Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


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Bachelor fridge

Speaking of being a total cliché, there is no reason why my fridge should contain only condiments, Coke and cheese (except that maybe I take alliteration too seriously).

bachelor fridge

Actually, I have a legitimate excuse, namely that one must go to several stores to stock up on things and food items here go bad almost instantly so one must either shop for dinner items every day or face this pitiful sight.

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Salad Days

I don’t always chomp down on my Babybel cheese; sometimes I put it in salads. This one has mâche lettuce, Pink Lady apples, raisins, fresh ground pepper and balsamic cream. If you’ve never had it, the latter is about 1000 times more tasty than you can imagine.


Learn Something

The first time I came across the term “salad days” was probably while watching Monty Python.

(This same sketch may have been my introduction to Peckinpah too, come to think of it.) The phrase refers to a happy, simpler time, usually related to youth and inexperience. “Halcyon” means basically the same thing, though I think it’s a cooler-looking word — something to do with the Greek-influenced juxtaposition of the letters. Both terms make me think of The Great Gatsby, though a quick word search through the book reveals that neither appears in the text.


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The Bachelor Files: Babybel edition

This is a big wheel of Babybel cheese.

I’ve always been fond of the stuff and would get really excited if the small variety appeared in my Garfield lunch box when I was a kid. Now that I’m an adult, I can buy the big one. And sometimes, just because I can, I’ll peel the band off, bend one half of the wax cover away… and bite right into it.


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Homemade cheese sticks

I love bar food. Jalapeno poppers, potato skins, onion rings, all that fried junk. My favorite is the cheese stick. Some restaurants go all fancy and call it “breaded mozzarella.” In France, they’re beignets de mozzarella, but in the end, it’s all just cheese sticks to me. And I love them.

I tried to follow this recipe, but I didn’t have many of the things required, like a proper freezer or any oil other than olive. No matter. They were so delicious that now I crave them every day.


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Classic meals from my youth

I don’t know how this came up recently, but here are two archetypal meals from my younger days in Flyoverville.

The first was at my BFFs house. For dinner, she and I were served grilled chicken breasts, rice, iceberg lettuce with Ranch dressing, cottage cheese and tinned pears for dessert. To drink, we of course had huge glasses of milk. Picture these things in your mind. What do you see? An entire plate of WHITE. Incredible.

The second was from the dinner where I met my high school boyfriend’s parents for the first (official) time. His mom boiled spaghetti and poured a jar of canned sauce on top of it while his dad grilled steaks. When I was asked how I liked my meat done and responded “medium-rare, on the rare side” everyone froze. No one in their house had ever eaten anything less than done. My boyfriend later said that his dad had been flummoxed since he’d never actually had to cook meat “so little.”

It’s a miracle I survived among these people. It really is.