Adventures in Yonderland

A log of my adventures, both real and imagined.

Archive for the tag “cooking”

Things I No Longer Understand Since France

1) Pancake mixes. (They don’t exist in France, so I’ve just been making them by scratch and it’s so easy!)

2) Gallons of milk. I mean, liters were working just fine and now I feel cowed by my own milk.

3) American alcohol culture. I just literally don’t understand anymore.

4) The lack of bakeries. Seriously though. Where the hell am I supposed to get pastries and bread?

5) Where’d all the cobblestone go?

6) How am I supposed to go places if I can’t walk there?

7) So…where did the espresso go?

8) You mean I can actually SEE my friends again? Wait. What? They live in the same time-zone? Woah man. One thing at a time please.

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Adventures

Having my parents and brother to visit me here was incredible. Tired as I was afterwords, it was well worth every second. The trips we did were fun, but honestly. It was good just to be together as a family and to show them where I’m living. Because, as I said before, this is really where I am living.

I got to introduce them to real hot chocolate. Which is basically like drinking hot pudding and is generally the most delicious thing ever.

I also went with them here. To Cassis.

Cassis, France

Yeah. If you haven’t gone. Put that one on your list. Or at least some Calanques somewhere.

Oh. And Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Because it’s one of the most amazing and stunning and arresting and generally awesome views I’ve ever seen.

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Went to Marseille Today

For a med check so that I can finally be officially allowed in France. Haha. So much bureacracy. That really should be a stereotype, because of all the things about being in France, that’s definitly the most true of them all. So many things to sign. SO MANY. I miss America where you can do the ol’ one-and-done sign away, yes I read this/I recognize that I’m throwing away my right to say that I did NOT in fact read it. It’s just so much easier than signing each page for essentially the exact same effect.

ANYWAY, this all resulted in a mandatory med check at the immigration office. Was it reminiscent of Ellis Island in New York? Actually, now that I think about it yes, yes it was. Haha. Because basically you go in, get an X-Ray of your chest to check for Tuberculosis (and in some cases get diagnosed with Scoliosis? Surprise!), make sure you’re not dying (yep, colds are okay), and that you are up to date on Tetanus shots (apparently they don’t care about the other ones? Why? No idea.).

I thought we were going to have to do the whole physical thing, which is fine, but I’d rather get mostly naked with a doctor whose reputation I can vouch for than some rando french man/woman. No offense to them, they were really nice.

ANYWAY, on the way back to the metro to get to the train station to get to Aix (Marseille has a metro! Who knew? Obviously not me), we found one of the seven wonders of the world. Well. The seven wonders of things from my American childhood I never hoped to find in France: candy apples.

Not only that, but I have been really wanting just some good ol’ country-style home-grown cooking. Proabably because I’m sick haah. The fact that I can’t bake anything contributes as well haha. SO I looked up how to make Stove-Top Biscuits.

For those of you intersted. Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Butter or Margarine (or if you really have to, you could theoretically use a neutral oil)

1 Cup Milk

Butter to fry/whatever you’re doing to the dough in

Combine the dry ingredients and then cut/pastry mash in the butter. It should get crumbly and have pea-sizedish clumps of buttery-flour stuff. Then add in the milk. Heat up a pan on somewhere around medium heat (mine was medium-high and cooked too fast, but the janky stove-top’s medium-low heat was really too low, so medium I have decided would be ideal). Add in enough butter to get a good layer in there. Take small balls of dough and smash them down into the pan so that they are pretty thin. They pop up, so don’t worry about that, you just want them to be cooked all the way through. As far as how long. Ha. Do your best. They’re a lot like pancakes except they’ll probably get a little darker.

Boom. Recipe.

Class, Cooking and the Bar

Yesterday was interesting…

I had class from 9-1 and then 2-4. And then bought food and cooked dinner with my roommate, a German student who’s interning here, my other roommate and one of our friends from the program. It was actually a really nice dinner. I ate chicken! It’s been a while since I’ve had a pure meat dish. Wait. No. I ate lamb curry at a Saigon restaurant. That was really good. There’s actually a pretty good amount of lamb to buy here. Might have to make some Irish stew sometime…

MORE IMPORTANTLY, we had another class about French culture. It was awesome. I didn’t realize just how much I missed learning facts and things until we started doing a really brief sketch of French history. I ate it up like crazy. I’ve actually never learned French history as such, just like the really important stuff here and there in relation to the rest of the world, but to learn about what was important for France…that was something really different and awesome.

I suppose I should also mention that we went back to the “Wohoo” because they had a foreign student night there. I finally got to meet and talk at length with some of the Californian students who are also studying abroad here. That was really nice actually. Oh. And I met a dude from Michigan who’s studying theology somewhere around here. He was a nice dude. I also met a British guy from London. That was an interesting conversation. He had a really thick accent and the music was loud, so I had to ask him to repeat several things. Apparently his parents live in France, but he and his sister didn’t really like it, so they went and go to school in Britain. Very interesting character. I’ll really have to put Britain on my list of places to go.

I’ve got a lot more, but not much time. Still no internet “chez moi,” so I only have an hour or two of it at a time. But, hopefully soon I’ll be able to speak with my friends and family in real time. Fingers and heart crossed. I miss them.

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