18 September 2010

the update

bamboolet me unofficially end the summer of suspense.

i am unofficially going back to france.

and the reason why i am saying unofficially is because i get to play with french bureaucracy and i don’t want to jinx myself.

so while i have an email confirming my acceptance of a renewing as well as emails from my contact, i’m saying it’s unofficial until i have a visa in my left hand and a plane ticket in my right hand.

and to get that visa, i’m waiting on my arrete. so, now i am just waiting on paperwork. which is a lot less stressful.

i’m not sure if words can capture how happy i am. or how many exclamation marks does it take to match my excitement?

and there is also a part two.

because i was so unsure about being renewed, i decided to not mettre tous mes oeufs dans le meme panier – put all my eggs in the same basket.

one of my backups? the peace corps.

i submitted my application in july.

and today, i’ve been nominated.

i originally thought i’d be teaching english, which is one of the major sectors (aside from health and technology)

and i am more than happy to teach english. i love languages, i love talking, i love accents, i just love it all.

but.

i was nominated for a unique skills position.

of working with artists in northern africa.

!

!

!

that is a dream. it’s combining my love of french and art. and i’ll find a way to sneak the pastries in.

i am aware that between now and my estimated departure date in september 2011, things can change and fall through. perhaps the position will be cancelled and i’ll end up teaching english. perhaps there will be a bump in my medical clearance and i’ll miss the departure date. who knows, but a hazy cloud is better than no cloud at all.

i just hope by writing all this, i haven’t jinxed myself.

so while things continue to go on in the background, we’ll start a trip to louisiana.

16 September 2010

les macawrongs

i am back. there is news. but let me first get these macawrongs from two weeks ago out of the way. what are macawrongs, you ask? simply, macarons that go wrong.

i finally decided to visit some the books i bought while in france, and decided to try the macarons from amiens.

macaron is basically any cookie that is meringue based. while the hamburger shaped ones from paris are the most famous, there are tons and tons of variations scattered throughout france that don’t resemble their parisian relative. one case is the one from amiens, which is a hockey puck shaped sticky goody.

mac01a simple recipe, from les <<ficelles>> de la cuisine picardie by michel françois.

ingredients:

150g powdered almonds

250g sugar

50g honey

3-4 drops vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1 tbs apricot or apple jam

Begin by mixing the almonds, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Add the egg whites. Add the jam, and let the mixture rest about 6 hours in the refrigerator.

mac02 roll out the dough to a 5cm diameter log, then slice them about 2cm thick.

as you can see i didn’t do that, because i just rolled them by hand.

mac03after that, you bake them in a 180C/350F oven.

and to my sadness, my macarons deflated. they became cookie shaped instead of macaron d’amiens shaped.

perhaps i should have chilled the dough. or maybe i really should have rolled out a log and sliced. or maybe i did something wrong with those egg whites. i really won’t know the exact reason until i try again.

mac06but, regardless of shape, i did do the last step correctly: wrap them in foil. i’m not sure if the foil is tradition or if there is a reason why they conserve better in foil… but in any case, this step is hard to mess up!

01 September 2010

on the road again…

colorsabout to disappear again.

this time, to visit a neighbor.

louisiana.

the only thing sure is that i’m going to eat a po-boy. as for what else, we’ll see when i get back!