I find that while root vegetables will get fairly soft in that time, but I like mine to be crunchy like French fries, and so I roast about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks, checking every five or so minutes after 20 minutes has passed to make sure they are not charring (heh, in theory).

While I am at it, let me share another, potentially vegetarian (along with the roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes) dish: Lentil Soup.

Lentil Soup

I had read a posting about lentil soup at food blogger and author Elizabeth Bard’s site, whose book, Lunch in Paris: A love story with recipes is hitting shelves very soon.  This recipe looks and sounds absolutely delicious, and I love the idea of using fennel, parsley, and bay leaf in a lentil soup, but I had a couple of problems with this one. First, it contains pork, and I have discovered recently that I react to pork with extreme joint stiffness and pain (and I also am too chicken to go to a real butcher and try to buy a ham hock in French, so there is that, too), and it also calls for tomatoes, which are nightshade vegetables and also give me joint pain and inflammation. By the time you take out those two key ingredients, I am not sure what is left. I kind of found out, though.

I happened on another lentil recipe at Beanpaste’s food blog called Beanplate. It calls for some simple, basic ingredients that were easy to find in my local Leader Price grocery store. Here is the link to her spiced lentil soup recipe.

And here is how I did it:

Basically, you chop up an onion, a couple of carrots, and a stalk of celery.

Veggies for soup

Then sauté the veggies in olive oil for 7-10 minutes.

Sauteeing veggies

Add cumin, coriander (about a teaspoon or two each, to taste — there are more exact measurements at the recipe link up there) and pepper (the recipe says to add salt at this point, too, but I often do not add salt before beans and lentils have been cooked as I have read salt can toughen them).

Spices

Then add the lentils (which have been rinsed and drained) and water or chicken stock (I did some of each as I had a couple of cups of chicken stock on hand — quantities are at the recipe link).

Lentils

These are organic (“Bio”) French green lentils which are at Leader Price, the Poor People Store (our nickname for it).

Lentils

I don’t think these are officially Puy Lentils. But then if they were, it would not be such a ghetto recipe, now, would it. ;-)

Cook the whole business for 45 minutes, et voilà, lentil soup.

It’s cheap, too. Very ghetto.

Here’s what else is ghetto – My Kitchen

I finally got to read The Sweet Life in Paris. It was a Christmas gift from my future sister-in-law. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a humorous take on what it is to be an expat in Paris, from a foodie perspective mostly, but a lot of things that pastry chef and writer David Lebovitz (the most popular guy at Paris Blog High School) writes in the book apply to the day-to-day of any alien Parisien/ne.

In the second chapter, “Ma Petite Cuisine,” David describes his compact cuisine américaine, which is what Paul and I have, too. What an “American kitchen” means is that it is open to the dining and living areas as opposed to being tucked away in a separate room as a traditional French kitchen would be (I’m not the only one who has wondered about what one is, though). Also, we have not only a refrigerator that is a little larger than what would be called a “dorm fridge” in the States (many Parisian apartments have refrigerators as small as a dorm fridge as their regular refrigerator), but also a cooking range with four electric disk burners and an oven. Having an oven is not always a given in a Parisian apartment, so we are lucky in this respect.

David writes on pages 24-25 of the hardcover edition:

Here in Paris, “cuisine américaine” means “completely impractical.”… What the countertop lacks in practicality, it makes up for by not imposing itself and taking up too much space in my apartment. Consequently, my entire cooking area is roughly the size of a rectangular gâteau Opéra, the size that serves eight. And we’re talking eight French-sized servings, not American-sized slabs.

The rest of the chapter is just as amusing. If you like mild snark and want a jocular account of daily life in Paris, complete with mouth-watering recipes (almost all of which I cannot eat and this did cause me some misery while reading), then I recommend the book.

This is my countertop:

My kitchen

And a measuring cup.

A "measuring cup"

Pretty ghetto, huh. :D But it is good for the environment! Reduce, reuse, recycle!

I actually do have a set of measuring cups from the States, but find that for things like rice and beans, it is the proportion that matters, not an actual exact measurement. I find that one 20 cL empty crème fraîche container of white rice (or mixed with some brown rice, too), soaked, rinsed, and drained, cooks well with 1 1/2 containers of water, just under the 2:1 ratio of water to rice, making a couple of cups, so I use a recycled container all the time when I make rice. Same for the lentils. I measured out two containers of lentils to six containers of water/broth. I think an 8 ounce liquid cup is right around 140 mL, or 14 cL, so this one is not too far off from a liquid cup (using standard US measurements. Now you know something about the metric system! That’s not ghetto! But ballparking one’s measurements as I often do pretty much is).

I also made a mess with this recipe, but then all good cooks do, right?

Messy kitchen

Onward. Not so much about ghetto stuff, but…

Proof That Gluten Messes Me Up

This is not why Paul and I are getting married — it is not a shotgun wedding.

Bloating

I may look about six months pregnant here, but I am not.

This is what I was like the next day, still slightly swollen, but pretty much what I normally look like.

Normal belly

On the night of December 27, Paul and his two kiddos and I decided to go to the Trocadéro to see the celebratory light show for the Eiffel Tower’s 120th anniversary. The special light show ran from late October until December 31, 2009. It was a special 12 minute colorful light display that was really very pretty! My photos came out really crappy. Even if my Nikon Coolpix can handle a lot of daylight photos with aplomb, night shots with movement and without a tripod are pretty much screwed. Still, if you want to check them out, you can see them here.

Fellow blogger Peter, of Peter’s Paris, has a very nice post and photos about it here.

I think this was the least crappy photo I took of the light show (and that’s not saying much, lol).

Eiffel Tower Light Show

Back to the “why I look pregnant'” story.

Returning home from the light show, Paul and the girl kid decided to get McDonald’s for dinner. It was late — after 9:00 pm — and everyone was hungry, including me. I had started a conversation with myself earlier that night once it had been decided that McDo’s would be on the dinner menu.

“Maybe I should just try it. It has been over seven months since I have eaten anything with gluten. Maybe a little won’t hurt. I’m just so tired of eating this way!” (I was also reading David Lebowitz’s book and that was not helping me out. Too many yummy and forbidden recipes in that book, and I was feeling deprived.) “It’s Christmas — the holidays! — surely I can treat myself to something with gluten after all these months of not eating it! I am so tired of feeling like the outsider when it comes to food. I just want some FREAKIN’ MCDONALD’S ALREADY.”

We got to the McDo’s and I ordered a Happy Meal with the small hamburger, a small fries, a Pom’pote (which is applesauce in a squeeze pouch and served with Happy Meals here), and a bottled water. We got home and I tucked in. At one point, savoring the white bread bun and crunchy fries with ketchup, I cried. Yeah, I actually wept a little because it tasted so good. I know, it’s ghetto to like McDonald’s so much, but I really do and have since I was a kid — it was always a treat growing up, not something we did very often, and I have attachments to it, okay?

I was not very satisfied with the amount of food, though, and so I heated up some rice and chicken and ate a little of that, too. Maybe roasted Brussels sprouts, too; I cannot remember now.

At about 11:30 pm, I noticed something unusual. I looked down at my stomach, and saw this:

Bloating

The bloat had begun. I snapped a whole bunch of other photos, in disbelief about just how large my stomach was puffing out. As the bloating stretched the skin further, it hurt. I experienced no cramping, but just the pain of having an expanding stomach and the skin being stretched so tautly.

*sigh* I now know that the need to stay away from gluten is not all in my head. There is a real connection between gluten and something going haywire in my body. I may perform another experiment one of  these days with some kind of a French pastry which I would so dearly like to try, just to see if there is a repeat of what happened that night. But it is not going to be anytime soon.

This was a good experience to have as some days it feels just too hard to be gluten (and possibly dairy)-free for the rest of my life, especially living in the Pastry Capital of the World. This is proof positive, though, that gluten and I are not friends.

