Feeling like snails tonight


My husband, M., and I have the luck to have a couple of really great neighbors. Every summer we watch a reality show about French famers finding love (L’amour est dans le pré) and have a great time laughing about all the particularities of French agricultural life. Tonight, we’re going over to the other side of the landing (palier) to have escargot.

Ready-to-eat escargot can be found in the frozen foods section of just about any supermarket. For the more adventurous, cans of escargot and their shells can be bought and prepared separately. For the Marthas among us, starving and salting your own snails is possible, but very oozy. Yum…

With enough butter and garlic, I find that these little mollusks are pretty tasty. They’re one of those foods that taste descent frozen and then baked, so I wouldn’t bother going to much more trouble than that if you’re curious about having these little invertebrates as a snack.  Cassoulet is another French food that’s good from a can for those looking to have lunch on the cheap, but I’ll get to that in another post.

Here’s my recipe for having an escargot night chez vous:

1. Go to Casino/Carrefour/Auchan/other supermarket (these are all French stores) and buy some frozen escargots garnished with butter, garlic and parsley. Buy some beer or hard cider plus Tyrell’s chips (the British make the best chips) while you’re at it. Maybe pick up a salad if you’re worried about being healthy. I’m lazy, so I buy the discount jug of grated carrots in salad dressing at Casino.

2. Put escargots in the oven. Open beer. Pour chips into serving dish (optional).

3. Call neighbors and put on Danse avec les stars. You’re ready to have a great night.

Having a good time in France doesn’t have to mean going to an art exposition or visiting a Michelin rated restaurant every night. You can have a good time at home with a bucket full of snails and some beers. Gastronomic restaurants and cultural events are a part of life here, but a lot of French people are much more down to earth than the stereotypes let on.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go see the movie that won a palme d’or at Cannes this year (La Vie d’Adèle or Blue is the Warmest Color in English). Le bleu est une couleur chaude is the BD that inspired the film and the English title. A few of my co-workers said that the film was pretty good, but thought the sex scenes were a little over the top. Apparently, there were also some questions about the director pushing the actresses way too far.

I’ll let you know if I go to see it. Right now my motivation to go out tomorrow is moyenne (meaning not so much) as they say here.

Bonne soirée et à bientôt.


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