I'm halfway through my language immersion program in Sancerre. It's been a great week! I got here on Saturday. My grand-parents drove me down from Paris. We had dinner together and then they dropped me off at my lovely apartment. I've been dying to live on my own for so long, and I've never really had the chance. This is as close as I've ever gotten, and I love it. I have my own little studio with a full kitchen and bathroom and desk and coat rack. I have a stocked fridge and I got toilet paper when I needed it, and sometimes I do the dishes right away and sometimes I let them stack up and it's all good and fine!
Cœur de France
Sunday I mostly just relaxed and settled in. Walked around a little and took some amazing photos. All of the doors and windows and walls here are a little old and falling apart and mossy and they're just stunning.
I'm obsessed. I made a new instagram that focuses more on photography and little details: @les_petits_trucs
Class was good! I was a little ahead of my two fellow classmates, but I supplemented myself. I read an Archie comic with my trusty French-American dictionary in hand. We had four hours of class every day and an optional outing. Monday, we went to a chevre fromagerie in Chavignol. We had a tasting and learned about the process of making goat cheese and the different types. Delicious and interesting. Tuesday was a degustation du vin at the school director's friend's winery. I felt very classy and French.
Rouge, Rosé, Blanc
Beaucoup de Rosé.
Les anciens vins. There was a bottle in there from the 1930s.
Wednesday, we had a cooking class/soirée française. We studied the recipes in morning class and then made the food, speaking/reading only in French. We made une Salade de Crottin Chavignol Chaud, une Tarte aux Oignons, and un Cake à l'Orange. It was SO DELICIOUS. Une Salade de Crottin Chavignol Chaud is just a basic salad (ours was Battavia lettuce with vinaigrette and cherry tomatoes) with Crottin de Chavignol Chaud, which is baked goat cheese on baguette. YUM. We made la pâte (the dough) for the tart ourselves and the onions were kind of sweet and warm and scrumptious. I don't even like onions. We each had a thing to work on and I was in charge of the cake. Apparently the difference between un cake and un gâteau is the shape. Cakes are rectangular and gâteaux are round. I put the zest and juice of an entire orange into the batter and it was like moist pound cake.
Thursday we went to the outdoor market in the next town (and had afternoon class). It was lovely and I bought a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables. It's so hard to eat healthy here. Speaking of health, I had a Nutella crêpe at the market, haha. That night, my classmates and I went to the fancy Michelin restaurant here. It was 5+ courses of scrumpdiddlyumptious.
Top(L-R): Beautiful plates, aperitif with soy sesame crackers and I forget what else, some warm frothy, spinach soupy thing with mussels. Mid(L-R): Rissotto with apples and celery and parmesan and potatoes, chevre Chavignol ravioli in a soy-saucey broth, some sort of VERY soft and tender and DELISH beef with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Bottom(L-R): Cheese course--they brought a huge cart out to choose what we wanted--the highlight was the soupy Mont d'Or, dessert with paper-thin chocolate and vanilla wafers and some sort of fruit jam and chocolate mousse, coconut meringues with lychee sorbet and grapefruit slices and GOLD LEAF. The whole thing was such a treat.
There was nothing planned for Friday, so I began my weekend decompression right after class on Friday. I basically stayed in pajamas all weekend and caught up on Parenthood. I did go out for a walk or two, but it was nice to relax.
Back to studying! À bientôt!