"New Day". Smokey reminds us all to live simply, slowly, and not to make a cheese about things! Speaking of fromage, tell us your favorite kind here in the comments.
TODAY'S WORD: en faire tout un fromage
: to make a fuss about something
: to make a mountain out of a molehill
: to make a big deal out of something
ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's French expression:
Download En faire tout un fromage
Improve your spoken French: Pronounce it Perfectly in French or Exercises in French Phonetics
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
For Friday's lunch with guests Eugenia and David, there would be two things less to worry about: the plat principal and the cheese plate. (We still had gigot de sanglier--and the rock-star selection of fromages my sister-in-law, Cécile, had brought, when she and Jean-Marc's mom came for Sunday roast). While these conveniences would not guarantee Fool Proof Entertaining (this time the powder room broke down and I burned dessert), the ready-made plats certainly chipped away at my To-Do list!
Speaking of To-Dos, I soon realized, during Friday's meal, one thing I'd left off that list: Continue to Keep Abreast of French Etiquette!
Doubts began when I noticed my guests' hesitation before the delicious cheese platter including le comté, la tomme, la gorgonzola, les fromages de brebis... missing was la brousse (finished off that very morning for breakfast--over toast, with apricot jam! What a pity, we could have served this--la brousse avec confiture--for dessert instead of tarte brulée!)
When the much-anticipated plateau de fromage remained untouched the second time around, Eugenia finally admitted: "Once, while eating at a French restaurant, I skipped dessert--opting instead for an additional serving of cheese--when someone pointed out it was impolite to have seconds from the cheese platter." Our guest finished her story with an innocent question. "Is this true? Is it bad manners to have another helping from the cheese platter?"
Everything went silent at the table but for the sound of my husband stabbing at another piece of comté--his fave.
Whatever the rules, we could see by one Frenchman's actions that there was no need to en faire tout un fromage when it came to cheese etiquette. Just dig in and enjoy!
I leave you with a photo of my burnt tart. Turns out our guests and my husband enjoyed it--washing it down with the help of a 1992 Chateau de Pibarnon.. and also a vin rouge Jean-Marc created, once upon a time, called Lunatique--which is still made at Domaine Rouge-Bleu! Does one need to be bananas to drink wine with dessert?
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PARIS PEACE T-SHIRT - "so many people have stopped to ask me where I got it" -Betty.
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Wistiti! = "Say cheese!" Speaking of fromage, my sister, Heidi (left), Mom, and niece, Reagan (to the right) met up with longtime reader Marika--at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado! The ladies in this photo inspire me, and I am so grateful to have them--and you--in my life. Thank you very much for reading this French word journal. I leave you with an all caps comment I just received, from another reader, Gus:
KRISTI, I THINK THAT I WAS 87 WHEN I FIRST FOUND FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY. ON JANUARY SECOND I WILL BE NINETY TWO. THERE WAS SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO DURING THOSE YEARS. YOUR STORIES AND PICTURES WERE ENJOYED EVERY WEEK. THE TIME THAT PAULETTE AND I MET WITH YOU AT THE OLD VINEYARD WAS A HIGH POINT OF MY LIFE. I HAVE FELT THE SADNESS THAT YOU EXPRESSED IN YOUR MANY POSTINGS THESE PAST MONTHS. LIKE WAITING FOR A VERY BELOVED FRIEND PASS AWAY. AS I HAVE TOLD GRANDDAUGHTERS WHEN THINGS GOT ROUGH, "SHOULDERS BACK,CHEST OUT,HEAD HIGH AND SMILE". YOU TWO POSSESS THE QUALITIES THAT THIS WORLD NEEDS. GOD WILL LEND THAT HAND THAT YOU NEED AT THIS TIME.
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Thank you, Gus!! Comments like yours are greatly appreciated and keep me on track in the meaningful pursuit of expression.
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