To bring this blog full circle, I realize that I am going to have to stick with things like tuna and rice and roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes for the time being. I know there are others of you in the same boat that I am, and if you happen on this blog, please feel free to leave comments about your own experiences of what it is to be gluten-intolerant and some days resenting it a lot. :)

So there you go. I have relieved the blog pressure. Please feel free to relieve yourself, too, in the comments. I always welcome them and it is good to know people are reading! Eventually, I will finish the Versailles post, but until then, have a happy weekend. And if you are the praying or “thinking good thoughts” kind, send a few over to Haiti. They could use every bit of help they can get, I know. Events there surely put a lot in perspective for me, as I am sure they have for you, too.  May they heal quickly, live long, and prosper in Haiti. :::good vibes:::

Over and out.

Karin

an alien parisienne

UPDATE

Another Paris Blogger I read, Michele, posted this past weekend about crazy Paris kitchens at her blog, Michele’s Life in Franglais: Kitchens en France. You have to read and see her photos to believe it! :) David and I are not the only one with interesting, ghetto kitchens! Check it out…

Categories: Book Reviews, Candida/Candidiasis, Celiac Disease /Gluten Intolerance, Food Intolerances, Ghetto Paris Living, Gluten-Free Recipes, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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34 thoughts on “What I Ate for Breakfast Today aka Ghetto Living in Paris, Part Deux

  1. ken

    I actually mix tuna with a great many things (haven’t done rice in a long time and forgot that one), but I’ve not used hummus for much other than dip. I’ll have to combind them. I usually mix with cottage cheese.

    all of these recipes make me want to fix real food once again. I’m afraid to until I have a clean kitchen once again and at this rate that may never happen. Your machine must be very stable. I’d be afaid to put such things on mine as it jumps all over the place. I’m also proportional with my measuring, but mainly because their “one serving” doesn’t satisfy me and “three servings” is too much. I figured out how much will fill the bowl I want to use after rehydration and all ingrediants are added and measure from there (yeah, a little math the first time, but otherwise simply repeat after it is figured out)

    I’ve been told that the American palete has been trained to crave sugar, salt and fat. The hamberger satisfies all of that in one serving. It is the perfect American food (want fries with that? of course you do). Surely there is a supliment that addresses the reaction to gluten that could be taken when gluten is ingested (if not, how hard is it to develope such, since there is money to be made, you’d think the pharm’s would be all over this)

    • “Your machine must be very stable. I’d be afaid to put such things on mine as it jumps all over the place.”

      Naw. I just never wash and cook at the same time, lol. I also have to be sure to do the dirty glassware that collects there or it decides to get suicidal all over the kitchen floor if I am not careful to do so (when the machine is going).

      “Surely there is a supliment that addresses the reaction to gluten that could be taken when gluten is ingested (if not, how hard is it to develope such, since there is money to be made, you’d think the pharm’s would be all over this)”
      Not yet, and I think it is because there is *not* that much money to be made from it, too. The wheat industry is also huge. Lots of lobbyists there. And scientists and immunologists and gastroenterologists do not really know *exactly* what mechanisms and chemical components and aspects of the immune system are at play with all of this anyway, so there is nothing that can be developed to help when they don’t even know what is going on in the first place! It is the hope of a lot of associations around Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity to increase awareness and lobby for more funding for research and development of things to help. It’s a ways off, but getting better in the last five years.

      I hope you can get to making some real food again, Ken! While there was one time in my life I *hated* to cook, it has grown on me a lot, in part by necessity, but also because when I do cook, it is appreciated by others and I like that. :) At least try to make the hummus. That does not take a lot of space or time.

  2. Totally relate to the “gluten experience.” But what about the great offerings in Paris? Heard that buckwheat crepes are available everywhere and that there are several dedicated gluten free bakeries. Can you share anything about these in a future post? Grew up in Europe and are completely familiar with the tiny kitchens! But, so what, no one is really ever bothered by it (at least not there). Love your exquisite sense of humor and look forward to new posts soon.

