Tuesday - Thursday, 17-19 June
These were not the best days of my trip... The cold that I had begun to catch over the weekend became a real cold, complete with serious congestion and fatigue. So that was fun. Eric could see I was a little slow Tuesday and let me go an hour early, which was nice of him. That evening was dinner with my host family again, as usual for Tuesdays. Catherine was clearly excited for dinner - they got out a bottle of wine (the only other time they had done this was my birthday) and she told us we were having a "grand repas" - a big/significant meal. I asked her if there was a reason, and she said that it was because had gotten a magazine with a bunch of new recipes, and she tried a few new ones that evening. So we had salad, as usual, and then our main course was an omelette that was wrapped in some kind of flat bread and baked with peppers and two kinds of spinach and almonds and probably more ingredients, but I don't remember what. Very tasty. After the main course, we had a cheese course! Very French, the first time I have experienced it. We had bread and three kinds of chevres (goat cheeses) - one plain, one with fig, and one with mango. They were all good but the mango was my favorite. Goat cheese goes well with sweet flavors (hence the fruit) and I know Catherine explained why but it was in French and I was still in something of a slow stupor from my cold so I do not remember the reason. After the cheeses came dessert. Another new recipe - a flan aux abricots et aux framboises (essentially, a very custardy "cake" with apricots and raspberries) which was sweetened with honey and flavored also with thyme. It was a little unusual but very tasty all the same.
Wednesday evening I made a salad with Killian, which we ate with baguette (of course). He and I hadn't done dinner in over a week, which was a really long time for us! Dinner was delicious as always, and then we went to the champ de Mars and watched the sunset with a few friends from the program. Afterwards, a few people went to see a Gnarls Barkley concert for 17E. I heard it was amazing - small venue, and they arrived early enough that they were right up in front, very close to the music. It sounds like it would have been a lot of fun, but I'm sure getting more sleep, as I did, was best for me.
Thursday I visited the Marché de la Bastille at lunchtime, as it is open Thursdays and Sundays. That really is my favorite place in Paris. Everything is so good - and so cheap! I went back to my favorite vendor, who immediately gave me a piece of a peach to taste. I got strawberries, cherries, and nectarines, and after I paid the man put 4 apricots in my bag as well. This was a different man, but who worked with the same people. They are wonderful, I definitely intend to keep buying from them the rest of the time I am here. I also got some kind of wrap with onions, tomato, and meat from a lebanese/falafel vendor, which was good but not great. In the evening I had my class, and then afterwards I met up with my classmate Sara that I had visited the quartier with on Saturday to work on our presentation for Monday. She went to Belgium over the weekend with a few people from the trip so we needed to get it done that night. Luckily we were able to finish really quickly, and then for dinner I made crepes - because I had so much fruit and I didn't want it to go bad! Delicious, of course. I think I am really beginning to master the crepe.
In other news, I am continuing to visit new bakeries across the city as recommended by Jamie and others. I have heard of some people always getting a certain pastry and then comparing; if there is one thing I have gotten just about everywhere, it is the baguette aux céréales - whole grain baguette. I don't know if I can say one is absolutely the best, but Le levain du Marais is certainly up there!
Luckily by Thursday I was feeling mostly healthy again. Tuesday especially was bad, and then Wednesday wasn't great, but all in all not that bad of a cold - so there is that to be thankful for!
Sorry my weekday entries don't really have pictures... But when I get around to the next entry, I promise, there are going to be a ton.