Thursday, May 2, 2013

La Fête du Travail 2013

(photo from I Prefer Paris)

May 1 is La Fête du Travail, Labor Day, in France.  They enjoy a lovely day off.  Some of them even make the bridge, faire le pont, as they call it and take the rest of the week off.  Pourquoi pas, hein?  The give little bouquets of muguet des bois, lily of the valley, to their sweethearts, on May 1.  It was my grandmother's favorite flower.  She wore perfume by the same name, launched by Coty in 1941.  Behind her house, she had a little garden and grew them, too.

May 1 is just another day closer to summer vacation for us.  More than one middle schooler has checked out of the hotel, as I call it.  Here's a hotel I would like to check into--

The Negresco in Nice on La Promenade des Anglais.  I love the pink roof.  And the palm trees.  And the blue chairs.  And the white chairs.  And the bar with the umbrellas.  And the drinks served in the outdoor bar at sunset.

And the Mediterranean Sea.

And the beach that is covered in stones.
I tried to capture the most beautiful shade of pale pink I've ever seen in 2006 during the Arles 6 trip to Nice.  I wasn't very successful.  But my mind can still see it.  That's what matters.

I have spent more time in the kitchen this week making dinner for the Ex-Ex and moi.  He gets more excited about the meat, but I found a keeper rice dish.  I am a bit addicted to First for Women magazine.  Good recipes.  Health and exercise tips galore (lots of stuff as of late about thyroid and gluten-free diets).  Affordable home decor and clothing ideas.  Not that I am either a decorator or shopper.  But the magazine is full of pretty, colorful pictures.  Just general feel-good stuff.  We all need that.  (24 more school days, but who's counting?)

Ginger-Lime Brown Rice
serves 8

1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp. olive oil or flaxseed oil
1 1/2 c. converted brown rice
3 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro

1.  In medium pot over medium heat, cook chopped onions and diced red peppers in oil 2 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently.
2.  Add brown rice, broth, grated ginger, 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 1 tsp. lime zest to pot.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer.
3.  Cook rice mixture 35 minutes or until rice is done and broth is absorbed, covering if desired.  Stir in chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon into serving dish and garnish as desired.

Bon appétit, May/Mai!

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