Friday, October 29, 2010

Au Revoir

I’ve been home for a week. The reverse culture shock is beginning to wane, and I’m starting to remember what life in the States is all about. My reintroduction wasn’t pleasant on the American Airlines plane due to the bad food, loud Americans, and rude flight attendants – one of them even spilled water on my head... On top of that I came home to a broken furnace which could result in a whole new heating system for the house. It was, however, great to see Lisa in Portland right after I got back who also had Buckley. He was soooo excited to see me. I saw a couple of friends in Seattle, and then got on the plane again to visit Meggie in Utah. Being with family is making the transition easier especially when they let you blab on for hours and hours about France.

I was having baguette withdrawals when I got back, so I went to the grocery store and bought one of the “high end” baguettes called the Parisienne. It was barely edible. Rather than continue to be disappointed with bad bread and cheese, I began to remember what things Americans do well. I had a killer cocktail at Mint in Portland called a Velvet (orange rum, blueberry puree, and cream) and a mind-boggling grilled cheese from the Grilled Cheese Grill. It was called The Jalepeno Popper with roasted jalapenos, colby jack, cream cheese, and tortilla chips. And of course, I had a few of the rich and creamy lattes in Seattle which will brighten anyone’s day.

I can always continue to cook French food as well, especially since I have an arsenal of French women who are eagerly waiting to send recipes and advice. I fully intend to take advantage too. The only things I brought back from France were clothes and food. The things I decided I couldn’t live without were real Dijon mustard that makes you cry when eaten by the teasponful, lentilles du Puy that get their unique taste from the climate and volcanic ash they’re grown in, sucre roux which I only ended up with after a long search to find a substitute for brown sugar, gros sel which are the big fat crystals of sea salt (bigger than Kosher salt), the more refined fleur de sel, the yummy ginger biscuit spread Speculoos, more Bernachon chocolate, and some rillettes – the regional specialty of the Tourraine. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out a way to bring back the butter packed with crystals of sea salt which makes me melt every time I think about spreading it on a big crusty piece of bread.

More than the food though, I will miss all the people I met in France. I am sure some of us will keep in touch for the rest of our lives. Everyone was friendly, warm, and welcoming. They were eager to help and show me their country. And for everyone I’m returning to in the States, thanks for reading the blog. It was fun to write and a bonus to know that you enjoyed reading it. I will obviously miss life in France, but as my host mom Barbara said, “Il y aura toujours un avion à prendre pour revenir.” (There will always be a plane to come back.) So then, gros bisous et à bientôt!

1 comment: