Out of touch with reality
Sophie started to cry and said, "Why did you get a job???!!"
We left our life in the US with our four kids - 9, 7, 5 and 2 - to exchange houses, cars, schools, friends, and languages with a French family in the Cote d'Azur. Who knows what will happen in this life?
January 6, The Feast of Epiphany or Little Christmas, is a holy festival honoring the wise men coming to the infant Jesus.
This is one of the most popular eating traditions in France that takes place in January every year. A "fève" - a small porcelein figurine - is hidden in the galette before baking.
The youngest child present sits under the table, and as the galette is sliced and served, the child chooses to whom the slice will go.
The lucky guest who gets the fève is crowned king/queen and chooses a queen/king among the other guests. This takes place all over France in every family, between friends and work colleagues.
Recipe: Galette des Rois
1 1/4 lb frozen puff pastry
7 oz almond paste
Leave the puff pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours until defrosted but still cold.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with baking parchment or grease the pan and lightly sift flour on it. Shake off any excess flour. Roll each sheet of pastry into a circle about 12 inches across.
Place one circle on the prepared pan.
Mix the egg with the almond paste until smooth and spread the mixture evenly on the prepared circle of pastry, leaving a border 1 1/2 inches wide all around. If you have a small figurine, insert it into the almond mixture.
Place the second circle of pastry on top and press it down tightly around the rim.
Beat lightly the remaining egg and brush it on the top of the cake. With a long-bladed knife, press lightly but firmly through the egg glaze marking a crisscross pattern.
Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and puffed. Do not check for doneness for at least 15 minutes, as the pastry may collapse. Serve slightly warm or cold.
Traditionally the galette is topped with a cardboard crown, which is given to the person who gets the fève.
Sarkozy is well-known for his love of the United States and its culture, and the media here have taken to calling him "Sarko l'Americain." About two months ago, on an official visit to the US, he gave a speech to Congress. I'm not a huge fan of political speeches generally, but this one was simply spectacular. Really, you must watch it. If it doesn't grab you in the first five minutes then go ahead and shut it off, but then don't say you know what the French can be like when you don't. Listening to him talk about his generation's gratitude to the American military choked me up several times. I wish American politicians could be like this. Or at least more than none.
Sarkozy's new girlfriend, Carla Bruni. Can France's first lady be an Italian?
Today must have been 80's day at the gym because this video came on right after Relax, and right before We Are The World. What a triumvirate. Little known fact: Bob Dylan sings in We Are The World. It looks like he was coked up during the shoot, but he managed to mumble his way through it, like always. Anyway, he wrote one of the 100 greatest songs of all time, so I guess he's earned the right to do as much coke as he wants.
Anyway, this classic German dance hit was released in the US when I was 13 or 14 years old. All the kids at Desert Shadows Middle School enjoyed its fantastic beat and excellent lyrics, such as "Worry worry super skurry, call the troops out in a hurry." And it helped get us into the Scorpions, another German band who sang in English and had album covers showing dudes with forks their eyes. And why not Nena and the Scorpions? Those Germans are all the same, right? Seriously, how did we get through the 80's? I mean you've got to be kidding me.
If you prefer the German version, which probably has the same lyrics but uses 18 times more letters to say it, you can see it HERE.
By the way, we're going out tonight with our friends Pascaline and Nicholas to watch some movie about Bob Dylan. It's in English with French subtitles, but I hope I can understand it. All that guy does is mumble. He's like Stasha, mumbling all the time. Whenever she talks from across the room I'm like "WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?" I need one of those long horns to stick in my ear. Maybe I'm going deaf. I am getting pretty old. I think I need to go lie down.