    • Hi gfcelebration! I really appreciate your comment! It is always so cool when people do so, especially to come out of “lurkdom” and share for the first time. That makes me grin. :D It is also good to know that you can relate to the “gluten experience,” although I am also sorry that you can. *sigh* Still, I’m glad that you know what it is like.

      About this: “But what about the great offerings in Paris? Heard that buckwheat crepes are available everywhere and that there are several dedicated gluten free bakeries.”
      Welllll, not so much. First off, the supposed buckwheat only crêpes are not — they are usually prepared with a blend of wheat and buckwheat flours (for example, David Lebovitz has a recipe here that is representative of the proportions in the blend). The only exception I know for certain is the restaurant/crêperie called Breizh (in the 3rd arr. about a half hour Métro ride from where I live) where they serve gallettes, which are true buckwheat crêpes with just buckwheat, water and salt. DL also wrote a post about that place here. I am sure that there are other places that serve authentic gallettes, but a couple of hesitations that I have are that I am sensitive (hopefully temporarily) to buckwheat, too, lol. It is very high in oxalates, which some people have trouble breaking down and can result in UTIs, yeast infections, and digestive issues. Quinoa is in that same group and I have to avoid it, too. In addition, gallettes are often made with melted butter on the griddle — I am also casein-free (milk protein) at the moment.

      Unfortunately, the bakeries are a myth. There are no bakeries out of the over 1,263 (and this statistic was in a 2006 post by DL — I have no idea how many there are now. Possibly fewer, but I’m sure that they still number in the 1,000 range) that are dedicated gluten-free to my knowledge. None. I see occasionally that there are messages on forums with people stating that there are, but I have yet to find one. And I have searched. What DL posts about eating G-free in Paris here still stands.

      There are really good producers of G-free vacuum-packed breads, pastries, and cookies, Valpiform being one of them, but they are also chock full of potato starch (nightshade), corn (sometimes causes problems for people who need to stay away from gluten and casein), butter, diary, eggs — pretty much they have everything *except* gluten.

      I hate to paint a sad picture of Paris this way — you would think that in a country that treasures bread and has Celiacs/gluten sensitive people would have done more by now, but this would be contrary to French sensibilities at this point (worldwide, awareness is only just on the increase). It is my understanding that the French are also slow accommodate much for people with handicaps of any kind, physical, dietary, or mental, especially mild ones (they are better with helping people whose needs are documented and very clear. There is lots of assistance for those folks. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I am generalizing here in terms of the medical community and those responsible for legislating and implementing change, too, not individuals). France is lagging behind countries like Italy and the Scandinavian countries in their addressing this medical issue with people. That’s what I have discovered from my reading at any rate. It fits my experience, too. Also, if *all* one has to do is avoid gluten, Paris is not such a bad place to visit. But if a person has multiple food intolerances, it is a pain in the butt! (Not to mince words or anything, lol. :) )

      I very much appreciated reading that I have an “exquisite sense of humor.” :) Thank you so much for that. That’s one of the best things that anyone has ever commented and it made me glow. Thank you. And I will try to get on that more regular posting thing, lol. I think I need the blogging equivalent of Metamucil, hahaha! Be well, and have a great day!

      • Ken

        I’m sorry to hear about the lack of alternatives in eating out, but at the same time, doesn’t that suggest a vacuum to be filled by an enterprising person?

      • There is one such enterprising person here in Paris who runs this place: Des Si et Des Mets
        I have not been able to go there, yet, but it looks lovely.

      • ken

        LOL, did they really put a pic of their bathroom in the front page slideshow?? I guess that could be a selling point.

      • Well, yup — looks like they did!! I just added an update to this blog, too — it’s a great rant on Parisian kitchens by a blogger named Michele. You should check it out!

      • Oh but it is a snazzy bathroom! So yes, I think it is a selling point, lol. You should see some of them here. They make gas station ones in the States look nice! :)

  3. egads with the gluten bloat! Reason enough to stay away from the stuff.

