Mudita: The Secret to Happiness in France...and Denver, Portland, Bozeman?
How to Learn Grammar Naturally

Miam! Courge Marron Soup (Butternut Squash and Chestnut soup) & We're going to Spain!

"Miam"  is a French word used to designate the appreciation of something, generally a culinary preparation. It is a word that comes from a child's language but one adults use, too, as a part of their appetite. Definition from

Miam est un terme utilisé pour désigner l'appréciation d'une chose, généralement une préparation culinaire. C'est un mot qui provient du langage enfantin mais dont les adultes se servent également pour faire part de leur appétit. Miam-miam! = yum yum!

ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's French word and definition: Download Miam


    by Kristi Espinasse

The first thing I ate when I returned to France, from the Mexican Riviera, was a garden-fresh courge! Before even a pain au chocolat or a slice of comté cheese, I ate that butternut squash and I've eaten two more since. I thought that by eating something grown right in front of our home--by ingesting so many vitamins and minerals from the good French earth--I might be forgiven of all those airport muffins (blueberry, chocolate, pumpkin...) consumed in transit.

Whether airport comfort food or garden comfort food, la nourriture (if you can call airport muffins that) does more than nourish us--it calms or inspires or warms us. Here's a recipe that does all three. Bon appétit!

La Soupe de Courge aux Marrons
Butternut squash and chestnut soup

    Butternut squash
    chestnuts, peeled (find peeled chestnuts here)

    salt and pepper

This is a recipe you will do au pif (by guesswork). Don't worry, it will all work out! Cut up a cup or two of butternut squash, add the same amount (or less, depending on how much you like chestnuts) to the roasting pan (see photo above). Add a small quartered onion (optional) and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Toss in a few sprigs of parsley and a little celery (optional). Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper on vegetables. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss all ingredients. Put in the oven at 175C (350F) for 30 or so minutes. Remove from oven and, after it cools, put vegetables in a mixing bowl (or saucepan) with water enough to cover them and a stock cube (or use canned soup stock). Use a handy immersion blender to mix all ingredients into a soup.

I love the rich texture and slight sweetness of this soup--and after a trip, I crave it. It is a good thing there are 5 giant squash remaining in my front garden--because we are going on a road trip tomorrow, and you know what that means...muffins! If there's one thing our family secretly enjoys while traveling, it's all that rest-stop nourishment, aisles and aisles of temptations! (And, arriving home on Sunday, it will be bonjour soup!)

See you next week. And if you would like to follow us on our family road trip to Spain, keep your eye on this Instagram account and bon voyage!


Gâteau Yaourt - everyone in France knows how to make this simple cake, by heart. Do you? Click here

Tarte Tomate. Last of the season's tomatoes? Delicious Tomato pie recipe! Click here.

Metro cuff

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety