Archive for the 'visual' Category

one last food post for the win

Since my host mother is back and again in charge of my dinner, this will be my last food journal post (until maybe July, when I’m all moved into my own apartment). After this, it’s back to… our regularly scheduled program? What IS my regularly scheduled program, anyway?

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5/15/2007 (T)
Brunch: vanilla, strawberry, citron yogurt, milk bread, baguette
Class: can of orange juice (1)
Dinner: arugula (?) with lemon, 2-egg cheese omelette with tomato, citron yogurt, milk bread, baguette, soymilk

I still don’t know what the mystery head of lettuce is, but it’s bitter on the inside and tastes great with lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar. (Don’t take my word for this one, though; I love sour stuff.)

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5/16/2007 (W)
Early Breakfast: soymilk and sugar ice cream, soymilk-bread-vanilla yogurt ice cream
Lunch: viennoise au chocolat (.70)
Linner: Quiche, Pain aux Raisins, Orangina (5.70)
Dinner: 2-egg cheese and tomato omelette, greens with balsamic vinegar and lemon, vanilla yogurt

I was looking through the ice cream page in HowStuffWorks and got to the part about Five-Minute Ice Cream. Since I had rock salt and ice from the freezer, I HAD to give it a try. The results were less than spectacular, but I made milk bread ice cream! How awesome is that? Surely more awesome than trout ice cream.

 bread ice cream iced bag of soymillk/yogurt/bread/sugar, on the rocks

 

bread ice cream the frozen finished product

I’m not at all opposed to having the same thing for dinner twice in a row. Seven times, though… that might be pushing it.
I love omelettes, and I finished up my emmental cheese (now two weeks old!) with this last one, depicted in all its messy glory, with brown egg scrapings from the pan on top and a bit of balsamic vinegar + lemon juice on the side. (I only took a few sips straight, then dipped the greens in.)

dinner may 16th

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5/17/2007 (Th)
Brunch: soymilk and cereal, coco yogurt
Snack: rice cakes with jam, guac, cheese, strawberry yogurt, soymilk, grass jelly drink
Dinner: cheese (2.10), tabouleh, red and rose wine, chips, petit ecoliers, corn nuts, shrimp chips (!!!), crab quiche (!!!!!!!)

Today I attended a wine and cheese/chips/snacks on the Pont des Arts, and proceeded to freeze my ass off and eat things with seafood in them. Oh well; I’m trying my best to be a good vegetarian, but there are those occasional 2 a.m. beef ramen cravings…

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5/18/2007 (F)
Breakfast: milk and cereal, citron yogurt, egg with cheese, rice cakes
Snack: box of delichocs (2.80)
Linner: creole (meringue), tea, greens with lemon
Dinner: lentils with tomato, onion and avocado, toasted whole grain bread with hummus, red wine

I’d been eating so well, and then promptly decided that I HAD to bring a box of Delichocs to my midterm. Until then my mind had been totally clear, and then I filled it with absolute CRAP. Yummy crap, though. My friends probably all think I’m a pig by now.

delichoc

At least dinner was good– my first host mom dinner in a while! She hates cooked lentils, so I get lentil salad-type things a lot.

——

The grand total? About 100 euros on food in sixteen days. A wince-inducing sum, but good to know. Maybe I should invest in some tupperware to pack my own lunch.

My next post will be a geek post dedicated to free apps for my beat-up old PowerBook, which still runs on Mac OS X 10.3.9.

“10.3.9?” I hear you all say. “How preposterously outdated!” Well, hush. I happen to enjoy my Dashboard-free existence. Stay tuned.

and by twenty euros a week, i meant fifty

I decided to keep my food journal up for a little bit longer for future reference because my mom asked me to figure out my monthly budget while I’m in France. If I don’t eat out, I’m pretty sure I could survive on 100 euros a month food-wise. However, my self-control is kind of lacking right now, especially with classmates around.

By the way, I found out that the bread I got in Franprix is called “pain tagine” because it’s baked in a tajine pot.

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5/11/2007 (F)
Brunch: milk and cereal, milk bread, yogurt
Bought: (~7)
– 10-pack milk bread (pain au lait)
– eggs
– 4-pack muesli yogurt
– box of potage aux legumes
– box of fake petit ecoliers
Dinner: lentil stew, milk bread, muesli yogurt, fake petit ecoliers

Oooooh, MILK BREAD. I didn’t think there was a bread sweeter than Filipino pan de sal, but this delicious dessert bread proved me wrong. Also, I had no idea what muesli was until I picked the yogurt up (on sale because its expiration date was on Sunday). I still don’t really know. But whatever it is, I like it.

