Saturday, May 1, 2010

France & All Things French

Oui, I have an official business card.  It is quite lovely, with my lavender photo taken at the Abbaye de Sénanque.  I feel kind of silly having them, but they come in handy sometimes.  It makes me seem more legitimate when I approach someone and ask if I can write about them.  I felt like a stalker the first time I approached Brian in the OnlyBurger truck.  That's why I got the cards made up.  Anyway, I have declared my love for France & All Things French in print.  I just cannot help myself.  I am incredibly lucky, too, because I spend my days surrounded by French stuff.  And I have collected a lot of stuff in my 30 years of teaching and in during the course of my 36 year love affair with France.
Here is part of the collection...
I have this huge poster from the Arles Féria du Riz celebration.  I have another one, too, but it needs to be laminated for protection.  They both do.  Chef Érick gave them to me.  I don't think they are making the huge ones anymore...  I didn't see any around town for the Féria de Pâques when I was in Arles in March.  Dommage.
I have several pictures and postcards on a bulletin board.  I think this was me in a previous life.  Cute hat, n'est-ce pas?
And I think that this will be me in a future life.  I want to come back as either an artist or a cat.  This kind of combines the two.  And dressed in the chic striped fisherman's sweater.  Stripes are always fashionable in France.  I cannot believe that I do not already own one of those shirts.  Several of the girlies bought them while we were in France.

These trinkets sit on a shelf.  I have the chefs from Ratatouille, various Eiffel Towers, Idéfix (or Dogmatix in English), Astérix le Gaulois' loyal dog, purchased at Parc Astérix one June day when I went there with my friend Ghislaine, her sister and nieces and college-age son when he was 10 years old, and Footix (see a theme here with names?), the mascot from the World Cup 1998 held in France.  France won, you know.
This is a piece of art made by a former student after we returned from our trip to Paris.  Is this brainwashing?  Non! Who wouldn't fall in love with the City of Lights?
I have a rather large collection of books.  These are some of my own French textbooks I saved.  The green and orange ones are from high school, I think.
These are new additions to my cookbook collection.  I just bought them at the DA Used Book Fair and haven't taken them home yet.  I mostly just gaze longingly at the photos of Provence and think about the things I would eat if I were there.  Or what I did eat while living there.  Or what I will eat on my next visit.
A bumper sticker purchased in a Paris souvenir shop.
A button from a French teachers' meeting.
A lovely poster of the Louvre pyramids all lit up.  We recreated this photo during the daytime a couple of years ago.

This map of France hangs next to the Louvre poster.  I love it and have had it since I first started teaching.  I inherited it from whomever was the French teacher before me.  The geography of France hasn't changed in 30 years, you know.
This is what I wore to school on Friday, my Eiffel Tower tee-shirt.  Guess I became part of the room decoration, too.  Somedays that's what I feel like... that and the teacher in the old Charlie Brown cartoon specials.  The one that whenever she speaks it comes out as "Waaa-waaa-waaa."  Teaching middle school in the spring can be a challenge.  My students bodies are there, but their minds are elsewhere.

This is a small part of my ever-growing CD collection.  Yannick Noah has a new one coming out this summer.  I've listened to Angela, a single from it.
I love guidebooks, too.  I crossed off a couple more "have-to sees" from the latest Frommer's Paris book in March.  Chef Érick is written up in Rick Steves.
I use this Monoprix bag to carry my lunch to school every day.  Well, this one or one of the many different colors I have.  They only cost 80 centimes and they are so practical.
In addition to the textbooks, I have a couple of shelves filled with French novels.  These are from my college and graduate school days.  I never finished the master's degree, but I took classes at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and NC State.  I participated in a French seminar one summer and also studied in Québec.  Then babies came along and I decided that literature and poetry just weren't my thing.  I want a master's in French culture and the art of French living.  My sabbatical was the best course in that!  Les Misérables by Victor Hugo is my all-time favorite novel.  I love Jean Valjean. What a hero.  I visited Hugo's home in Paris with Ghislaine one sunny spring day.

I have this very pretty box where I stash my French magazines.   It was a gift from a student.  I am so easy to buy gifts for... I love everything and anything French.
I brought this home from my last trip.  While walking down Rue St. Dominique one night, I found it lying on the sidewalk, all dirty from being stepped on by Parisians on their way home from work.  It advertises sales in the 7e arrondissement, my favorite neighborhood.
This is a beautiful postcard of an outdoor market in Provence.  Saturdays in Arles....
And last, but not least, the stuff on my desk.  My little calendar of Provence with my dream cabanon set in the middle of a lavender field, a jar of Nutella, a model of the Eiffel Tower put together by one of my 7th graders, a thank you card from one of the girlies after this year's trip, lavender oil from the Abbaye de Sénanque, olive oil handcream (I am going to need more soon because the girlies have discovered it and come in to "borrow" some now!), and my Notre Dame gargoyle who is there to protect me from evil spirits.

I found this Nutella brownie recipe at bakebakebake.  Great photos of the brownies!

Absolutely the Best Nutella Brownies

Microwave 1 stick butter and 1/2 c. cocoa powder for 1 minute.  Whisk like mad.  When it's nice and smooth, add 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. Nutella and 3 oz. melted dark chocolate.  Whisk in 2 eggs.  Sift together 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Dump the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold gently with a rubber spatula.  Fold in chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and/or nuts, if desired.  Pour into an 8x8-inch  pan. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.  Cool and slice into bars.  Enjoy!

Bon appétit, to my classroom and all my junk!

1 comment:

manon 21 said...

merci pour ton passage,tu sais moi j'adore ton pays.

bonne soirée