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Grrr! Grumpy and grouchy and broody in French! (Plus a fiery recipe...)

Hen house poulailler chickens 
"Broody" is less useful to you than the French word for grumpy (unless you're a hen), so we'll feature the second term--in verb form--today. Two mini columns follow: the first is a response to Audrey, who lives near the Spanish border, and the second is an update on our moody poule.

Today's Word: ronchonner

     : to grumble, growl, grouse

Voici des verbs similaires à ronchonner : rouspéter, râler, grogner
Here are some similar verbs to grumpy: to complain, to moan, to grumble. 

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE  by Kristi Espinasse

Following the Recipe for Disaster post, Audrey wrote in asking for the bananes flambées recette (everyone else wanted the banana tart instructions, which I'll get to eventually). Meantime, Audrey wrote:

"Yes please, the recipe, as I have to follow a gluten-free diet it would be perfect for me & one I could do for guests...."

Voici, Audrey, here's the au pif recipe for an easy, and apparently gluten-free dessert--one Jean-Marc made recently for our friends Kathleen and Dean. Just look at that blue flame! Dean, watch your hand!

Jean-Marc making bananas foster


-One ripe banana per person
-Sugar to taste
-Ice cream (we use vanilla or salt caramel!)

Melt the butter and begin turning the whole bananas in the pan, until slightly golden or seared. Sprinkle sugar over the bananas and add a half cup of rum (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan by roughly an inch) to the poêle. When heated, very carefully--at arm's length and away from curtains or dishcloths or billowy shirts!--ignite the pan liquids (the rum) with a match or un briquet. When fire subsides, transfer the bananas and a little of the butter rum sauce to a plate or bowl, beside a scoop of vanilla or salted caramel ice cream.
The deliciousness of this simple dessert will give you an amazed look similar to this one...  

Broody hen
Now, changing subjects, a little story from my Instagram about her (our hen, Edie). After sitting on her colocataire's unfertilized eggs, and brooding for one month (she would not leave her nest, quit laying eggs, and had to be plucked out--via the roof!--of her nest box each day for fresh air and exercise), now she spends all her time out of the henhouse. Each night I find her roosting on the rooftop (of said hen house). So, after dark, I have to grab the broom by our front door and head over to her. I place the end of the broom beneath her feet until she steps up onto the broom which point I deliver her like a pizza back into the hen house for the night). It is quite a scene! And it's entirely lost on the two of us.

la poule = hen
ronchonner = to grumble
la recette = recipe
voici = here you are
au pif = by guesswork, by eyeballing it (recipe)
une poêle = frying pan
la poule = hen, chicken, chick
colocataire = joint tenant, roommate

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Anne Umphrey

Your hen sounds like my cat. Your chicken has you well trained, just as my cat does me. Thanks for the visual image of the hen on the broom!

Audrey Wilson

Thank you so much for the recipe Kristin .I look forward to doing it ! Mmmm !

Judith Dunn

isn't it rather a French " Bananas Foster'? As for your hen.....cold she be mentally 'brooding' due to not being able to complete her mother hen role? Perhaps she was traumatized by not being able to lay any eggs , as well.... Give her time , she may come around. Maybe she needs her won 'hen house' apart form the others. J.


Very funny. Like a child testing and wanting control, hmm....and guess who has control of this relationship. I thought you had two chickens.


oh, I misunderstood.....she was on the other hen's eggs. Maybe if you told her that she might end up serving a different purpose (you know what I mean), she will comply with your wishes ;-}

Mary Rack

Kristi - here is a book I think you will like: A French friend introduced me to Anny Duperey's work; she is a marvelous author as well as a famous actrice! Mary

Kristin Espinasse

Looks like a good book! Thanks, Mary.

Kristin Espinasse


Kristin Espinasse

Judith, I think you are right about the bananas foster. Re our hen, she is done if only she would get back to laying eggs!


Your kitchen looks fabulous! All those pantries/cabinets, a whole wall full.

Kristin Espinasse

It was a beautiful kitchen! Not ours though (it was in the rental home where Kathleen and Dean stayed).


Our pets have us well-trained...

Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets)

Can't get over your beautiful interior - that kitchen is fabulous! Worth the mess, work and wait, I'm sure!
Hope to see you in November - will be in touch-

Natalia Radula

Our dear Kristi,
Oh!This recipe is absolutely yummy!
Thank you!!
ESPECIALLY love your description of how you get little Edie back into the hen house!How clever!!!!!!
Natalia XO

Kathleen from Connecticut

The BANANES FLAMBEES were excellent, amd I should mention that if you do not have sugar, honey could be substituted, as JM did.
The kitchen was a really great place to cook . We rented from VRBO and the place is in La Ciotat.

Kristin Espinasse

Good tip about the honey,and thanks for mentioning the VRBO. What a beautiful place you found!

Eileen Burns

There was a time, when we were young and our family was larger, that we would invite everyone to our home for Christmas dinner. What wonderful memories! Our desert each year featured a different flambé and was always the highlight of the meal...Away from curtains (actually, I don't think we had drapes of any kind at that time!) blousy clothing etc...It was a very happy time. Thanks for sharing your stories. As always, Eileen XO

Barb Michels

If you could manage to access it on the internet, there is a wonderful old movie starring Claudette Colbert called "The Egg and I, about a lady who turns to chicken ranching. Wonderful watch for the whole family. Good luck.

Raisa Berriz

My hens always took a laying break right around this time. I know it is warmer there, but they don't lay all year do they?

Diane from Iak Ridge, NJ

I am glad that you are also going to give us thebrecette for the banana tart. It looked so pretty.

What a sweet story about your little hen! I can't imagine what her little problem is. A real mystère !

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