Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Note From Across the Pond

I wrote an longer than usual email to my younger daughter who lives in London. We've been playing phone tag, so a note seemed like a nice option. She and my older daughter spent a couple of weeks together in France on vacation and I wanted to hear about it and catch up on what she's been doing. She wrote back this morning and I thought I would share part of it. Sitting here outside Chicago where my day is circumscribed by Oprah and snacks from White Hen Pantry, it feels like she's living her real life on the pages of a nineteenth century novel. Cool.

My summer is going well....if only the summer would come to England! It rained most of June and we've had lots of mixed weather days. I guess I can't complain because it is usually a very comfortable temperature and it seems to be getting nicer, knock on wood.

My experience in London is that it's mild like San Francisco, except lately, August weather has become more like the heat and humidity of Chicago.
France was greeeeaaaat. We stayed with dad's friend at his flat in Paris. It was amazingly well placed. Did some sight seeing and went to great restaurants. Mostly walked around neighborhoods -- The Marais, Monmarte, Ile de St. Louis were my favorites. And, we even did some stuff I had never done. Then we took the TGV to Nimes where [her mother in law] picked us up. Drove to their [summer] house in La Bastide D'Engras and had fantastic weather for four days. Mostly sat around the pool, drank rose and ate saucisson and cheese. Went to two neighbors' amazing houses for dinner and drinks and the market as per usual. Bought a dress and some very cute shoes! Great trip. I'll send you the few picturesthat I took when I get them uploaded.

I drink Barq's and eat salami with Ritz crackers and slices of Cracker Barrel.
Last weekend we went to the Henley Regatta. . . A colleague of [her husband] had us to his house with a group of [people from work] and then to his social club where we watched the races and generally milled around and talked. It was a very fun day actually. Sunny, relaxed, good conversation. It felt very Great Gatsby and most people were wearing hats -- I was not because I had a last minute dress change and my hat didn't go with the different dress.

It's not the same as a boat ride down the Chicago River.

I ran 15 miles last weekend. My neighbor who is a police sargent came with me, having never run more than 4 miles. He made it the whole way and kept saying things like 'pain is just weakness leaving the body' which I found amusing. It was fun to run with someone.

Meanwhile I'm just trying to keep the local gendarmes from doing wellness checks on me.
The diner you went to sounds great. They don't have that sort of kitchy, trendy breakfast and lunch places over here. But maybe they will soon. I never used to see cheap mani/pedi places, and they are starting to crop up, so anything is possible.

She's talking about my breakfast at a place called Lucky's while I was in Dallas. It's got the classic diner facade -- all metal and neon on the outside, linoleum floors and matching table tops with red vinyl booths on the inside. I had migas, which was a first for me. They could just call them scrambled eggs with EVERYTHING thrown in, from tortilla chips to salsa. In case you were still hungry, they included side orders of refried beans and hash browns. I finished about half.

Remind me to ask her what's a saucisson?


mosie1944 said...

Good grief, from where I sit, your daughter sounds RICH!

dafyddhevans said...

In early military engineering, a saucisson was a primitive type of fuse, consisting of a long tube or hose of cloth or leather, typically about 37mm in diameter, damp-proofed with pitch and filled with black powder.  It was normally laid in a protective wooden trough, and ignited by use of a torch or slow match.  Saucissons were used to fire fougasses, petards, mines and camouflets.  Duh.  

dafyddhevans said...

Also, sausage.

hewasolddog299 said...

I think she's confused her conjugations or something. Saucisson is
[soh-see-SAWN] a large, smoke-cured sausage. Also, an explosive tube!

Although, I suppose, with the right combination of spices and gastro-intestinal sensitivities, it could be both.

dafyddhevans said...

Le saucisson est un produit d'alimentation.  Il s'agit d'une charcuterie crue, goûteuse, naturellement fermentée et séchée, dont les propriétés sensorielles (goût, odeur, arôme, couleur et texture) découlent directement des activités métaboliques de la flore bactérienne naturelle, développée lors de son élaboration.  Il est composé d'un boyau d’animal fourré de viande hachée et parfois agrémenté de fruits, légumes ou d'alcool (comme un vin rosé).  La viande utilisée est généralement de la viande de porc mais il en existe à base d'agneau, d'âne, de bœuf, de cheval, de sanglier ou de volaille.  La garniture est généralement composée de 2/3 à 3/4 de viande maigre et de 1/4 à 1/3 de gras (issu principalement de lard dorsal du porc).  L'ensemble est haché à des degrés divers (gros, gros et fin, ou fin), utilisés pour distinguer les différents types de saucisson (saucisson de montagne, saucisson de Lyon ou salami).  On obtient alors la « mêlée » qui sera additionnée de sel, de sucre, d'épices et d'additifs (sel nitrité et/ou salpêtre), mais aussi de ferments bactériens, dans le cas des productions artisanales et industrielles.  La mêlée pourra aussi être agrémentée, selon la spécialité recherchée, de grains de poivres blancs ou noirs ou d'autres baies, de pulpe d'ail, parfois de fruits secs (noisettes, pistaches, figues, olives...), d'autres fois d'alcool (Génépi, marc, vins...), ou même de fromage (Beaufort).

Mais, naturellement, je dit toute la ceci dans les deux premiers posts. Mais puisque la répétition gratuite et idiotique semble être le mot d'ordre de tes commentateurs, j'ai pensé que j'ajouterais mes propres.  Mais juste en français !

jevanslink said...

What he said.

Mrs. L

swibirun said...

At least she's having a great time over there.  Lucky kid;)

Have a great weekend!

psychfun said...

Beats watching for guys most likely on steroids wearing a lot of bling & driving their corvettes & loaded hummers around town becaue they stick out in your neighborhood of farm boys!