Sunday, January 23, 2011

poulet délicieux

J'ai regrette...that I did not keep up on the french learning post college. Key phrases stayed in the noggin (my favorite "zut alors!" or "des temps un temps") and I tend to use them randomly. To the annoyance of others? Possibly.

Even if the language is fading, I'm having a very Francais weekend. Aside from a LONG overdue stick shift driving lesson. Although, this could have been tres Parisian, and way more picturesque, to learn how to drive stick shift on a dirt road in the country side of Provence, instead of a sad looking parking lot. We can all dream.

With no money (as of yet) for mass traveling I pick up my culture through, what else; film, music, and food.

Last night on the menu: Coq Au Vin

This braised chicken dish sounds fancy and difficult to make, but as I have picked up over the years of watching my family make one of their favorites, it's really not. A tad time consuming, but once everything is in the pot/pan, it all just slowly cooks for an hour into a pile of deliciousness.

steaming pan of goodness
Julia Child, without a doubt, has a recipe to this, but we always follow our trusty, 1974 edition, of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Nothing gets better than vintage cookbooks, especially with this copy that has been effectively loved to bits and is filled with many ripped pages. I also love the endless array of awesomely 70's photos; so many pictures of jello molds and fondue!

After spending lots of time in the kitchen all  I wanted to do was sit around and watch a movie. Remember that show Dinner & A Movie? Where they would do theme dinners, like make southern fried chicken and watch Steel Magnolias? This blast from the past, made me realize I should steal that idea, and do the same thing.

I present some suggestions for french movie viewing:
In the mood for something fun; Paris Je T'Aime 

This movie told through 20 different vignettes is not completely spoken in french, but its showcase of all the different neighborhoods in Paris makes you feel like you were actually there. Even though all the stories are not perfect, each of the segments directed by a different director, move quickly, so it moves past the bad ones before you even realize. A really interesting idea for a movie, just twenty stories about people's lives, that turns into something completely enjoyable.

So You Like Darker Movies, eh; Blue

Featured in segments of that last movie, Blue also stars Juliette Bincoche, but this time in a tragic story following a woman dealing with the death of her husband and daughter. The movie is the first in a trilogy of french films each based on the colors of their flag (red and white being the others) and the national motto liberty, equality, and fraternity. Blue, standing for liberty, is very intense in revealing the mysteries that arise after these deaths and the depths of this woman in mourning. If you like this kind of movie however, check it out now.

I badly want to pretend that I was super classy and sat down to watch Blue with a cup of crème brûlée (sadly I lacked ingredients for this yesterday), which I think you all should do.

Alas, I got dragged into another fun round with some ABBA and Toni Collette in the classic, Muriels Wedding. But that's another story...

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