Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunburns and Stock

The past few weeks in Paris have been mostly cold, windy, and rainy. On Wednesday night it poured so hard we could have sworn we were in the middle of a rain forest! Since Thursday, however, the days have been getting sunnier and warmer. To celebrate this beautiful Saturday, we join our friends Kate and Olivier at the out-door public pool in Puteaux, a lovey town just to the west of Paris. The pool opened at 1 and was packed by 1:15. We were lucky to get 4 recliners together (thanks to Kate for staking them out). For the next 3 hours we sunned, played around in the pool, and ate frites (fries) and glace (ice cream). Bobby and I made sure to put on our sunscreen, but we still managed to get sunburned. Oh well, a sunburn means there was sun!

You may notice in the photos that both Olivier and Bobby are wearing pretty short swimsuits. While it's true that such male swimsuits are more fashionable in Europe than in the States (it always seems to be the creepy old men with huge pot-bellies who wear little Speedos in the States), it is actually required by French public pools to wear such suits! No board-shorts allowed. Such a rule is enforced for health reasons. It is thought that because board-shorts can be worn as regular shorts people will attract dirt and germs into the pools since the shorts were on metro seats and other such filthy places. The sad part is that Bobby is now sporting a lovely sunburn on his upper legs, since that area hasn't seen the light of day since the early 1980s, when short shorts were the rage for little boys.

After our day in the sun, we came back home and went to the local fruit/vegetable vendors to buy food for the next three days' meals. The local vendors (fruit/vegetable, meat, fish, and cheese) close on Sundays and Mondays, so Saturday is always a busy shopping day unless we want to eat out until Tuesday. We also bought a rotisserie chicken for our dinner, which will turn into chicken noodle soup for tomorrow and Monday. These already-cooked whole chickens are a great deal at 5 euros, plus perfect for those without an oven like us. Accompanying our chicken this evening were mashed potatoes and peppercorn gravy. It sucked mashing the potatoes with just a little fork, but it got the job done, plus built up my arm muscle. Sticking with the traditional French course order, we prepared and ate our salad after the main entrée. The French do this because they say the salad is nice and light after the heavy entrée. Our salad was the same salad we've eaten almost every night since moving to Paris: roquette (arugula) with betterave (beet). I add goat cheese and balsamic vinegar to mine, but Bobby eats his as is. It was a nice dinner made all the better by the Gerber Daisies you see on the table. Bobby bought them for me; he knows they are my favorite flower. You can also see the ghetto vase we had to make since we don't own a proper vase.

With the bird carcass I am making my first-ever batch of stock! I am very excited to see how it turns out. I added a carrot, celery, two small onions, a bay leave, and a few peppercorns along with the bird bones. Hopefully it'll turn out well enough to be the base for tomorrow's chicken noodle soup.

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