Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

There was a good idea in there somewhere...

I swear I woke up in the middle of the night last night with an idea for the most amazing blog entry.  I remember thinking "Yes!  Definitely!  I have to write about that!".

Except this morning, when I woke up, it was gone.  I was only left with the shadow of that great idea, the knowing it was a good one, but it was still just out of my reach.

So instead, I will write about what I have been up to.  I defended my masters thesis two weeks ago. It feels so great to finally be done. I was most worried for the 1.5hrs of questions after our defense, but the jury was very civil with us (according to my teammates, they were distracted by my dress and peep toe shoes - hey, I'll take any extra points we can get lol).  I don't have our final grade yet because it will depend on how the others do, but I do know that the jury found our thesis & defense very well-thought out and that we will get at least a 15.  That's good enough for me.  And in keeping with the style of my masters program, we celebrated afterwards with champagne, macarons & other goodies from Pierre Hermé.

Things are rolling along with our apartment renovations.  It's ending up being a lot more work than we thought it would be, but C took the whole month off and he and his dad have been working 12 hour+ days like troopers.   It's getting to be crunch time since he has to go back to work soon, but what they've done so far has been pretty incredible considering they are/were both mainly office-goers.  Thank God for youtube videos like "How to Break down a Wall" or "How to build a false ceiling".  (No, seriously)

Meanwhile, my poor father-in-law has basically been living with us, sleeping on our couch, bless his heart. Having a spare bedroom is one thing I am really been looking forward to, for exactly that reason.  It's been interesting having him here though, and I'm pretty sure he finds our eating habits bizarre.  He tends to eat like an old-school Frenchman, ie "Eat like a prince at breakfast, a king at lunch and a pauper at dinner", whereas we tend to have our big meal at night. 

Last night, I made a vegetarian lentil soup that I usually serve with rice on the side for C since he eats like a horse.  Even though it literally was just red lentils and vegetables, for him, it was 1) not a soup, 2) those couldn't be lentils since they weren't green, and 3) it was a hearty meal since there were chunks.   He tends to eat pureed or broth soups at night, so he found it too heavy (same with last week's chili).  I have long given up on trying to convince him that it's the same darn thing, just not pureed, and that chunks don't automatically equally fat + high calories, but what can you do?  And don't even get me started on how confused he was by the idea of cauliflower rice...I thought his head was going to explode.  I often wonder what kind of stories his brings home for his wife on the weekends.  But he is a lovely man, and we are oh-so-lucky that he has been so willing to help C out with all of the work. Hopefully we'll be able to start moving in about two weeks...

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Blogger Bostanna said...

Oh the French and their strange meal/food rules.....sadly it's one of the things that made it impossible for me to live there and not be constantly stressed out by the in-law interactions.

March 26, 2014 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger Gwan said...

Congratulations on the Masters! I tried ricing cauliflower (not exactly the same, but anyway), the other day, I swear I started with a saucepan-full and ended up with this tiny, miserable bowl... Disappoint.

March 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Blondering Girl said...

I eat cauliflower rice all the time and it still confuses me . . . and it still tastes like cauliflower, not rice, no matter how much I wish otherwise.

Congrats on finishing the masters and good luck with the rest of the renovations!

March 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

Well done on your thesis defense and a 15 is an excellent mark. I hope you are proud of your hard work.

I remember the first meal I served my [then] French inlaws. (Inlaws-to-be at that time).


You can imagine how very confusing that was to this extremely 16ieme couple.

"Quel repas complet!" was, if I recall correctly, their observation.

March 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Ha, I can just about imagine their faces, especially back then!!

And what is with the "complet" comment? I made a white bean and kale soup last night, which I considered to be pretty light, but my FIL made several comments about how it was a vrai repas, blah blah blah. I kept wanting to say "Well we *are* eating dinner, it's not like I made this for the 4pm goûter!"

March 27, 2014 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Bostanna said...

Maybe he's being sarcastic? My in-laws always eat a full 4 course meal for dinner and lunch.....They find it strange that Americans just one big meal instead of having a smaller main dish and also adding appetizer, salad, dessert, and cheese courses! It's so much work for everyday yet they somehow make it look effortless.

March 28, 2014 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Bostanna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 28, 2014 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Bostanna said...

make that a 5-course meal!

March 28, 2014 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger Lil said...

Hurrah on the Masters (with such excellent score too)!

Sounds like a lot of work with the new apartment, and they always need more work than expected.

F is just the same - he used to wonder why soups I made were not smoothly pureed! Luckily he has taken to chunky soups and quite happily take them as meals, to be served either with rice or baguette. Besides, the boy can't grumble since he's now free from a bachelor life filled with pasta, pasta, and more pasta. ;)

The first time I cooked (well, F volunteered me before asking me!) for my in-laws and the entire family actually (so, 8 adults, 2 teenagers, 2 kids) was nerve wrecking, especially since it was my MIL's birthday. I made an Asian main dish which thankfully went down very well, despite my first try making for such a large group. I guess that means I pass a test of some sort?

March 28, 2014 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger The Paris Chronicles said...

My sense is when a French person says to an American "Quel repas complet" it really means "This is way you all are so fat."

March 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Good job on your course! But 1.5 hours of questions- I can't imagine! My FIL helped us out with renovations, but we were living in the apartment at the same time, and he went home every night. And it mostly just led to fights between him and his son.... Good luck!

March 28, 2014 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first moved in with Georges and the kids, the then-19-yr-old son started complaining that "there is all this weird food in the refrigerator now!" When Georges told me that, I looked and looked -- because I had been making big efforts to NOT rock the boat too much, to ask the kids specifically WHICH products they wanted me to buy, etc., so what could possibly be considered "weird"? The only thing we could come up with was that I had bought Heinz brand ketchup and not the French brand.

Some people just can't stand change.

March 30, 2014 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Sara Louise said...

I somehow managed to convert Gregory to eating like a king at dinner, on the weekends we'd do the big lunch thing, but it felt too weird for me during the week. Luckily he saw it my way (as if he had a choice!)

April 4, 2014 at 9:38 PM  

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