Another week has flown by in Normandy. I’m continuing to learn a lot from my full-on intergenerational French language and lifestyle immersion. This week’s Five Friday Finds from France include a French pharmacy staple that’s been saving my life, a novella to add to my reading list of books about Paris and France, and a few shared culinary experiences ‘à table.’ As we continue to stay at home, I hope everyone is staying entertained and safe!
Breakfast in Normandy – Une Gâche
When in Normandy, it’s gâche for breakfast. I’d never heard of this bread before, but it’s a favorite in this house. It looks just like a brioche, but Romain’s grandmother says it’s healthier. Here’s why – a brioche is made with pure butter while ‘une gâche’ is a mix of butter and crème fraîche, both specialties from Normandy. I think Romain’s grandmother and I have different definitions of healthy. However, we’ve been toasting slices of the gâche and eating them plain, topping them with butter, or adding a little Nutella.
A French Pharmacy Lifesaver
Having the heat on in the house does a number on my lips, so I’ve been leaning heavily on my Homéoplasmine. This product is seriously a miracle worker for dry or irritated skin. I put it on my lips every night and during the day as needed. I also have a bad habit of picking at any spots I get on my face, but Homéoplasmine helps heal those as well. It’s also perfect for the plane, and I keep a small tube in my pouch of travel essentials so I’m never without it! Luckily French pharmacies are still open so I can stock up.
Sharing Culinary Traditions ‘À Table’
As another part of my intergenerational French language and lifestyle immersion, we have every lunch and dinner together ‘à table.’ With all of these meals together and likely many more to come before the confinement period ends, I’ve had a chance to share a few of my favorite recipes. So far the biggest hits for the entire group have been quesadillas on homemade tortillas and ribs.
Color me shocked, but I guess both of these things are “exotic” and different for French people. While everyone ate the quesadillas with forks and knives, they ate the ribs with their hands and even dipped their baguettes into BBQ sauce at the end of the meal. I’m thinking a burger night is in our future.
A Proust Novella
With more time staying at home, I keep adding to my French reading list. In my search for all different kinds of books about Paris and France, Marcel Proust’s Swann in Love stood out. The novella can be read with the first volume of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time or by-itself. The book is set in late 19th century Parisian high society and is a story of desire, love, and jealousy. Sounds like the perfect read to me!
Shopping for Clothes at the Grocery Store
I don’t know what was going through my mind when I was packing for Normandy, but it definitely wasn’t that there was a possibility that I could be here for six plus weeks. I honestly packed for a weekend trip. After arriving, I promptly ripped holes into three of the four outfits I packed. With all non-essential stores closed, to the grocery store I went looking for a few things to wear.
I found two 20€ dresses at E. Leclerc, a huge French supermarket chain. The location we went to is somewhere between a regular grocery store and a Wal-Mart. Any port in a storm. I received compliments on both of my dresses – true finds from France, and on a budget.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Five Friday Finds from France, have a great weekend, and ‘restez chez vous’!
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