    I have to say, however, that that T-Shirt looks MA-rvelous on you!

    • Egads is right, eh? Yeah, I am glad I took photographic evidence so that I can remind myself about what happened, lol. Is that not a great t-shirt?! ;-) I love it. I was going to put a link to the one I got on Café Press, but it looks like it is not there anymore. Can you help on that one? I did a little t-shirt doctoring on mine, making it a cap sleeve shirt instead of a long sleeve, and I made the neckline into a scoop, too. Then I added a bow to the skull and embroidered in a gold tooth and star eye, lol. I really like that shirt. :)

  4. PJ

    We crack me up with how ghetto we are…

    Still, i don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit as to how good of a cook you really are here. You need to be a little clearer on how *awesome* you are in the kitchen, Angel.

    • I’m glad you cracked up at it, dear. And thank you for the props on the cooking. Like I wrote to Ken, it is feeling appreciated that has helped me blossom in the cooking department. :)

  5. Pocketful of Shells

    I can testify to her awesomeness in the kitchen.

    And also to the awesomeness of that shirt. :) Although it’s different and ADORABLE now!!

    When are you gonna post your pasketti recipe… or did I miss it?

    I love you guys!

    • Thank you, Shells!! And HEY! Here’s a link to the shirt, for anyone who is interested: Dorid Designs at Zazzle. I had fun doctoring that one up, but I note that Zazzle has some cute styles, ones that were not available to me at the time. Check it out.

      OH YEAH! The Pasketti Recipe! OMG, that’s right, I need to do that. You did not miss it, and will do. Love you back. *mwah*

  6. I’m really looking forward to your post about Versailles! If this was only a little in-between post! :-)

    I believe I could happily enjoy your recepies, but perhaps rather for lunch than for breakfast!

    Incredible the McDo effect on your belly (but you look really charming both before and after)!

    I can see that your are struggling with the metric system, but I hope that after a while here, you will realise that Americans have to change! :-)

    Thanks for the reference to my blog!

    Looking forward to do some ghetto or non-ghetto walk with you around Paris again, when you feel for it!

    • Hello Peter!

      Yup — STILL working on that post! In fact, I got really distracted as I started reading your post on your *first* blog about reading Antonia Fraser’s book about Marie Antoinette and the movie by Sophia Coppola. I have not read the book yet, but intend to; however I have seen the movie and loved it. It was so nice to have that film as a frame of reference for my visit and I enjoyed it a lot because of it. I will likely link that blog into mine, too. :)

      Well thank you for the kind words about being *charmingly* bloated, haha! That is a good thing — good to know I can be charming, bloated or not. :D

      It is a wee struggle to adapt to metric. I actually like some things better in metric measurements, my weight for example. It is a lot nicer to think 55 kilos instead of 121 pounds, for example (although I also weigh a little more than that, methinks. Our scale is a bit “off,” lol. That’s more like what I *want* to weigh, lol). I’ll get it soon!

      Yes, the recipes are better suited for lunch than breakfast, but a hungry girl has got to eat, and at least it is food in the morning. I have had to adapt a lot in what I think is “breakfast food” compared to “lunch” and “dinner” food, lol.

      I would love to go out again soon. I have no idea where. Have you any places you have thought about going? I’m message you soon.

      Be well, and thank you for reading!

    • Ken

      Peter,
      Back in the late seventies and early eighties they tried to impliment metric in the states. Already widely used by the world and our neighbors Mexico and Canada, it was time to catch up. Metric was taught along side of the imperial system and we were told the imperial was going to be phased out, signs started appearing on our roads with both measurements and it could be seen in a few other places, but since imperial measurments were also there, folk merely paid no attention to metric and it was the metric that was eventually phased out (“if it ain’t broke, why fix it” seemed to be the attitude)Metric is certainly “cleener” and more logical, but it is like learning a new language, easier the younger you are and the less exposure you have to other forms. If imperial is spoken in the home, then that is what the child will speak at home and metric would only be used where it is the language spoken.

