Je bois et je mange

Boire et manger literally translates into English as “to drink and to eat,” which made it seem appropriate for my first post from Paris, where I’ve been very happy doing plenty of both. But in Paris, boire et manger can also mean you win some, you lose some. The second meaning also seemed fitting. Notable Paris wins include making friends with the neighborhood baker (a big moment for me), figuring out the basic geography of the city, and having had some real luck so far with the research. Overall, Paris is a wonderful place, and I’m lucky to be making some new friends here (they aren’t all in food production, but that’s ok too). Image

Notable losses include making the first person I met in Paris, the customs agent, hate me (he asked if I spoke French. I replied “oui, et vous?” He was not amused), taking 90 minutes to get to the archive my first day, when it’s about 40 minutes from my apartment, and burning myself pretty seriously the first time I lit the stove. Those moments aside, though, it’s been working out pretty well here. The only thing that hasn’t really come together for me yet is cooking on the regular. Continue reading

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Tomato Eggplant Curry

When I was studying for my written exam, about two years ago, I reached an all-time low in the quality of my cooking. I would estimate that during my first year of graduate school, 50% of my meals were egg burritos (scramble eggs. Put them in a burrito, roll it up, and let it sit in the pan for a minute), but that summer I let it escalate to at least 75%. I think 10% of what I ate consisted of meals that I had when I went out on dates with the ginger hipster I was seeing, and the other 15% were things Kat cooked for me when I showed up at her place showing signs of uneven nutrition.

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Grey Strawberry Tea

I am a terrible sick person. I whine and moan, I go out into public places, and I will cough in otherwise silent libraries for hours rather than admit defeat and go home to my ever loving bed. I would try and lie about this, because I have my pride, but Kat has dealt with (read: cooked mac and cheese for) my sick corpse too many times for me to get away with a noble façade here. It was my mother’s good luck that a couple days after arriving in Portland I came down with a nasty cold.

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Whole Roast Salmon

The summer before I started my undergraduate, I worked in a seafood deli. I felt pretty good about it before my first shift, because I was making $8.50/hr, which was $1 above minimum wage. It wasn’t until I got a few weeks into the job that I realized exactly how much fun it was to gut fish and turn them into beautiful cuts. Not to mention the enjoyment that comes from putting on finger puppet shows with sardines.

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On the downside, I worked until 10:30 pm most evenings, and when I went over to my boyfriend’s house immediately afterward his father would often comment on how bad I smelled. Granted, I did stink, but it wasn’t as though I could do much about it if I wanted to get there in time for the Daily Show. And that was really my priority, since my parents didn’t have cable.

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