Saturday, August 24

The genius in Paris learns how to cook an egg and goes apartment shopping.

When I go to sleep at night in the bed up in the loft, I sometimes leave FB open on my PowerBook downstairs. The little beeps lull me to sleep. When I wake up, I read all the new stuff that came in while I was sleeping. Except usually I go to bed at 7 pm or so and wake up at 1 am or so, and in that case everyone back home is still awake and posting. In that way I avoid my homework for most of the night. Just another little sweet part of my life here this summer, I guess, and another reason my French isn't better than it is.

Deo thinks I should come to Rio for a long visit. Says we'd have fun and I could learn Portuguese. Thanks tons, Deo. That's all I need, another language.

Breakfast. The genius in Paris has finally figured out how to cook a hardboiled egg on his electric cooktop.

Am I ready now for the Cordon Bleu and master chef status? On verra! Later today I'll try again to finish that Œuefs mimosa dish.

Bocuse's instructions for hard-boiled eggs: Mettez les œufs à cuire à l'eau froide. Si vous venez de les sortir du réfrigérateur, faits-les cuir 9 mn au lieu de 8 mn.

Put the eggs up to cook in cold water. If you just took them out of the fridge, let them cook for 9 minutes instead of 8.

He neglected to mention that this is for 8 minutes AFTER the water comes to a boil. Yours truly has now figured this out all by himself and is so proud.

Cook as above. When the 8 or 9 minutes are up immediately remove from heat and run under cold water to halt cooking. Let sit in cold water until thoroughly cooled. Then peel very patiently and gently. If you're lucky, the shell will peel off in just a few big pieces. If not, well, be patient and gentle.

I'd like to have one of those red white and blue ribbons around my neck. I understand that they're really really hard to get.

Here it is sliced on toast with some of that "mayonnaise" I made yesterday, some salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of ciboulette. Very tasty! I'm getting optimistic!

A fresh box of eggs to try again with the recipe. The box is interesting. It says "Reflections of France. Our products keep alive the recipes and knowledge of each of the terroirs which make our country the symbol of good taste throughout the world. 6 fresh eggs from the farm from chickens raised in fresh air, laid in the region of the Loire."

Did you ever see a label like that on a carton of eggs in the States?

I have yet to see a white egg here.

This is fun! The eggs came out great and are cut in half and the yellows separated from the whites. Five of the yellows get combined with the chives and mayonnaise to make the filling. Three are kept in reserve to crumble over the top. Only four of the whites are used. I'll save the other four for breakfast tomorrow.

Voila. Œufs mimosa. Looks great, except you can hardly see the tomatoes under all the garnishes. I'm afraid to try it because a) I don't want to disturb the pretty little thing and b) I'm afraid it won't taste good.

It's a keeper. Tastes great. I'll definitely make this for Friday. But probably only four of them, not eight. With everyone bringing food that should be enough. I was lucky to have this plastic container in the apartment. Just the right size. It has a lid too.

My mayonnaise is OK but needs to be a bit thicker. There's a big housewares store nearby. I will stop in and buy a whisk. Bocuse says that it's absolutely essential that all the ingredients and the utensils be at room temperature, and he says the whisk must be stainless steel.

Bocuse:

Prenez la précaution de réunir sur un plateau dans votre 
cuisine tous les éléments qui vont entrer dans la confection 
de la mayonnaise, au minimum du 1 h avant de commencer, car 
il est essentiel que tout (ingrédients et ustensiles) soit à 
la température de la pièce.

Take care to gather together on a platter in your kitchen 
all of the elements for the mayonnaise, at least 1 hour before 
starting, because it's essential that everything (ingredients 
and utensils) be at room temperature.

It's really fun for me to work with recipes in French because I get to combine two of my hobbies: cooking and French!

Note the subjunctive in the last phrase: "soit à la température". Required after "il est essentiel que".

Bocuse doesn't mention whipping up the egg yellows. He says to combine them with the mustard and half a tablespoon of the vinegar or lemon juice, then start whisking, then dribble in the olive oil while continuing to whisk vigorously without stopping. At the end you salt and pepper to taste and adjust the vinegar/lemon juice. Simple recipe but takes practice I think. Fun.

Just got back from a little walk. Stopped at an agent immobilier (real estate office) and looked at the posters for various apartments for sale. Thought you might be interested in one of the representative ones for what looks like a nicer place to live in Paris.

Rue Claude Bernard (5th arrondissement)
This is south of me, farther from the river, in my neighborhood. 
It's not a prime location, but it's a nice residential neighborhood.

4 rooms, 92.77 square meters (about 1,000 square feet)
The French don't count bathrooms and kitchens in the number of rooms.

In a good quality building perfectly maintained on the 3rd floor 
(our 4th floor) with an elevator. It has a separate entry area, a 
living room, a dining room, a separate kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, 
a separate water closet, a shower room, and a cellar (presumably for 
wine). Extends all the way across the building. Lots of light.

1,025,000 euros. ($1,372,000).

So what do you think? If we all went in together, do you think we could afford it? We'd have to convert the bedrooms into dorms.

Packs a bit more of a punch to those métro station ads I see, doesn't it. "Square meters are expensive, don't waste them."

Un séjour or salle de séjour is a living room. Also means "stay", as in "Mon séjour à Paris est un rêve" (My stay in Paris is a dream). So "sitting room" (room for staying) is not a bad translation. But we'd just say "living room".