  7. Hi Karin – I love your version of the lentils – I often do it vegetarian myself. Can’t believe the book is coming out next week. Getting real! I’m sure the daube would be great with frozen chestnuts – sometimes they stay whole, sometimes they dissolve in the sauce – great both ways! E x

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for getting back to me about using frozen chestnuts in the daube (for those of you reading this comment — Elizabeth’s recipe for Daube with Beef Cheeks, Chestnuts, Red Wine and Orange is here). I really want to try it because I am pretty sure everything in it I can eat!! Yay!

      The book is out *next week*!! Oh, that is getting very real and exciting. I am happy for you and I wish it much success. (Again – folks reading, Elizabeth’s book is on Amazon. com here or Amazon.fr here.)

  8. Oh my god I think I may have had a revelation while reading your blog. Those pictures of you all swollen up speak to me — that’s how I looked when I was back in the US for two weeks.
    I’m a vegetarian and I don’t really eat a lot of gluten in my diet at all here in France, but it’s in everything back home. Really makes me wonder..
    Great post though, really happy to have found your blog and i’ll have to try some of your recipes (sans tuna!) :)

    And a side note — your washing machine is huge! Lucky girl…

    • Hi Amber!

      I am glad you stopped by to read! Food intolerance is an issue for so many people. There are a lot of reasons for it, one of which is the autoimmune disease Celiac, but then a lot of people are intolerant because of enzyme deficiencies, or damage to the small intestine (also called “leaky gut”) which allows food molecules to flow into the bloodstream and then interact negatively with the immune system. I hope you can narrow down what it is! I just re-discovered Karina from Gluten Free Goddess. I have looked at her site before, but not so intently as today. She posts recipes that are gluten-free and vegan or vegetarian.

      I was thinking the other day that I really do eat *almost* vegan, except for chicken and tuna (okay, and the very occasional beef patty when making burgers for other family members). But I don’t eat eggs or dairy, and even have to avoid soy. Gluten Free Goddess reminds me this is actually possible and I may try to slide more into veganism! We’ll see.

      The washer is kind of medium-sized from what I have seen in France so far. It is exactly the size of an apartment-sized washing machine I had from a Canadian company in the States. It was a Danby and even has the same kind of dials, buttons and settings! It holds about 4 to maybe 5 pairs of jeans, or a double sheet set (fitted, flat, and four pillow cases), or I would estimate about 8-10 extra-large men’s t-shirts. It’s about half the capacity of a regular sized American washing machine. So, I would not say it is huge-huge, but it is good enough for what we need it for. The best part is not having to go to the laundromat! Yay!!! That is a very good thing. ;)

      I have your blog marked, too. (I’m pretty sure I have been there before. In fact, I may have even commented, lol. But you are in G-Reader now. :))

      Be well and thanks again for commenting! See you again soon!

  9. I came across your site from parisbreakfasts blog. Then I looked at your profile and I became giddy, because I live in Denver and would love to move to France. For now I am just working on going on a trip to Paris. I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog. I will be checking in often to see what its like to be a Parisienne alien ;)

    • Hi Corine! I am so glad you left a comment! How cool that you are from Denver! Yup, that’s my previous home of many years! I hope I can get a post up this week. I have been thinking a lot about more but not actually *doing* it, lol. Check back and when you make it here, we should meet up! Take care. :)

      • Do you miss Denver or are you loving Paris? I look forward to reading your posts :)

      • Hi Corine!

        I miss, in this order:
        my children
        the sense of space and openness (and getting up above things — height)
        Whole Foods and Wild Oats markets (and I would miss Trader Joe’s if Denver had one)
        being able to load up a ton of groceries in one go and throw them in a trunk and drive them home (and then having a fridge big enough to put them in)
        free reading materials and DVDs at the library

        That’s about it. Oh, and Target. :) And Kohl’s sales. LOL.

        I don’t know if I so much love Paris (she and I have an interesting relationship — I find her kind of bitchy, lol, like some of the women here can be, just SOME, and it is my humble opinion, although I know of others who agree) as I do adore being somewhere else, somewhere different. I am getting to know the parts of Paris that are not so “bitchy” and some of her is very down-to-earth, fun, and pragmatic.

