Join my "I Love Cabanons" group at LinkedIn or at Facebook ... and share a little cabanon love and lore.
mousse (moos) noun, feminine
1. moss 2. froth 3. mousse 4. foam 5. apprentice...
...and the funny expression: se faire de la mousse = to get all worked up about something
The bible of French home cooking, Je Sais Cuisiner,
has sold over 6 million copies since it was first published in 1932. It
is a household must-have, and a well-thumbed copy can be found in
kitchens throughout France. Its author, Ginette Mathiot, published more
than 30 recipe books in her lifetime, and this is her magnum opus. It's
now available for the first time in English as I Know How to Cook. With
more than 1,400 easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion, it is an
authoritative compendium of every classic French dish, from croque monsieur to cassoulet.
What you say is what you get. This was a truism at my house when I was a kid. I always wanted to be a writer but didn't begin to say I was one until I moved to France... far from the Valley of the Sun.* That is when I began to feed my fuzzy brain a steady diet of "je suis écrivain... je suis ecrivain!" My cerveau processed the info and, just as Mom had said you reap what you sow in your mind's fertile rows.
I became a writer! I'll be talking about this subject on Monday—at Shakespeare and Company bookshop—and don't think I just said that blasé-ed-ly. Here, I'll try again: I'll soon be talking at Shakespeare and Company!!!!!!
Back to What You Say Is What You Get. This works the other way too, mind you: what people tell you is what you become if you begin to believe it. So be careful what you "let in"—lest you become imprisoned!
But back to another positive example. We've always called our son "Maximouse". It is a term of endearment (Max + Mousse—"mousse" being a random word choice... just something that made us smile when we said it). And wouldn't you know that "mousse" also means (in the third or fourth sense of the word) "apprentice"? Coincidentally (or not...) Max began to take an early interest in cooking (chocolate mousse?) and, week before last, apprenticed at a local restaurant. Since, his father, his sister, and I, have been the spoiled rotten recipients of his nouveau gastronomy...
Last night we had another verrine... this time, inside the pretty glass we could see sweet layers of Nutella, poire, and la crème fouettée with colorful sprinkles on top. And, night before last,we had homemade crème anglaise!
On Friday, when we said goodbye to Alexis, we celebrated the young man's internship with champagne and saumon fumé. Max had made his first verrine (hmmm, I wonder: does verrine come from "verre" + "vitrine"? ...for the idea behind a verrine is to see through the glass (verre) "window" (vitrine) to the colorful layers beyond); this time, Max had composed his verrine with layers of chopped surimi, whipped guacamole, la crême fraîche... topping off his entrée with salmon mousse and decorative dill!
I leave you with a view of Max's îles flottantes (little meringue islands floating on cream... ) Meantime I'll be practicing What You Say is What You Get (or the subconscious and the power of suggestion...):
"I can eat cream and stay sleem!
I can eat cream and stay sleem!"
(These days, I've noticed, my self-talk has a slight French accent....)
Meet-ups: We'd LOVE to see you!
French Vocabulary & Sound File: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these words
un écrivain = writer
Je suis écrivain = I am a writer
le cerveau = brain
la verrine = a layered entree or dessert served in a see-through glass
la crème anglaise = English cream, a custard sauce with vanilla or rhum
le saumon fumé = smoked salmon
le verre = glass
le surimi = imitation crab
la crème fraîche = sour cream
une île flottante = floating island
*Valley of the Sun = Phoenix, Arizona, my home town
Les portes tordues (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare).
Hotels in France. Visit EasyToBook.com to find the cheapest hotels in almost all France cities.
Herbes de Provence (Special for Pizza) in Crock:
Herbes picked in Provence with a blend of oregano, thyme, basil & marjoram
Kindle Wireless Reading Device (my dad and belle-mère are addicted to theirs!).
France Magazine subscription
Easy French Reader: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills
In film: Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi