Last weekend I spoke to a group at the Alliance Française about eating in France. It was supposed to train people to use short phrases in France. This is an impossible task. No one but no one is going to remember the phrases nor will they be able to respond when the waiter pointedly asks back “Sqmmes iff jusi des ishee stuque?” But there was a woman for that part, I spoke about how to by-pass French. Stuff like: look at the restaurant’s website in advance, make a list of things you don’t like, look up the word in Google.translate, etc.
I made food for them. Not because the Alliance asked me to but because I like to make things as difficult as I can for myself. I made little empanadas. But because this was a French class I had to make up a name. Sablés sallés means savory cookies. It worked for me. I made Three kinds, smoked Gouda and walnuts, ham and bleu cheese, and chèvre and fig jam. They were awesome.
The woman who taught with me was Russian. Orthodox. She couldn’t have any. It’s still Lent for them. So for 40 days she cannot eat cheese, milk, butter, eggs, meat or salt. I imagine, though she did not mention wine, it too is on the no-go list. Shoot me.