un écart
un voile

un poireau

One of today's expressions has to do with "to be kept waiting." I didn't want to keep a friend in India waiting to send wishes of a "Bonne fête de Ganesh". Ganesh is the "le dieu" (the God) with "la tête d'éléphant" (the elephant's head) and is the deity of knowledge and wisdom (of "le Savoir" and "la Sagesse").

Recently in Paris, more than 20,000 people participated in "la grande fête hindoue" (the great Hindu celebration). Bonne fête to Ravindra (and son!) in Pune, India.

un poireau (pwah-roh) noun, masculine
1. a leek

(The plural is "poireaux")

And from the image of a leek stuck in the ground comes the popular verb "poireauter" = literally "to leek," to be "planted" like a leek (to be kept waiting; to kick, cool, one's heels...)

faire le poireau = to be kept waiting; to hang about
faire poireauter quelqu'un = to leave somebody waiting about

Citation du Jour

Quand on dit que le poireau est l'asperge du pauvre, ce n'est gentil ni pour le poireau, ni pour l'asperge, ni pour le pauvre.

When we say that the leek is the asparagus of the poor, that's not nice to the leek, the asparagus or the poor man. --Albert Valentin

A Day in a French Life...

"La Soupe des Vendangeurs"

In French the verb "poireauter" means "attendre longtemps" or to wait a long time. We waited only four days for the Harvest Soup which is (in some parts of France) savored during la vendange.* In Chateauneuf du Pape, where we harvested grapes last Sunday, we feasted on porc à la moutarde after the harvest so it somehow seemed sacrilege to finish the vendange and not "souper"* on some comforting potage* this week.

Although the soup calls for a long list of ingredients, it tastes just as good with half as many legumes,* and so for our version I used what I could find in our frigo:* poireaux,* pommes de terres,* tomatoes, onions, courgettes and garlic.

I filled a pan half full of water, peeled back the silver foil jacket of a bouillon cube, threw the cube into the pot and added vegetables until they reached the surface of the water. And voilà!

While the soup simmered, and to get into the spirit of things, we went out to the back yard and slumped through the four rangs* of grape vines, running our hands along the leaves. Ouf!* Having built up an appetite, we headed back in for La Soupe des Vendangeurs.

Au fait,* La Soupe des Vendangeurs can include any or all of the following ingredients: carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, poireaux, spinach, turnips, chou vert, celery, garlic, a bay leaf, thyme, parsley, bacon and sausages.

Bon appétit et bon week-end!

*References: la vendange (f) = the grape harvest; un légume (m) = a vegetable; le frigo (m) = the refrigerator; souper = to have supper; un potage (m) = soup; au fait = by the way; une pomme de terre (f) = potato; un rang = a row; ouf! = whew!: une courgette (f) = zucchini; le chou vert (m) = green cabbage

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