I also re-created my lentil stew from last time, but this time I didn’t realize that too many peas spoil the broth. And I dumped the rest of my lentils into the damn thing, so I ended up having lentils for dinner for the next three days. Lesson learned: Don’t hedge your bets on one dish.

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5/12/2007 (Sat)
Breakfast: milk and cereal, muesli yogurt, milk bread
Linner: milk bread and muesli yogurt, petit ecoliers
Dinner: poached egg, lentil stew with egg, milk bread, muesli yogurt, petit ecoliers

I had to finish the yogurt before Sunday, which explains why I had so much of it. But I had a lot of milk bread and petit ecoliers too because I decided to try a new kind of diet regime: eat healthy stuff during the week, but take a day off and binge on whatever junk you want. It apparently works by tricking your body into thinking that it’s definitely not starving, so it subsequently keeps your metabolism amped. Dunno if it’ll work because I eat something sweet virtually every day, but the idea’s pretty cool.

Also, how does a poached egg end up like this?:

poached egg…

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5/13/2007 (Sun)
Brunch: cereal, yogurt, senbei, crackers, jam and guac on rice cake, mango juice
Dinner: poached egg, tea, lentil egg soup, yogurt with brown sugar and cereal

I ran out of milk, so I ate the cereal dry, then tried mixing it with my last cup of yogurt for dinner. I also ate a lot of crap because I ran out of everything else. For dinner, I poached an egg with the boiling water method but didn’t use any white vinegar, so I had lots of egg left over in the water and decided to toss some of the old lentil stew in there, plus more salt (which it didn’t need at all). It tasted like ass.

lentil egg soup

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5/14/2007 (M)
Breakfast: package of chocolate sandwich cookies (1.50)
Lunch: viennoise au chocolat (.70), riz wokbar and jus ACE (carotte, citron, orange) (5)
Snack: banana-nutella crepe (4)
Bought: (9.76)
– 10-pack milk bread
– baguette
– 2 tomatoes
– 1 head of lettuce?
– box of bio soymilk
– 8-pack of la laitiere yogurt
Dinner: lentil stew leftovers, part of the baguette, rest of mango juice

I TOTALLY went on a spending spree today. I rushed to school, so for breakfast I bought some sugary, totally crap snack from a vending machine along the way (if you haven’t already been warned, metro vending machines are a no-no!!).

Lunch was better; there’s a place called wokbar near school where vegetarians can have a large carton of fried rice with carrots, peas, bean sprouts and egg for about 3.40. It’s the viennoise, drink and CREPE that killed me. The vendor right next to the Métro St.-Placide makes fantastic crepes, but they run from 3-5 euros a POP! Holy crap!

Then I went to Franprix to buy milk and bread when the assorted 8-pack of yogurt caught my eye. I really like the La Laitiere brand (it’s by Nestlé); their individual yogurts come in really cool-looking clay pots, and they’re so creamy and rich. I also bought some greens, but seeing as I have NO idea how to pick them, they’re probably gonna rot pretty soon. Well, the tomatoes should be good. My dad used to grow them in our backyard, so I know how to pick ’em.

——

I’ve spent about 85 euros on food in twelve days. Sweet Jesus. How’s that for a one-person food budget?

Sigh. At least my host mother’s coming back on Thursday…

forget about the twenty euros…

More yummy food this week! May means a ton of days off, so I haven’t been eating out as much as I did last month… but I’m still eating lunch with Stanfordiens. Which is BAD because we’re located in the 6th arrondissement, notorious for its myriad shops and cafés.

Stanford gives us a “meal stipend” of a couple hundred euros per month in a BNP Paribas account, but I use that for regular purchases since my debit card is not European. (Besides, credit cards usually work in cafés and restaurants, but you need cash for open-air markets, small epiceries and the like.)

Here’s the next menu set. Man, eating out is SO expensive.

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5/8/2007 (T)
Breakfast: milk and cereal
Linner: tapenades and jam on rice cakes
Bought: (~7)
– pain aux céréales (demi-baguette)
– guacamole
– purée de myrtilles (bilberries?!)
Dinner: pain aux céréales, ensaymada, purée de myrtilles, guacamole

I found a Monoprix at Place de la Republique. It’s a little classier than Franprix, and contains more organic and bio products. The pain aux céréales (multi-grain bread?) looked good and healthy, so I got it even though it’s twice the price of regular bread (1.60 versus .70 or .80). Also, the purée de myrtilles was sort of like applesauce but with blueberries, good for mixing into my plain yogurt.