        I need to post more. Going to the grocery store now and then to work on the Versailles post I have been working on since Jan 5 and which is now split into three parts, haha!

        See you here again soon and thank you for coming by! :)

  10. frogsandmen

    i have a ghetto kitchen in paris, so your post rang true. as well, i have a ghetto bathroom, ghetto bedroom and ghetto closet.

    alas!

    great blog, a tres bientot!

    • Hey! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :) Yeahhhh — I think I am letting the cat out of the bag that Paris is a LOT more ghetto than people want to think of it, lol. I’m glad to know I am not the only one who knows so. :D See you soon again!

  11. So many thoughts I need to share that I’m feeling rather distracted.

    First of all, thanks so much for all your nice comments on my blog. I’m glad you like all my Sunday pictures and quotes because I can’t tell if the rest of my internet friends do or not. Very few comment on those. (I’ve kept an excel file of my favorite quotes for years. Lately I’ve started going through Jenny’s pics and matching them up. Some of them are so perfect that I practically cackle with happiness.)

    Also, I love your rice and tuna idea, especially with roasted veges. You and I seem to have the same love of those. I think this will become a regular lunch for me. As for the california roll/bowl thing… my sister’s man (Brad, you may have met him at the party) made a deconstructed sushi bowl for Christmas night dinner. Here’s a picture Jenny took of it http://www.flickr.com/photos/jengay/4243322387/ I believe he got the recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Yep, here it is http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/sushi-bowl-recipe.html It does have soy sauce, but you might be ok without it. There’s a lot of other flavors in there.

    And I had to include this next link because it so speaks to me and my tendency to get buried in an avalanche of ideas like you were talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24prm3XjVgk
    It’s sad how true this is for me. But it gives me courage to just go ahead and do a crappy job at something.

    Also, I’m subscribed to more rss feeds than I can count. I try to keep actual friends and family in a separate category, so at the very least I get by to see them once a week, or so. (ps- you’re in that list.)

    Hope you have a lovely day. And thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts here on your blog. I love stopping by for a visit.

    • Hi Wendy!

      Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a wonderful blomment. :)

      You are welcome for the comments. I absolutely love the Sunday photos and quotes. I see they do not garner as many comments, but I am sure they must be appreciated, as I know I do. Surely there have to be more than just me who do. Keep on with it, for sure.

      Cali Bowl! Yum! I am going to look that up. I have occasionally been using Tamari, which is wheat-free soy sauce. Sometimes I do all right with it, in moderation. The photo of it looks so amazing. Yum. Thanks for the info on that.

      Aaaaccckkkk!! That video! Love it! It’s hilarious, horrible, and oh-so-true. LOL. Brain crack. Indeed. Mmmkay. Better post here today, heh!

      That’s a good idea to create a list for the friends and family. I can do that very easily in Reader, so yup — I think I shall work on that today, too. I’m glad to know I am in that list of yours. :) Thank you.

      I hope you have a good one, too, Wendy! Thanks for all you wrote here. See you ’round the blogosphere!

  12. Long live the Pom’pote, or is it Vive la Pom’pote? Either way, we love’em in this house. And who knew you could get rid of that leftover hummus in the fridge, the stuff the kids are tired of being given in lieu of a snack, the stuff you know is going to turn bad if you leave it too long, but there is only so much of straight up, undisguised, hummus one person can ingest in one week, by mixing it with rice and tuna. I’m all over that. Thanks, again.

  13. How’s that for the biggest car crash of a run-on sentence in history?

    • I loved it, so don’t go dissing your commentary!! :) Vive la (le? who knows if those little packets of applesauce are Masc or Fem) Pom’pote indeed! I am SO glad that I could inspire you to Hummus using-uppage. :) Here’s to the humble hummus.

  14. Pingback: Welcome, May! (back to blogging) « An Alien Parisienne

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