Fisherman's cottage
A Fisherman's bungalow on the Isle of Groix.

News: The 2007 edition of le Petit Larousse has just been released! If you don't have a copy of this French language dictionary for your desk (or even for your coffee table...) you might order one here (note: all definitions are in French).

moulinette (moo-lee-net) noun, feminine
   little mill

French definition of "la moulinette" from le Petit Larousse:
"Petit moulin manuel ou électrique pour broyer les aliments."
  (A small mill, manual or electric, for crushing food.)

A Day in a French Life...
Back from vacation and lots to tchache* about but first--an impromptu renaming of this column (if only for a day):

"Eight objects that would have one guessing (without even setting foot outside) that one was in France--and in a French holiday rental--and not, say, in a holiday rental in Cave Creek, Arizona":

1. fondue spears alongside the forks, knives and spoons in the silverware drawer
2. a complimentary brique* of long-conservation milk left by the owner...
3. ...as well as two small bottles of Kronenbourg
4. a collapsible étendoir*
5. the oh-so-French traversin* at the head of each bed
6. an original vegetable moulinette (the hand-crankable kind of yesteryear!)
7. a recycling diagram pinned to the wall above the push pedal poubelle*
8. (not sure if this counts but...) enough insecticide, distributed by the owner just before our arrival, to send a desert rat packing.

The desert rat in question did not scurry off, but threw open the French doors, aired out the tiny rental, and stayed another two weeks (in time to watch her French colocataire* drink a Kro* or two and even give the little moulinette a spin for a traditional soupe de poisson*). More about Jean-Marc's fish soup, and the "little rock" we visited over summer break, in the coming week.

References: tchatche (tchatcher) = to chat; la brique (f) = carton; un étendoir (m) = clotheshorse; le traversin (m) = bolster, pillow that runs the width of bed; la poubelle (f) = garbage; le/la colocataire (mf) = fellow tenant; Kro (or how the French sometimes call Kronenbourg); la soupe de poisson (f) = fish soup

French Pronunciation:
Listen to my 8-year-old daughter pronounce the word moulinette: Download moulinette2.wav

Hear Jackie's sentence: Je vais tourner la moulinette. (I'm going to turn the
vegetable mill.): Download moulinette3.wav

Terms & Expressions:
passer quelqu'un à la moulinette = to put someone through a tough questioning (exam, interoggation)
passer quelque chose à la moulinette = to put something through the vegetable mill, to process (also: to scrutinize something).

(In French) Lettres De Mon Moulin by Alphonse Daudet
(In English) Letters from My Mill by Alphonse Daudet

More examples of "moulinette" in these books:

The Cuisine of the Sun: Classical French Cooking from Nice and Provence (Fireside Cookbook Classics)
The Cuisine of the Sun: Classical French Cooking from Nice and Provence (Fireside Cookbook Classics) by Mireille Johnston

Cooking in the French Fashion
Cooking in the French Fashion by Stephanie Ovide and Maurita Magner
Webster's New World Concise French Dictionary (Webster's New World)
Webster's New World Concise French Dictionary (Webster's New World) by Chambers Harrap Ltd

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety