Ed Ward's Blog Leaves Europe After 20 Years and Returns To The U.S., Another Foreign Country. Currently, This Blog Is In Transition.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
On my Berlin blog, I used to have posts I called "crumbs," which were short, mostly unrelated thises and thats. The word for crumb in French is miette, I see, so that's what this is about. There may well be a better word, and if/when I find it, I'll use it. Meanwhile, onward.
The skies over Montpellier (see above) have been very odd this spring, with, as I understand it, lots more rain than usual, some of it pretty violent. Given the area's reliance on agriculture, particularly wine-grapes, I'm wondering how this, and the forecasted hotter-than-usual next couple of months, will affect the wine being produced this year. My guess, which is totally uninformed, is not so well. Informed speculation, however, welcome.
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It would appear that Americans aren't the only people who don't know a thing about this part of France, if this story from the London Times, which nobly attempts to bring Brits up to speed, is anything to go by. But still, I could improve on it without moving from my palatial apartment, let alone what I could do with a few hundred euros' expense money. It's a place to start, though, for those of you who wonder why anyone would want to live here. But just a start.
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One great mystery I've found while adjusting to cooking here -- as best as I can cook on this teensy-weensy stovetop -- is that there doesn't seem to be any chicken broth for sale in the store. None. In the U.S., you can now buy chicken broth without MSG just about everywhere, and given that a lot of professional chefs use it as an all-purpose band-aid for culinary goofs, not to mention as a base for some sauces, it's hard for me to believe that French home cooks routinely buy and boil chickens just to get this stuff. Especially since, at around €7.50 a kilo, chicken's almost as expensie as cocaine in this country. (Do I need poulet de fermier jaune to make kungpao chicken? No. Does it taste better made with it? Yes. Do I make it as often as I used to? At those prices? Are you nuts?)
I hope someone tells me I've just been looking in the wrong place for this stuff. Boiling half a bio bouillon cube whenever I need some broth is a pain and dirties up one more pan. It doesn't have to be AOC poulet de Bresse broth. Just water with chicken in it.
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One thing we do have here is street art, and I'll be documenting some more of it soon. Meanwhile, this gal, impressively sized, showed up one day and I realized I should shoot her before she peels off. This artist has a number of larger and smaller pieces around, including ones of people playing games, and other portraits. Montpellier's most famous street artist is the guy who took Space Invaders figures and rendered them in mosaic. What I didn't know until Miss Expatria provided a link (which I now can't find), was that he arranged these mosaic tags in such a way that the placement described a huge Space Invader over the map of the area where he laid them. He subsequently went on to do this in numerous other cities (I've seen them in Paris and Berlin, for instance). No doubt by now he's a professor of graffiti at some small French university, oppressing the students.