Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stumbling Over Words and Sticks

   The weather got quite chilly around here last weekend, but thankfully, we were back in t-shirts today. The wind is wildly blowing branches out of our big tree, rattling windows and causing a little bit of edgy-ness, as wind can do. This seems to be the weather trend in the south of France- storms are followed by the mistral.
   Two Kids were back to school this week, after two weeks off. The return was not too painful- surprisingly. I had a brief rendez-vous with their teacher, who speaks no English. She confessed that she thought my kids are starting to catch on, and understand a little bit. Hallelujah!! Don't get me wrong, they can not put a sentence together on their own yet, but maybe it really will come, someday...There is a tutoring session a few days a week after school, and I would love to sneak my kids into the mix, in hopes of speeding up their grasp of the language.
   I wonder what it is like to listen to someone speak to you in a foreign language when the speaker is struggling to find words, mangling pronunciation, stuttering and looking generally pained? Well, I know that I will be most sympathetic in the future if I am on the receiving end of such a conversation, as everyone here has been with me.
   While the other two were at school the other day, Oldest Child and I had a lovely lunch in between home school sessions that was basically made up of whatever was left in the kitchen. Resembling a Nicoise Salad, it was missing several elements and any proper French person probably would have sited so. There are so many traditional recipes, probably many that you know, and people make them regularly. But, I don't think they like the recipes messed with-it is kept a classic. Soupe au Pistou, Blanquette de Veau, Ratatouille, Coq au Vin, Aioli-the list goes on. I toyed with the idea of spiking an aioli with some chipotle chiles to see what people would think of such renegade cooking-it hasn't happened yet, but we still have plenty of time.
Make shift Nicoise Salad
Looks a little different in the falltime-
But flowers still bloom.


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