So we had a quiz in Spanish class tonight. I didn’t have time to study for it. That’s my shoddy excuse for the train wreck above. No soy la estrella estudiante del clase. Obviamente.
Monthly Archives: March 2015
my favorite items from the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list
When I fell down the rabbit hole of the UNESCO cultural heritage list last week, these were my favorite gems. Make sure to check out the slideshows and videos!
Polyphonic singing of the Aka Pygmies of Central Africa
Isukuti celebratory dance of Western Kenya
Czech dances (from the land of my father)
Humanity is incredible.
[Photo: Santi Terraza]
starting the weekend with a grumble
Today was Macaron Day 2015, apparently a grand Parisian tradition brought stateside by an NYC-based French chef. I would have written this post earlier to encourage you all to go out and get yourself your right and due of a free macaroon. But… I stopped by the Macaron Cafe for mine around 2:45pm and they told me they were “sold out” of all their free macaroons. Which is 1. an oxymoron and 2. annoying when all you see in front of you is a sea of macaroons every color of the rainbow. Even though I really, really wanted one, I refused to fall for what now seemed like a cheap marketing ploy aimed at suckers, walked out in a huff, and have been regretting my stubbornness ever since. I was counting on a macaroon today. (I actually sighed while writing that.)
Instead I am going into the weekend with my still-lingering cold and a plan to play bingo with old people in Park Slope (and friends my own age!). Before I head out the door for that Friday night delight, which I know you will never believe is more joyous than even the most delicious macaroon, but which I assure you nevertheless it is indeed, I leave you with some weekend reads from around the Web:
He spoke only French. She spoke only English. Google to the rescue. (An adorable love story.)
That $15 transatlantic fare was indeed too good to be true.
Is France ready to stop being so uptight about protecting the language?
Museums get multicultural and multilingual
Ten ways learning French would be much easier
Eight European towns to put on your wanderlust wish-list
Speaking of delightful French gastronomy… while I was in France in January my after-dinner drink was always verveine, which I had never heard of before but which seems quite popular there as a non-alcoholic digestif. I had no idea what I was drinking until I got back to New York. Continue reading
(get over the) hump day inspiration: questionable attribution edition
I feel bad about crediting this quote to JP Morgan when it may in fact have been Thomas Carlyle or someone else entirely who said it. The Internet is undecided on that score, which is ironic considering that the nature of the quote is about seeing clearly.
why learn French
Because French meals are on the UNESCO Heritage list. I didn’t even know food could be on the list! But think about it – aren’t crepes as valuable to humanity as the pyramids?
talk pancakes to me
This has absolutely nothing to do with language learning or wanderlust but I’m just too proud of my culinary masterworks to keep them a secret. Look at these beauties! I made these.
Here is the recipe, if you’d like to try it. (I altered it slightly, using 1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour and 3/4 cup buckwheat flour.) These pancakes turned out 100 times tastier than my ill-fated galettes experiment. I would venture so far as to say that even a wheat-eater would find them delicious.
The syrup comes care of my brother-in-law and is so easy to make that I wouldn’t even call it a recipe: in a saucepan, warm equal parts maple syrup and berries until they meld together into a compote.
Bonus: your pancakes will be Talk Foreign to Me approved if you daydream about your next travel adventure while eating them.
I had so many fun plans for this weekend, starting with dinner tonight at a Serbian restaurant, my first Balkan meal ever. But about an hour ago I felt the first stirrings of sickness in my increasingly sore throat and since then it’s spread throughout my entire body – a general malaise that can only mean a cold is on its way. Must. Fight. Back. Must eat delicious meats with unpronounceable names.
Hope you all have a healthier weekend than mine unfortunately promises to be, and that you don’t need to entertain yourselves while convalescing with these interesting reads I’ve gathered from all corners of the Internet:
An English-speaker spends a year without speaking English.
Travel deals from around the globe.
And in the same vein… the U.S. dollar is now worth almost as much as the euro, which is at a 12-year low. Best places to travel while the dollar is strong.
But if you can’t afford to go abroad… on March 19, Americans can sample a (slightly less expensive than normal) taste of France.
Can you guess which of these blurbs was written by a computer? (The most foreign of foreign speakers is a bot, no?)
An argument for traveling in your 20’s (that I’ve applied to my 30’s).
The French ponder (in French) why Americans love brunch so much.
I don’t even know where to begin with this video. No wonder Air France is in trouble.
The French are not as cool with their version of Ashley Madison as you might think.
[Photo: Dennis Skley]
Don’t ask me why I have been drawn to packaged flan lately. I know – it’s just asking for trouble. Still, in a taste-off between two processed, mass produced versions of a dessert that was just not designed to sit for months in the refrigerated aisle, there is a clear winner. Goya’s flan was too sweet and had an overly burnt top layer, but it nevertheless retained the general taste and contours of flan. Kozy Shack’s flan, however, was indistinguishable from paste. It tasted like flavorless Kool-Aid and had the consistency of Jell-o.
Just in case you ever get a hankering for flan and, like me, are too lazy to make it yourself or to find a restaurant in which to purchase it…FYI Goya’s is the lesser of the two evils.