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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life in Lyon..

Since I last posted there have been a series of events that I'll discuss...
  • First visit to a fromagerie
  • First visit to a "winerie" (more like a "vendeur du vin")
  • Picnic amongst friends along the Quai (recipe for Tarte aux Tomates et Moutarde)
  • Hangover food in France
  • Heat, heat, heat
First Visit to a Fromagerie
In Lyon we have different places around the city that are specialty stores for cheese.  You walk into them and they are stinky!  Cheese lines the walls in glass casings.  The one we visited in particular was one called:   L'Art des Choix Fromagerie Polèse or the art of cheese choices.  I wanted to take a picture, but I noted that as soon as I smelt a cheese the woman came up to me with typical French woman scowl and proclaimed loudly, "Il faut touche pas!"  Which is like saying, "No touching!".  I thought to myself:  these must be some pretty freakin' awesome cheese if I can't touch or smell them!  I bought a cow milk cheese since I'm not quite prepared for the strong goat cheese and for 2.30€ I had a good amount of cheese (more on the cheese later).

First visit to a Winerie (seller)
All around the city there is also places that specialise in wine like American wine shops.  Usually these places are expensive and have specialty imports from around the regions of France.  By chance I found one near the French equivalent of 'china town'.  Once I walked in it was like being transported into 1950's France.  The man behind the counter was a short, round man, red around the cheeks with a big smile pasted on his face.  The sign posted had a rosé for 1.30€ so we asked about it.  He explained kindly that all we had to do was buy a bottle for 2.10€, save the bottle, return with the bottle and he'd refill it for us for only 1.30€.  We agreed and took it with us for a picnic.  For 2.10€ we got a large 1L bottle of rosé that was actually decent... but I got too drunk off of it to remember not to toss the bottle!

Both the cheese and the wine became our accompaniments with our picnic that night... see picture below:

More info on Flickr..

Picnic Amongst Friends on the Quai..
Picnics in the summertime are one of my most favorite memories in Portland.  I've learned I can have the same joys in France... even better because hundreds of people flock to the waterfront to drink, party and beat drums.  Bri and I decided to make a birthday picnic for our good friend Chevonne, a fellow Oregonion and American.  I was in charge of the main dishes, Bri in charge of heavy lifting and clean up.

Knowing that Bri's mom makes this thing called "tarte aux tomates et mourtarde" I wanted to try my hand at it.

The recipe that I created goes as such:

Tartes aux Tomates et Moutarde
(Tomato Tart with Mustard)

°Pastry shell or enough pastry dough for one 'pie'
°3 Large Tomatoes sliced thinly
°About 6 slices swiss cheese (3x5 inches is good, with a width of 1/4 inch)
°1/2 cup mustard with seeds (like a rough mustard, better flavor)
°Herbes aux Provence, or just plain old oregano and basil
°Some olive oil
°Pie Pan

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F or 200°C
  2.  Lay out the pastry dough into the pie pan, if it's a pastry shell with a pie pan attached skip to step 3.
  3. Poke holes all over the bottom of the crust
  4. Spread the mustard evenly over the bottom of the crust, if need more add more.
  5. Place slices of swiss cheese along the bottom on top of mustard, it will resemble a pizza
  6.  Layer tomato slices clockwise starting from the outside edge swirling to the interior until the bottom is covered. If there is extra, continue to layer to cover spots.
  7. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of the seasoning, plus salt and pepper to taste
  8. Place in oven, cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are curled on the edges, the outside crust is brown, like the photo below:

Tarte is delicious served with a chilled rosé or white wine with a nice fresh salad on the side.

Hangover Food in France
So the night we partied, we didn't come home until 2am, I fell at some point and busted my knee (drunk Velo'ving, not a good idea) and once I got home I was pissy, irritated and went on a tyrade around our 35m apartment.  The day after was a terrible hangover, aka (geule de bois in french).  My head pounded, my body ached and I was sick to my stomach like crazy.  The only cure for that my friends is:  lots of water, a walk around Lyon and a good cheap restaurant with fatty dishes.  I found my favorite hangover food in France... the "tartiflette" explained by Wikipedia as:
"Tartiflette is a French dish from the Savoie region. It is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, cream and lardons."
It is also known as God's food to me.  The creamy texture and the dense potatoes sucked up the toxicity.  I went home after and napped for an hour while sweating out all the nasty alcohol impurities.

Here's the picture, the glory food is in front of me:

And finally..

Heat, Heat and Heat
Lyon is killing me with the heat, in Portland it gets hot, but the heat here is heavy and rests on your shoulders like a heavy cloak.  No escape either.  The library has air conditioning, so I blog with the free wifi there...  but it's so hot at night Bri and I don't even touch.  Lucky for us we are best friends too so it's fun to just enjoy each other's company, but it gets frustrating sweating all night and not from anything fun.  This week looks like it's gonna cool down a bit, it rained last night... and it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  I hope they are being honest because I can't stand another sweltering day like two days ago.

Until Later...
There are photos on my Flickr, the photostream on the right has tags and information about the photos, so until I write again there are other things to entertain you!



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