Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Settling In

Photo taken as I composed this post, awkward framing to include both the view over Paris and draft post.

We are FINALLY in our apartment, and I can breathe easily again. What a long journey it was. Looking out my window from my desk here I see the rooftops of Paris and I think that with another week or two of sleep I'll start to think that all of this was worth it.

Eric has been a trouper through the whole ordeal. Yesterday he officially started really crawling, coordinated, on all fours. Perhaps he's been wanting to do that for a while and we were just moving too much for him to practice? Or perhaps he somehow knew that now he gets to finally be a baby? Either way he's everywhere now, exploring the world of this apartment. I am so happy knowing that he can, and safely.

It is a little thing, but now we have a washing machine in the apartment I can finally really use my stash of gDiapers. We brought ours over from the States, but the same idea is available in France as Hamac (but like everything, more expensive). I particularly like that we mostly just wash the cloth insert, not the entire cloth diaper. They dry, with the rest of our laundry, on the towel racks in the bathroom and kitchen. I feel so much more ecological not hauling home disposable diapers so often. Eric is off with Daddy to tour Champagne houses with Daddy and Daddy's friends today, so he's wearing disposables. We are not crazy! But while Eric's feet are getting bigger, his footprint just got a bit smaller.

On the other side, we're still trying to get a bank account. Daddy's got direct deposit from his work going there, and they have his first paycheck, so we can't just give up in frustration and walk away. Basically they keep demanding new paperwork and then waiting weeks to declare it isn't good enough. Daddy says he can see that they physically possess our Carte Bleue cards, but will not turn them over until he produces a power bill with our names on it. While frustrations with that tempted us to do something with Photoshop, in the end we were able to get a bill and he went to finally get our cards and access to the money, but guess what? January 9th is a bank holiday. We tried to work out what they were celebrating, Google tells me that "The Tokyo Stock Exchange is shut on Monday for the Coming of Age Day public holiday" or it is possible they are celebrating with the Philippines "The Feast of the Black Nazarene"? Oh well, we'll try again tomorrow.

A much more minor note but one I want to remember - why does French laundry detergent have so much fragrance? I've tried three varieties now (none that I've bought myself) and all are very heavily perfumed. I need to find some fragrance-free detergent somewhere.

To celebrate finally settling in, last night we had a goat cheese, pine nut, and fresh basil tourte, and crepes with homemade plum jam (a Christmas gift from our UK trip, thanks Avril!) and coconut yogurt. It was a celebration indeed. The recipe for the tourte is in French, and is from before I started keeping track of where I got them so I can't give it proper attribution (Elle À Table?). But here it is:

Tourte au chevrotin, au basilic, et aux pignons
4 pers.
Préparation: 20 minutes
Cuisson: 40 minutes

2 ouefs + 3 jaunes
10cl de lait entier
10cl de crème fraîche fluide
350g de chevrotin à 45% de MG
80g de pignons
12 feuilles de basilic (though I add more and have yet to find an upper limit)
Noix de muscade moulue (ideally fresh grated)
350g de pâte brisée
20g de beurre (forgot this last night, no problem)
Sel, poivre

Accord: Côtes-de-Provence rosé, servi de 8 à 10°C. (we had a nice white, it was good too)

Battre au fouet 2 oeufs et 2 jaunes avec le lait et la crème fraîche. Ajouter le fromage émietté, les pignons, et les feuilles de basilic finement ciselées.
Assaisonner de sel, de poivre, et de muscade.
Beurrer un moule à tourte. Étendre les deux tiers de la pâte et la disposer au fond du moule. Y verser la préparation au chevrotin et couvrir avec la reste de pâte. Dorer avec le jaune d'oeuf.
Entailler une petite ouverture au centre de la tourte puis enfourner à 180°C (th6) pour 40 minutes de cuisson.

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