Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


Avocado madness!

Many of the places where I buy food stuffs are bursting with à point avocados, perfectly ripe specimens which demand immediate consumption. I am quick to oblige them. Here are two I’ve eaten recently.

chicken artichoke avocado

Warm chicken with Dijon dressing, fried artichoke stem chips, shallots and avocado on a tortilla.


Beefheart tomato guacamole with green onions, cilantro and lemon (didn’t have any lime) which I also ate with tortillas.


Healing through snacking

I can’t bake. As a skill, it combines two of the things I’m bad at (math and science). For the past few years, I’ve also literally not been able to bake since I haven’t lived in a place with an oven. Both of these facts posed significant obstacles when I was looking around for ways to cheer myself up and kept reading about how people were making cookies or cakes after being shaken up by the Boston bombings. I still wanted to do something for myself, so I fell back on my default position: make some variation on peanut butter cups.

Choc pb pretzel 1

Chocolate covered pretzels with peanut butter (for dipping) was the result. Added bonus: they take very little time to prepare and are quickly ready to eat.

Le cul’s Sweet Carolines (they’re “so good, so good“)

  1. Melt baker’s chocolate in the microwave. (I lined the bowl with wax/parchment paper to lessen mess-factor.)
  2. Dip, dredge or drizzle chocolate on pretzels. Place on wax/parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle with good salt. (None of that table salt business.)
  4. Place in freezer until chocolate has hardened to your taste.
  5. Slather with peanut butter.
  6. Smile quietly while licking fingers (bowl licking optional).

Choc pb pretzel 2 Choc pb pretzel 3


Flu 2.0, classy edition

Many people have called me classy over the years. None of them have meant it.

“Classy” suggests a kind of sophisticated elegance and I am neither interested in, nor do I have the time to waste on such frivolities. If I could get away with it, I’d wear fleece pajamas with elastic waistbands all the time and drink exclusively from containers because I don’t like doing dishes.

A classic example of me just being the way I am is when I was recently felled by another version of the flu that’s going around. Taking matters into my own hands, I whipped up a smoothie to provide sustenance, vitamins, protein and hydration to get me through the illness, but none of the glasses in this apartment are big enough. (Stupid Europeans and their tiny drinking vessels piss me off like crazy.) But not being classy means I also have no shame so I did the only thing I could do.

Tupperware as glass.

Tupperware as glass.

It worked perfectly well and the concoction (frozen banana, peanut butter, frozen berries, fruit juice and milk with Desenfriol) worked like gangbusters. It’s so good that I’m kind of looking forward to the next time I’m sick.

Learn something

In Spain, reusable plastic food containers are called tupper, as in «¿Tienes un tupper para la pasta?»

Next Week

  • Some stuff about England and geography (with maps!).
  • Beer is better than wine.
  • The return of “Mad Men” triggers a Word Mystery.


New obsession: shallots

Is this a thing? Do other people become weirdly obsessed with bulb vegetables? They don’t even really look that appetizing.

shallots 1

And yet, I can’t get enough of the little oniony garlicy hybrids. I’m worried about what effect this kind of consumption is having on my breath, but I can’t stop myself. A couple times a week, I cook up a batch and then have them on hand to add to a regular salad or on top of soup. My favorite though, is adding them to my (mayo-free) chicken salad.

Le cul’s chicken salad:

  1. Blend a little bit of olive oil with a good quality mustard, salt, pepper and parsley.
  2. Shred warm cooked chicken and add to mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with crunchy shallots.

    shallots 2

    The shallots look a bit like bacon but, sadly, they are not bacon. Mmmm, bacon.