Monday, August 20, 2012

this is how I do it

It was a hot one this weekend, and not only in The LPV, all over France it was steaming. Even where Gregory's mother lives outside Clermont-Ferrand got hot, like 30+°C (90+°F) hot which practically never ever happens up there in her cool Thermal town. And here, it reached 35°C, which without AC is pretty unbearable. Besides sitting around in my old barn house misting myself with Evian Spray, this is what I got up to...

We popped over to Papa's house for dinner on Friday, I was trying to avoid turning on the stove and so was Papa's Wife, which meant a dinner of salads, jambon cru, and saucisson sec. Want to know the great thing about light dinners like that? They go perfectly with Rosé. But the thing is, it's so hot that it's really hard to keep your glass chilled, even with an ice cube or two plonked in it, but Papa has found a way, he has started drinking his out of the insulated Texas Longhorn tumbler I brought him back from Texas last year. That's right, he is drinking his wine out of a tumbler. Homeboy is not messing around.


Dinner was topped off with Häagen-Dazs créme brulée ice cream which is much more practical during a heatwave than real créme brulée and it's oh so delicious.

Since I still didn't feel like cooking on Saturday night, Gregory and I decided that we'd go out for dinner... alone (it's a rare treat to be sans Gatz, sans Honey Jr, sans tout le monde). And then we decided to make it special. Remember when I told you that I won €100 from 52 Martinis for a night out? Well we decided to make Saturday night our night out and return to Auberge Pierry; the restaurant that Gregory took me three years ago, on the last night of my holiday here when I stilled lived in Dublin. I've always wanted to go back, but for one reason or another, we just haven't, but I've spent lots of time dreaming about eating that creamy garlic escargot in puff pastry under the fairy light lit trees again.

All smiles and joyful anticipation, we headed back to the restaurant of happy memories... except it had changed (of course it had), the fairy lights were no more, the pebbled ground had been replaced by a wooden deck, and I'm pretty sure that the chef had been replaced too... no creamy garlic escargot in puff pastry for Sara Louise.

But, two good things did come out of our disappointment. 1) we realized that we were simply happy to be out on a date alone together without the entourage even if the food was a bit blah and 2) because it was oh so blah, there is no way I'm counting it as my 52 Martinis night, so we'll just have to go out again. Bonus.

Clearly in the mist of some sort of psychotic break, I woke up Sunday morning deciding that I should bake something while France was in the middle of a heatwave and living in a house with no AC. Papa had given me a basket full of mirabelle plums that were just dying to be turned into a clafoutis aux mirabelles, so I obliged. 

(When looking at the 'after' picture above, please keep two things in mind; 1) it was my very first clafoutis, and even though Gregory asked me, "is it finished cooking?" after his first bite, it was delicious, and 2) I am a terrible photographer.)

Since I baked something in a heatwave, I thought I deserved a little treat, and that treat was Fifty Shades of Grey. I read it all day yesterday and finished it. There is so much to say about this book - let's discuss... it's utter crap, but totally addicting like McDonald's and I've already downloaded Fifty Shades Darker, but I swear if I have to read the words, 'inner goddess' one more time, I'm going to punish Anastasia myself. Also, Christian Grey reminds me so much of an ex-boyfriend (minus the Red Room of Pain... please get your head out of the gutter), it's disturbing.

And since I finished the addictive trash that is Fifty Shades of Grey, and had quite enough of Anastasia's inner goddess for the day, we watched The Intouchables.

And I think you should too.

You may thank me later. 



  1. Lordy, hasn't it been hot? And that's without any shades of grey, let alone 50 of the little buggars.
    Thanks for the tip on the movie - I hadn't seen that clip and now I'll have to go watch it. Better bring the hankies, methinks.

  2. Okay, first of all, what a lovely photo of you two! You look positively radiant girlie. Second, I would kill for a basket of those plums! Thirdly, 50 you may remember I kind of do a bit of erotica myself, so someone sent me a few pages from that book, would have thrown it out the window if I had the actual book in my hand. The writing is simply dreadful, so over the top is made me laugh rather than turn me on and my biggest issue, when are they going to write a book about female sexual empowerment that doesn't involve victimization and a woman that is "damaged" in some way or the other? Drives me crazy. That tiny rant aside, I am glad that so many women are reading it and getting more comfortable with the genre...opens the door for others and that is all good.

    We are roasting here too and I for one have had quite enough. Been swampy in SoCal for over a week now and it has me 50 shades of cranky.

  3. Yes, definitely hot! We lived either in the pool or in a lake this weekend! We hit 41 here on Friday! Just to be wet and a bit cool. Nice photo - and yum - mirabelle plums are delicious! Have a good week!

