Tuesday, August 28, 2012


There are many ways to say it: tergiverser, remettre au lendemain, renvoyer à plus tard, procrastiner. I've been having a hard time getting into one of my freelance projects, one where I need to be completely immersed in the text and channeling my client's thoughts in the rewriting/editing process. When I find myself just staring at the page, I stop the clock and go do something else for a while - usually that's reading. Unfortunately, I then get immersed in the book, and end up not going back to the project ... this is a habit I need to alter, and quickly.

However, I have been learning new words in the process, so there's some small gain. After I finished "Le Seigneur des anneaux" (The Lord of the Rings) I found a copy of "Bilbo le Hobbit" in Seb's storage room, and read that.

Attercop! Attercop! Laisse-toi tomber! Jamais tu ne m'attraperas là-haut dans ton arbre!

I killed a spider in the bedroom the other day, the first I've seen since I got here. There have been fewer mosquitoes as well; moving to the room over the parking lot rather than the one facing the woods might have made a difference, and I've not been bothered by them lately.

I've also read French translations of two chick-lit books, one by the person writing as Sophie Kinsella, and they gave me all sorts of interesting new phrases. I wrote them down as I came across them, but haven't looked them up yet. Let's see what they mean ...

longue comme un jour sans pain
"as long as a day without bread" (very long and dull)

faire la nique
"to make a lifting of the chin" (to jeer or scoff, from a rude gesture dating back to the Middle Ages)

se prendre les pieds dans le tapis
"to catch one's feet in the carpet" (to screw things up, fall flat on your face)

un mal de chien
"a sickness of the dog" (a hard time, a lot of pain)

découvrir le pot aux roses
"to discover the container of roses" (expose a secret, often a shameful one)

poser un lapin
"to set down a rabbit" (to stand someone up, as on a date)

faire des gorges chaudes
"to make hot meaty tidbits" (to make fun of and/or gossip about - apparently this comes from the old practice of "tidbitting" one's hawks with fresh raw meat to make them fierce; I've been seeing the expression "giving the crowd raw meat" in relation to political conventions in reference to saying things that you know will get them riled up)

être soupe au lait
"to be milk soup" (to suddenly change temperament, usually in anger, like milk suddenly boiling over)

faire un fromage
"to make a cheese" (to exaggerate)

arriver les doigts dans le nez
"to arrive with your fingers in your nose" (to accomplish or win something easily)

tomber des nues
"to fall from the clouds" (to come out of nowhere, be very surprising)

Well! My conversation will be scintillating from now on, I'm sure, as I fall out of the clouds with my fingers in my nose.

I discovered premade 100% buckwheat crêpes (made without milk or eggs!) at the downtown Carrefour shop, and made up a recipe last night, after getting back to the house with the panting tired dog. I'd taken her for a two-hour walk down to the Lac des Bretonnières, a smallish artificial lake just south of the Cher behind the public swimming pool (where I'm headed shortly, determined to get into the schedule I planned earlier). We walked all around the lake, and watched the sailing school students veer around each other at one end. I'm glad I walked yesterday, because it started raining again early this morning, and so I won't be tempted away from the computer. No, not even for books ... anyway, the recipe. The next time I make it I'll have a glass of champagne, to go with the theme.

Salmon Bellini Blini (or crêpes technically, but blini is more fun to say)

For each crêpe:
a large handful of fresh arugula, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp champagne vinegar
a dash of salt
1/2 small white peach, thinly sliced
1/4 c diced smoked salmon
1 Tbs crème fraîche (I used a soy alternative called "Sojami à cuisiner")
a large buckwheat crêpe

In a bowl toss the arugula with the vinegar and salt, then gently mix in the sliced peaches and the salmon. Warm up the crêpe (which I didn't do, which is why they cracked when I folded them, as you might notice in the photo). Spread the crème fraîche over one-half of the surface, then pile the arugula-peach-salmon mixture over a half of that (one-quarter of the crêpe). Fold the crêpe in half over the filling, then in half again. If your crêpes are sturdy, you might be able to pick them up to eat them, but I had to use a fork.

1 comment:

  1. How about translations from Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail next time? Should give you many more interesting conversational and naughty bits.