TODAY'S WORD: au pifométre - or simply "au pif"
: at a guess, by guess work, off the cuff, off the top of your head
Au pif. Les grands chefs cuisinent au pif.
By guesswork. Great cooks cook by guesswork.
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Try the book Pronounce it Perfectly in French
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
We are heading out to Nice to spend the weekend with American in France and beer-maker Dan, his wife Julie, and our good friends Gilda and Robert. I have a few hours in which to come up with un cadeau pour nos hôtes....
I want to keep things simple and sentimental (I'm thinking of my stash of antique clés... part of which I have given to special friends. But I wonder if I have already given Dan and Julie a key?
What about a vintage book? Julie and Gilda are artists. But how many vintage books on art do I have lying around? Que dalle!
Sheep bells! I also collect sheep bells! But who else treasures les clochettes des moutons?
Well, my husband sure isn't obsessing about what to offer our friends -- Jean-Marc recently bottled his 2016 Mas des Brun rosé and will gift it (along with olive oil from our domaine). This gives me an idea - just add to that gastronomic basket... Currently we have kale in the garden and lemons and olive oil from our trees.... I could make pistou!
But we do not have pignons or Parmesan. Pas de panique. You can do like the venerable French women do - do as any cook worth her salt would -- you can make it up au pif!
I leave you with the result of kale + lemons + oil + a few things in my kitchen drawers....
(manqué...because pine nuts and Parmesan are missing)
(everything after this line is approximate...)
3 cups of kale
1 lemon + grated rind
3 tablespoon raisins (dried grapes for a vineyard theme!)
1-2 cups olive oil
3 or more cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything in the blender or food processor. This pesto is delicious with sliced tomatoes, over potatoes, pasta, fish or salad. It makes a nice decorative swirl on top of a bowl of soup.
Stories you may have missed: "PESTO IN BED"
Increase your vocabulary with this list. More tools here.
manqué = missing
un cadeau = gift, present
une clé = key
l'hôte = host
que dalle! = zip, nada, none
pas de panique = no worries!
le pistou = pesto
le pignon = pine nut
GROCERIES - including French delicacies like herbs, mustard, cakes
BONJOUR KALE: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes
TABLECLOTH, Provence-themed linens for the house.
KITCHEN TOWELS by Garnier-Thiebaut.
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