  4. Oh my gosh, could you two look any happier? What a sweet photo!

    And I think that 50 shades is perfect reading for this weather (not that I have or will but I'm just sayin') because really, anything more difficult and you will be like me, reading the same paragraph over and over and over...

    Have a great week!

  5. I really enjoyed "Les Intouchables," what a great movie :) Are you now able to watch a French movie without subtitles and understand everything? I am asking because I have been married to my French husband for over 10 years, and even though he speaks two words of French, I keep hoping that some day, somehow, he, too, will be able to watch French movies with me, after we move back to France to retire...L'espoir fait vivre :)

    1. I watched it with the French subtitles which help me quite a bit, but I'm super proud of myself because I only had to ask my husband about three times what was happening. I'm getting there!

  6. It never looks that great when I bake! :)
    And I love the fact that your papa drinks wine out of a tumbler! :)

  7. Le clafoutis looks yummy! Where I was last week I had to beg the Man to turn the AC on.... And he SET it to 30• C. And that was a huge relief!

  8. That is a very cute picture of the two of you. You look most happy! I would love to have a piece of your clafoutis, it looks mighty tasty! Have a great week! Try to stay cool.

  9. before i say anything else, you and gregory make an adorable couple ~ and your clafouti has turned out fantastic from the looks of this photo!

    (and btw congrats on the prize! i wonder how many martinis 100 euros will buy these days??)

  10. Great photo.. darling couple :)

    Looks delicious!

  11. So I was reading Cosmo last week at the nail salon (i know..) and there was a feature about couple inspiration, and what couples inspire your relationships.

    After thinking about some of the most famous couples or in my nerdy case Melinda and Jim on Ghost Whisperer, I decided to pick you and Gregory as my one of my inspirations! You guys are so much fun! I truly love reading about your life together. : )

    Glad you enjoyed your weekend!

  12. You guys are so cute! I love his huge smile like he's so excited to be out on the town with his woman. :) Love love love! I am also very glad to know that you thought the writing was utter crap, because it might have changed my opinion of you if you had thought otherwise ;) j/k

  13. The clafoutis looks delish.
    I put icy cold lemon water in the insulated Texas cup you gave me last year but I think I've had it All Wrong!
    We watched The Muppets.
    A x

  14. Insulated tumbler, genius! And you should never ignore fruit that's trying to talk you into dessert ;o)

  15. Papa and I are similar in that we both drink wine out of tumblers.

  16. Those plums look absolutely delicious! And love the tumblers :)

  17. Ummm you guys need to stop being so freakin' cute.

    And I'm glad you got a little date without the posse.

    And... That cup? Not cool, Sara - not. cool.

  18. I did! I mean, I did indeed watch the's still playing here in Ann Arbor. It was fabu. Got a major audience applause at the end. I LOVED it!

  19. I felt the exact same after 50 shades.

    Also thank you, I think I have found a film that I am actually going to enjoy!


  20. i have no idea what the conversion from c to f is but it's funny how you learn main temptures like 20 ( beach day!) and 30 (too freaking hot!)

  21. I love the fact that he was drinking out of a Texas Longhorn cup. Why? Because that means there is one less thing in America with that crappy logo on it.

    Whoo Pig Sooie!

  22. The heat wave has been crazy. I think it was cooler in Spain than in CF! I think your dessert looks great, much better than I could have done.

  23. Um, LOVE the longhorn tumbler and Papa drinking wine out of it!! And your clafoutis looks fabulous and I bet it tasted amazing too. xx

  24. How dare you diss McDonald's!!!

    No, I'm kidding. I'm going to read it too, I'm just waiting to get a copy from my friend. Then I'm going to hate on it so hard :)

  25. I have often thought about making clafoutis - yours looks delicious. Well, we certainly don't need an Evian spray mist here - so many showers this week! I'm envious of your heatwave!!

  26. The last clafoutis I had was made by a genuine French woman and, get this, she didn't take the stones out of the plums! WTF? So not only was it incredibly awkward to eat, it was also bitter and I had to sit there eating it, trying not to break my teeth, and spitting stones into a napkin not to be rude. So even without tasting I can tell yours is better!

    PS I was sent over from the lovely Ella's latest post, I have dropped by from time to time before, but I will have to start following more regularly!

  27. I used to do graphic design for that tumbler company! I am serious. Just last summer. Long, horrendous story. I lived.

    I can barely look at the two of you because you're both so lovely!

  28. As to the actual plot, I am reserving judgement, but I am sick of "inner goddness", "it's frickin' HOT", smouldering, glimmering, gleaming, shining, clouded, hooded GREY EYES (give me a break), and all the rest. At least it is better than twilight. "Oh Edward!" gasped Bella. "How will I ever manage to live without you?!" "Bella, I'm no good for you. I should go far, far away." (See, I could be a multi-gazillionaire too).


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