Name your favorite drink + What does the French “bredouille” mean in English? (Hint: it doesn't mean 'tipsy')

Jean-Marc at Le Vin Sobre wine shop epicerie in La Ciotat France
If you were to visit Jean-Marc's wine shop, what would you buy? Tell us your favorite wine, drink, or boisson in the comments section. It could make for a lively thread!

Today's Word: bredouille

    : empty-handed, unsuccessful

Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear today's word + a dozen more vocabulary words. Next, scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your comprehension.

Sound File, click here


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
"A Surprise Visit"

Following Sunday’s grasse matinée, I felt lazy and tempted to skip church. Maybe I could go with Jean-Marc to his wine shop instead? It would only be for 3 hours, given the store’s open from 10-1 le dimanche. And it would give us some time together. Allez! On y va!

Setting my coat and purse on the tasting table at Le Vin Sobre, I turned to peruse the small épicerie fine when I heard my husband say the very thing I was thinking: Help tidy the tea section? 

Compte sur moi!”

After the teas were neatly line up I began to clean the glass windows behind which Jean-Marc stocks les produits fraisla poutargue, la pata negra, les boquerones, les fromages… A woman, her young son and their spirited cocker spaniel blew into the boutique along with a few fall leaves. “Bonjour Monsieur. Auriez-vous un Chenin Blanc?”

After Jean-Marc had rung up his first sale of the day and the trio had left, he shut the cash drawer with a flourish. “Comme ça on ne sera pas bredouille.” 

Bredouille? That sounds like a cool word . Répète-le.

“J’ai dit, ‘comme ça on ne rentrera pas bredouille’.”

Ah! Now I wasn't leaving ‘empty-handed’ either! I was going home with a new expression to share with readers!”

Ah, quand on parle du loup! Just then, two Francophiles from Boise, Idaho walked in... Susan introduced herself as a reader of my blog. She and Larry were leaving their rental in Cassis, and heading north to the quaint village of Sablet. What a chance meeting this was on the very day I was ditching church.

“C’est une double coïncidence,” Jean-Marc smiled, “because we don’t always open on Sundays.” With that, on a fait connaissance. I leave you, dear reader, with a snapshot of our chanceux encounter. And a warm remerciement to Susan and Larry, for all the wine you purchased. Là c’est certain, on ne rentrera pas bredouille! 



***
Post note: I was going to use the phrase “speak of the devil” to segue into the final part of the story about when my readers appeared. But then, yikes! I didn’t want to inadvertently refer to “readers” (or to Susan and Larry) as les diables! That’s when I learned the popular idiom: Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue (when you speak of the wolf, you'll see his tail). It means when you speak of someone they will appear). 

A Wine Odyssey...
This fall marks the 2-year anniversary of Jean-Marc's wine shop. Bravo, Chief Grape! My husband has come a very long way in his wine journey. Read about the ups and downs in our memoir, The Lost Gardens. 

Jean-marc wine odyssey
2007 at our first vineyard, "Chief Grape," who records all sound files for this blog. Merci, Chief!

FRENCH VOCABULARY

la grasse matinée = to sleep in
le dimanche = Sunday
Allez! On y va! = come on, let’s go!
l’épicerie fine = delicatessen
Compte sur moi! = count on me!
les produits frais (m) = fresh food, refrigerated foods
la poutargue = a culinary specialty of Martigues, known elsewhere as “bottarga” (salted, cured fish roe)
la pata negra (“patte noir”) = Iberian ham
les boquerones = anchovies
le fromage = cheese
Bonjour Monsieur, Auriez-vous un Chenin Blanc = hello sir. Do you have a Chenin Blanc
Comme ça on ne sera pas bredouille = now we won’t be going home empty-handed
Quand on parle du loup, on en voit sa queue = when you speak of the wolf, you'll see his tail. 
C’est une double coïncidence = it’s doubly coincidental
on a fait connaissance  = we got to know each other
chanceux (chanceuse) = lucky
le remerciement = thank-you

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Kristi, Larry, Susan, and Chief Grape

Bon weekend à tous. Don't forget to list your favorite wine or boisson in the comments, below. Merci! 

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

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

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens


etre rouge comme une tomate

Tomato Red (c) Kristin Espinasse
Photo taken in Nyons, land of the olives and more!


être rouge comme une tomate

    : to be as red as a tomato (avoir honte, to be embarrassed)

 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

After writing about Harvester Lou, yesterday, I received a bucket of fan mèl for the blue-eyed bachelor. One of the lettres d'admirateurs came from a self-defined "matchmaker", or entremetteuse, living near the Spanish border. Suzanne Dunaway is the author of Rome at Home. While Suzanne cooks up possible connections for Lou, she leaves us with a timely recipe for tomato soup. 
 
 
IMG_3483-1

Roast Tomato Soup and Parmesan Crisps

Slice 5 large ripe tomatoes in 1/2 slices and roast them in a 200°C (390°F) oven, sprinkled with olive oil, a little salt and a few cloves of garlic. When they have lost most of their juice and are beginning to brown, take them out. In a large soup pot, saute 1 large sweet onion, chopped coarse (NOT chopped "coarsely"!!!) in 1/2 cup olive oil, and when it is starting to brown, add the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes together and add 4-6 cups chicken broth. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes or so, then puree it with one of those magic French wands that can smooth out anything or in the bowl of a robot coupe. Put this mixture through a sieve into another pot and add 1 cup of cream. I know this is tedious, but the soup is divine and perfect for impressing special dinner guests! To make the chips, stir together 1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and 1 tablespoon flour. Make little piles of the mixture on a cookie sheet, flattening them slightly with your fingers. Place in a 200°C (390°F) oven for 10 minutes, watching to make sure they do not burn. These are great even without soup.
 
 ***
Le Coin Commentaires
Merci beaucoup, Suzanne, for this timely recette.  To leave a comment for the cook, click here.
 

 

DSC_0088

Smokey's dear friend in Belgium, Carol, writes: J'adore le portrait de Smokey... paré d'un délicieux sautoir en rubis signé "Tomatellato" ! (en référence aux fabuleux bijoux de la marque Pomellato).

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What else to do with tomatoes? Share your ideas and recipes here, in the comments box.

Shopping:
Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French

In Music: The Singing Nun by Soeur Sourire

Green tomato soap

 

Green Tomato Soap from France

 

Tomato print
Vintage French Print for your kitchen or office or...

Hand blender
One of those "magic French wands". Order here.

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

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

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens