Recently in the category : Learned
Apparently educational field trips have become the name of the game in the Katia and Kyliemac Empire these days. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to head over to a real French pastry shop with a real pastry chef : the delightful Camille!
Pain au chocolat ready to go into the ovens.
"Pain Choc" ready to be enjoyed!
Baby Choux for the Pièce Montée
This is harder than it looks.
This is made from...
...this. It takes a bit of skill. And practice.
It takes a while to construct one of these. It's definitely not a last minute undertaking.
Delicious goodies ready to be prepped.
Chocolates! This room smelled so delicious, it was hard to resist "sampling" one.
We watched these Mother's day treats get finished.
This view is one of the benefits of living in Paris.
Tarte aux fraises. Best when in season. Like now.
Obviously we couldn't go home empty handed, so we made a selection of four goodies to sample on the show. We thought four was very "sage" and not too gluttonous. It was a bit hard to narrow it down, however...
Here's what we chose:
"Symphonie" - obviously chosen since it shares the same name as our resident menace.
Fraisier - one that you will find in a lot of French pastry shops!
St. Honoré - another typical pastry you'll commonly find.
Karamba (hoped I spelled that right) - my favorite of the day, with caramel and pears!
If you want to
hear read more about Camille's adventures, you can head over to her blog at croquecamille.wordpress.com!
For our Easter adventure, we went down to St. Etienne to visit the Muffin Man's parents and it proved to be a very edifying visit. It always is!
Katia's in-laws arranged for us to go to a snail farm - a Snail Farm, people!! - where we learned all kinds of interesting snail stuffs which we talked about (in French!!) in Episode 432.5. But don't worry if you don't understand French, part of the episode is in English, too.
We asked some hard-hitting journalistic type questions like :
Just how does one choose the snail "studs*"?
And we also asked some other kinds of questions that may not have been so journalistically hard-hitting. Among them:
How fast does a snail go?
What do you call the cry of a snail?
Interested in the answers? You'll find the answers to all this and more in Ep 432.5.
Mme Fabbio gave us the grand tour of the snail farm and explained the whole process of snail raising to us. These are free-range snails!
Have you ever wonder what a snail playground looked like? No? Me either. But here's an example of one being prepped for this season's snails.
Mme Fabbio will plant the playground with all kinds of vegetables for the snails to feed on - there is even a little "electric fence" that keeps the snails in and slugs out. A "brumisateur" system is suspended over the park that sprays a mist on the little guys so that they don't dry out. They are delicate nocturnal creatures, after all.
Freaky fun fact : Apparently snails are both boys AND girls. But not (if I understood Mme Fabbio correctly) at the same time. (Yeah. Probably should have confirmed this one before posting this, eh?)
"Let me outta here!"
The underbelly of a snail. Slime-o-rama.
I'm ready for my close-up, Kyliemac!"
Snail eggs. Containing little itty bitty baby snails.
Freaky fun fact : The eggs can be eaten as caviar. (I suppose that this fact isn't really all that freaky, but I had never once thought about eating snail eggs before.)
Freaky fun fact : The snail reproductive system is found in their neck.
What is a snail farmer called in French?
Answer: A "héliciculteur" or, as in this case, a "hélicicultrice", which is a lot harder to say than "snail farmer". For me, anyway.
We had a lovely time visiting the snail farm and would love to go back in the Fall when it's in full swing and the garden play park is full of veggies (and snails) so that we can see the them (the snails, not the veggies)
running - crawling - sliming(?) around.
If you happen to be in her neck of woods, make sure to visit the snail farm de Mme Fabbio.
And tell her that Katia and Kyliemac sent you!
*stud (stallion) = un étalon
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Disney store with a friend of mine, and we came across a little stuffed Winnie the Pooh. I knew that his name in French was "Winnie l'ourson" - ourson being the French word for a baby bear, but I realized I couldn't recall what any of the other characters were named, if I had ever known them at all.
Over the Christmas holiday, I asked a couple French people if they could fill in the missing names. They couldn't, but a quick look at wikipedia helped us out. Here's what we found :
Winnie-the-Pooh - Winnie l'ourson
Piglet - Porcinet (French word for "baby pig")
Tigger - Tigrou
Rabbit - Coco Lapin
Owl - Maître Hibou
Kanga - Grand Gourou or Maman Gourou (kangourou French for...well, kangaroo)
Roo - Petit Gourou
Christopher Robin (Named after the author's son) - Jean-Christophe
Hundred Acre Wood - Forêt des Rêves bleus
(Did you know that Winnie-the-Pooh has even been translated in LATIN?)
since a picture is worth a thousand words, and the topic was art, i think i'll let them do the talking...
here is a sampling of what we saw:
if you are interested in a bit more info, Michelle put a link on the k&k forum - which you can find here.
we had such a great time on the tour, we may just have to do it again in the fall!
