Sunday, July 18, 2010

All Around Bastille Day

First of all, I'd like to thank you all for the great responses on the past post. Despite it taking awhile to come around to the flavor and texture we really had a great time experimenting with such a strange (to us) piece of meat. We really loved reading all the comments but it occurred to me that with the comments on facebook we will never be able to read the posts and comments together in the future. So, if you have a comment of any sort to leave, just click at the bottom of the post where it says "0 comments" (or "2 comments" or whatever) to leave us your thoughts, experiences, or whatever, regarding the post. This way, when we are re-living our European experience in 20 years or 40 years (assuming we still use computers in 40 years), we can see all of your wonderful words attached to each post. Public Service Announcement: End!

Oh Wait! I have one more announcement. If you aren't one of the lucky ones connected to me on Facebook, then you haven't seen my completely updated Facebook photo album containing all of the summer's madness. You can view that by clicking HERE.

Now on to an update:

I would like to make it known that 99% of the time, despite what my profession of choice may imply, Michael and I are in the kitchen together making dinner (or the occasional dessert) in tandem. This happened to be a very rare time where I asked Michael to make the tortillas without me and somewhere along the line (thanks to a confusing recipe) we ended up having to make 4x the amount of tortillas we would normally make. Ah well, there are worse things in this world than a surplus of tortillas.

Have I mentioned to y'all that we really enjoy our westward view? (And can you tell I've spent some time recently with a Texan?)

Last Saturday we made our first mini-trip to Nancy in search of Les Soldes (the national bi-yearly sales here in France). We found some great deals and some beautiful views,

Especially in their beautiful Place Stanislas. I do have to say, however, that in the long standing argument of Metz vs. Nancy, I have to side with the beautiful winding streets of Metz. It's just more quaint.

Later that night we went out to dinner with Janice and Jeramy to a lovely Italian restaurant called La Toscane.

And after dinner (sorry for the blurriness) we walked town to a park along the Moselle river to see a truly incredible light show on a pond. The show was really wonderful, even if we were harassed a bit by smokers and bugs.

The show consisted of probably 20 or 30 different fountains lit up in all colors and set to music.

The coolest part thought was the movie; they turned on a misting fountain that a projector showed a film on. The city of Metz apparently does this every year with a new theme. This year's theme was following Graoully (the legendary dragon of Metz who was known to occasionally eat the city's inhabitants) on an art walk (they had to fit the Centre Pompidou in there somewhere). 

The show lasted a good half hour but here is a short clip that I shot with our digital camera (the quality isn't great, but it works). The first few seconds are a bit dark but it gets better and gives you a good idea of what went on.

We had been planning a small BBQ on the lake for Bastille day but our plans were thwarted when a sudden change change in weather. Within 20 minutes the temperature dropped from about about 90º to maybe 75º and a killer windstorm kicked up (it had been windy all day, but nothing like this).

Granted, the wind was bad, but this littering of branches seemed a little extreme. We found out later that the groundskeepers had just pruned the trees the previous week.

This, however, was not the doing of the groundskeepers.

Because of the sudden weather change (and because the thought of our tiny grill filled with hot coals flying over in the wind was not a pleasant one) we moved our cook-out in. Apparently our salt grinder is interesting.

And after a very enjoyable cook-in with some Aloes friends a few of us headed out to find a good view of the fireworks. Which, thanks to the wind (that had died down a good hour prior, thank you very much!) were canceled.

This is attempt #1 at making sad faces for the canceled fireworks.

attempt #2?


Kyle and Chen's attempt #1

Ok, that's better.

Some people just aren't meant to be sad.

Here's yet another beautiful view of the lake and GTL. If only I lived one floor up I think I could sell some pictures to the school and make some money. Sadly, the clouds brought none of the rain that we so desperately need. Thanks to those years in Pittsburgh, I now get depressed when we have no rain.

And to finish up this week's update I'll give you a little teaser of a recipe I hope to post for tomorrow. It's a yummy cold borscht that I made by drastically altering the hardy, cold weather version that my parents brought back with them after adopting my sister from Russia.

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