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5/9/2007 (W)
Breakfast: poached egg w/ pain aux cereales
Lunch: viennoise au chocolat, broccoli and cheese quiche (3)
Dinner: lentil stew (with zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, peas, legumes), pain aux céréales, guacamole, purée de myrtilles, rice cake, cranberry/framboise juice

I finally remembered to take a picture! Even worked hard to make it presentable. For the stew I tossed in all the vegetables in the fridge, but I didn’t realize tomatoes could wilt so quickly. Must learn how to add vegetables according to how quickly they cook.

dinner, may 9th

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5/10/2007 (Th)
Breakfast: milk and cereal
Lunch: 1/2 egg, mushroom and cheese crepe, 1.5 chocolate crepes, apple juice (9.50)
Dinner: milk and cereal, yogurt

For lunch we went to a creperie near the Tour Montparnasse. The crepes were drowning in oil; I couldn’t finish my galette (salty crepe) because of all the melted cheese tossed in. The sweet crepe was delicious, albeit not crisp enough, made of the creperie’s own chocolate (chocolat au maison). The food wasn’t worth 9.50, but hanging out with friends was.

——

By the way, I added a Travel section to the menu bar above. It contains tons of travel guide-related links, and my own guide to life as a broke American student in Paris. Still in progress, but you might find it entertaining.

parisians as characterized by their metro system

I’ve been in Paris for approximately one week. Maybe less. My host mother lived in New York for five years and I’m surrounded by Stanford students in class, so I haven’t really been able to absorb a lot of French so far, but this is about my first impressions anyway.

Not that I want to stereotype. But there’s some sort of hidden rulebook for manners and conduct that a majority of Parisians seem to have read. To begin, you need to understand one thing. The director of the Stanford in Paris program worded it best:

“The Americans, they like to take care of you. They want to know your needs. The French, not so much.”

Parisians, in particular, have two salient characteristics. One, they keep things running smoothly. Two, they know what they want.

This is not a culture where every waiter is capable of waiting for you as you make a decision. They simply do not have the time. (Btw, one or two waiters often run a whole restaurant or café at lunch. Keep this in mind if you want to have a sit-down lunch: it can take about two hours. Also, vegetarians beware: most restaurants can’t cater to your needs. Don’t be a bitch about it. Just pick the meat off your plate.)

People may seem rude, but they’re sure as hell efficient. Have you ever used the Paris Métro at rush hour? It’s a beautiful thing. Trains come every two or so minutes (the wait time for the next two trains is prominently displayed at each platform), and you usually have to pull a handle to open the door you want to get into (I assume it preserves the air conditioning).

There are no announcements for each stop (except for line 1, which is fairly new and tourist-prone because it’s the line for the Louvre, the Concorde and the Champs-Elysées), so the wait time at each stop is usually about thirty seconds. People don’t try to keep the doors open because the doors are quite vicious– as the warning labels on the windows say in multiple languages, they can “pinch your hands very strong”.

warning on french metro doors

There are fold-down seats near each set of doors. When a large group of people comes in, the people occupying these seats stand up to make more room for everyone. This never fails. Very old people and people who have a pile of paperwork on their lap are exempted, but otherwise it never fails. (Or else you get a dirty look.)

There are no elevators on the métro, so old ladies with groceries or people with heavy bags (like me on my first day) are assisted by a small army of young and/or strong French people up and down the long staircases. In addition to being a random act of kindness, this facilitates traffic.

The only thing to be careful of in the metro (besides pickpockets) is the long line at the station counter, where a single attendant (maybe two, if you’re lucky) sells tickets and passes. These lines tend to be long at all the wrong times because there’s just no room for ticket machines in the station before entering. Fortunately for most Parisians, you only need to get in these lines every so often– a ticket can be issued for months at a time, and the touch-and-go NaviGo pass can be refilled online, or so my host mother says.

If you’re from Manhattan, you’ll feel a bit more at home than most. If you’re from a suburban or rural area in the United States, don’t cry at the lack of friendliness from strangers. Smiling is considered an overt come-on. If someone does smile at you, they’re probably about to follow you home and rape you.

I don’t want to end on a bad note. Hmm, what can cheer you up? I’ve been getting fat off of desserts lately. If you think Parisian waiters are extremely rude, don’t worry: the food they bring usually more than makes up for it. If you’re vegetarian, get a few entrées instead of an actual dish. And dessert. God, I love the Hôtel du Nord‘s tiramisu.


What?

This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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