How I spent my Thursday afternoon.
Here's some vocabulary for you:
Chess - Échecs
King          Roi - (lit.) King
Queen       Dame - (lit.) Lady
Bishop       Fou - (lit.) Madman
Knight       Cavalier - (lit.) Rider
Rook         Tour - (lit.) Tower
Pawn         Pion - (lit.) Pawn
I noted in the rule book that calling the "Dame" the "Reine" and the "Cavalier" the "Cheval" is technically incorrect. Though typically that wouldn't stop me. And it amused me that every time my opponent (age 8) moved his Knight he said - CA-VAL-I-ER . One syllable for each square to count how many places to move his piece. Adorable.
He took great joy in smacking my pieces down as he took them.
I won, though.
Think I need to be boning up on my chess playing skills.
Last time I didn't manage to get any photos on the blog before I inadvertently deleted them ALL, so this time I'm getting a couple of these photos up now, before I (inadvertently) do the same thing again.
We met early on Saturday, so thanks to all of you that braved the cold and managed to get up in time to make it. It was chilly on the riverbank, so it was actually a bit of a relief to get inside the sewers!
We had enough people to get the group rate (yay!) and had a tour guide all to ourselves. The visit took about an hour and we learned many very interesting factoids about how the sewers work.
FACT: Certain vaccines are mandatory for sewer workers.
FACT: The Paris Sewers have 2100 km of tunnels.
FACT: There are lots and lots and lots of rats in Paris. (And they don't cook.)
FACT: The sewers can be really smelly. However, some metro stops actually smell WORSE.
FACT: Streets aren't just labelled above ground, but below ground as well, to aid with navigating throughout the sewers.
FACT: Kyliemac can outrun a stationary Sewer cleaning ball. Take that, Indy!
We learned a lot more about how the sewers of Paris operate, but if you want to learn more, you'll either have to google it for yourself, or brave the sewer on your own. Although I suggest it with a guide!
LES EGOUTS DE PARIS
Open everyday except Thursday and Friday from 11am to 4 or 5pm depending on the season. (And it's closed in January every year for two weeks for maintenance. I suppose it smells less then.)
Metro: Alma-Marceau Station (Line 9) and cross the river.
RER: Pont de l'Alma station RER C
One of the many surprising things in coming to France is that they don't WRITE the same here as they do in Kyliemac's America.
When I was teaching the little people, they had difficulty understanding my cursive writing, and I would have to resort to printing everything in order to make sure they understood it.
And don't even get me STARTED on the numbers business...
lately i can't help but notice that Disney's "Snow White" has been remastered and can now be purchased on blu-ray. this information has inspired the following question:
can you name the seven dwarfs?
you have one minute. go.
try not to cheat, k?
now, can you do it in french?
Different regions in France have used their own methods of dealing with the issue of recycling for a few years now (some better than others), but Paris is finally making a really big effort to encourage people to sort their rubbish.
What makes this particularly exciting is the arrival of the yellow bins. These bins have been available in aparment buildings for a while now, and you could see them in a few different métro stations last year, but now you can see them in lots of parks and other public spaces around Paris, which means you now have two bins to choose from when you're throwing stuffs away in public! Green is for normal rubbish, yellow is for lecycuraburs (recyclables).
France is coming pretty late to the environmental awareness party that the rest of the world seems to have been in on for years now - but it's better late than never, I guess. The environmentally-conscious greenie in me (bred in a lot of Australians, I think) is absurdly excited about this. Hence this very geeky post. But now when I sit in my favourite park at lunch time, I can throw away my rubbish without feeling guilty.
one of the things that isn't really obvious when taking the RER is that not all of the trains are the same length. this means that sometimes there will be a short train, and if you aren't at the right part of the platform, you'll be left behind.
so if you look up, you'll see handy signs like these that will tell you what "repere" the train covers - and make sure that is where you are on the platform. that is unless you LIKE running after the train...
personally, i don't. i only run when chased by zombies.
handy french vocab:
arrêt = stop
court = short
long = long