What’s on the menu this week? [NOT 15/5/23]

Hi, friends!

Anything fun happening in the food scene this week for you?

I am excited to tell you I have finished off the spinach (FINALLY!) and tonight I’m eating the last of the bok choy.

It’s full on salad season now! SALADS. ALL THE SALADS. Until either I finish off the lettuce in the garden or the stupid Missouri heat sends it bolting. I did get shade cloth on it last weekend, so hopefully that buys me some time.



  1. I’m craving a burger so I need to get some ground meat this week. I’ve got one container of tomato sauce left in the freezer so maybe some kind of pasta too.

    • You could make an “Italian” burger. These are (or were) a Greek diner staple. You make a cheeseburger using mozzarella cheese and then spoon on pasta sauce. They’re very messy but very delicious. I’ve used up pasta sauce that way.

  2. I don’t know about the rest of the week, but for dinner tonight I had pasta with shrimp, broccoli, and artichoke hearts. It was pretty tasty!

    Tomorrow is my analyst’s birthday so I was going to make her something, but my neighbor just showed up with a brand new ice cream pizza and 3/4 of a strawberry cake…so I’m gonna repurpose that! #communeliving

  3. I was just informed that I’m going to be re-enacting an episode of “Bewitched,” when Sam and Darren have the Tates over for dinner. A former co-worker of Better Half’s is now an “industry power player” and will be coming over for dinner.

    “OK, I guess. I can shave for the occasion. What should I make? Does she have any food restrictions, do you know?”

    “She wants to cook for us. Be on your best behavior. She’s kind of recruiting me for a job and I’m kind of hitting her up for a job, so you’re going to eat every bite and rave about it and don’t bring up Downton Abbey or The Crown or anything about the Royal Family. Follow her lead. Whatever she wants to talk about you’ll talk about.”

    “Do you think she’s interested in Hunter Biden’s laptop?”

    “She just got back from France and she had a really good time so maybe she’ll talk about that. She can’t speak French though so don’t pull that on her, and don’t talk about French politics. Especially don’t bring up what’s-his-name marrying his junior high school teacher, or whatever she was.”

    “I wonder if she got caught up in any of the riots. Maybe she was tear-gassed. I was tear-gassed in Paris once.”

    “I know. You’ve told me. Many times. Don’t bring that up. Just listen for once.”

    This should be interesting. To celebrate this news I put on this song:

      • Apparently she’s a big dog lover. She really wants to meet Faithful Hound. Even more than me, maybe. I might bring up the all the dog shit in Paris, a city deservedly well known for it, but I think she was in one of France’s many wine regions. Nous verrons.

      • Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was in Paris with Better Half and we got seated at a restaurant next to a French Canadian couple? I feel like I have, but maybe this was over on GroupThink.

        While we were waiting the French Canadians and we got chatting. They had been to Paris many times before. The waiter came over to us and in my halting and badly accented French (I might as well have been wearing an American flag baseball cap) ordered for us, and the waiter was great, and very patient. Then he turned to the French Canadian couple. They ordered fluently in French, and the waiter said, in English, “I’m sorry, I do not understand.”

        The French Canadians were rightfully offended, and I said, in my barely comprehensible French, “They speak French.” Or “They are speaking French.” I forget exactly what verb tense I used. And the waiter said to me, in French, “It is not a French that I can understand.”

        But he took their order and disappeared for a good long while, but there was table wine to keep us company, and I said to the wife, “What was up with that?” She laughed, and said, in English, “We try our best but if they hear even a hint of Québécois they disown us. You, the American, made a good effort, which not many Americans do.”

        Travel really does broaden the mind. BH and I were once in a restaurant in London and we got kind of the same treatment because of our American accents. I didn’t mind, but I said, at the conclusion of our meal, “So how long until we can get back to New York? This is ridiculous.” [This was overheard, as was my intention. Many Londoners have Big Apple Envy, it seems, even worse than my occasional bouts of London-centric “what if” feelings.]

        • I will also say, as a non-compensated spokesman for the Montréal Tourism Board/Tourisme Montréal, that I’ve never had this problem in Montréal. I’ve seen natives bristle when confronted by customers who speak English, but they never do it to me. I think they can sense when they’re dealing with fellow Canadians and when they are dealing with well-meaning Americans. I mean, I’m of recent Canadian descent on my mother’s side and I think I would be able to pass for a Canadian, but apparently not. I think it’s because Montréal is such a polyglot city that everyone’s supposed to speak a little English and French preferred, but it’s anything goes.

        • Parisenne Francais is quite different than Quebecois Francais. Quebecois Francais is an amalgam of whatever dialects of the formerly French colonists from the 1700s had with an amusing mix of modern American and Canadian English including idioms.

          Parisenne Francais is basically what is taught as French. Je parle Parisenne francais.

          I suspect your Quebecois neighbors assumed that Quebecois is easily understood. Like you, I had an easier time speaking Francais than my Quebecois coworkers did. I don’t have the linguistic baggage of speaking it all my life. Same reason I could never pass for anything but a Canadian even if I attempted a southern drawl.

          • The original colonists came from Brittany and Normandy (I have learned, through more than one visit to Montréal’s historical museums) and sometime around 1700 they developed their own Breton-inflected dialect. Breton itself  is its own language, so if you’re speaking an 18th-century version of it, mixed in with all the slang and the English influences, it’s easy to see how Québécois would be considered the equivalent of Klingon in an upscale Parisian bistro. But this couple was speaking beautiful High French, even I could understand that, but the waiter was…I don’t know what he was. Maybe gay and he took a shine to me, or BH, or both of us.

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