Happy Friday and Memorial Day Weekend to those in the US! I feel like it’s my second Friday of the week because yesterday was a holiday in France. When there’s a mid-week holiday here, people like to faire le pont. It literally means to make a bridge, but in the context of a Tuesday or Thursday holiday it means to take an extra long weekend. For a holiday on a Thursday you also take Friday off and magically have a four day weekend. Not bad right? For this week’s Five Friday Finds from France there’s Martha Stewart’s Martha-ritas recipe that could come in handy for Memorial Day, some weekend reading on la bise and virtual French lessons, how to read French egg codes and more.
Martha-ritas: Martha Stewart’s Pomegranate Margarita
One of my favorite things to come out of the confinement are the recipe videos on IGTV, and who doesn’t love a cocktail recipe. Ina Garten kicked us off with her iconic cosmopolitan recipe (fun fact – she loves Café Varenne in Paris).
This week Martha Stewart joined in on the fun with her Martha-ritas Pomegranate Margarita recipe. It’s no secret that I love margaritas, and Martha’s recipe is pretty similar to mine. We both keep a saucer of salt handy at all times and both prefer Casa Dragones tequila, which I bring to Paris from Dallas. I like to use Cointreau instead of Triple Sec and don’t have a blender so I make mine on the rocks, but other than that the proportions are the same.
Martha has a great tip for salting only the outside of the rim, so I had to give it a try last night. I used one of my favorite Baccarat glasses from 1937 that I bought at an antique market a couple of years ago and have officially decided that margaritas taste better in crystal. But what doesn’t taste better in crystal? Check out Martha’s video and give it a try!
I’ve found myself looking at Paris with different eyes since I’ve been back and so many details that I’ve never noticed seem to be popping out. After picking up an afternoon espresso from Café Kitsuné I wandered around the perimeter and took everything in: the shadows of the columns and lamps, the open windows, and the life coming from the apartments. The next time you’re in Paris, be sure to notice the carvings around each of the windows – they’re just spectacular.
French Egg Codes
Eggs and butter are two of my most frequent food purchases, and yet it wasn’t until this week that I noticed eggs in France have a code on them. I had an almost empty carton of regular eggs from the grocery store, a carton of organic eggs from the grocery store, and a carton of eggs that I bought at Marché Raspail directly from the producer.
If the first number is ‘0’ the eggs are organic, if the first number is ‘1’ the chickens are free-range, and if the first number is ‘2’ the chickens are in barn. ‘3’ means caged chickens – don’t buy these eggs! Next, you’ll see ‘FR’ if you have French eggs, otherwise it’ll be another country code. There are then three letters which are the code for a specific producer, followed by the location of the egg production facilities (this can be their department number). DCR means Date de Consommation Recommandée which is the expiration date.
For my eggs, you can see that the regular grocery store eggs are ‘2FRLEE01.’ This means that the chickens are in a barn, LEE is the producer code, and the facility is located in department 01, Ain. The organic eggs are ‘0FRFBF1’ and have a DCR stamp. The eggs I bought directly from the producer have a stamp that says ‘1FR1437,’ where 1437 is the farm number. Now I know way more about my eggs than I ever thought I would!
Will the French Say Au Revoir to La Bise?
My dad sent me this article about the fate of la bise, the French double kiss to say hello or goodbye, post-COVID-19. It’s a good read with some interesting perspectives on the customary greeting. It’s been interesting for me to watch French people try to navigate not being able to faire la bise. I think it’s especially funny when they call each other out for letting a bise slip.
I really just figured out how to properly execute la bise (you don’t actually kiss, you just touch cheeks and make the kissing noise), so it wouldn’t be a hard habit for me to break. A handshake for formal situations and a hug for informal situations works better for me anyways. Time will tell!
Virtual French Lessons
Last but not least for this week’s Five Friday Finds from France, I love this article about a woman preparing for her eventual return to Paris by taking virtual French lessons. It’s a wonderful ode to Paris.
It reminds me of my own trials and tribulations at French language school, and the descriptions of her fellow classmates make me smile. My French is still far from perfect, but I’ve learned to be easier on myself and keep trying no matter what. After my time in Normandy with Romain’s family I can confirm that the best way to master French is definitely through a full immersion, but my time at the French language school in Paris was a great start.
That concludes this week’s Five Friday Finds from France. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, maybe filled with Martha-ritas!