Friday, June 29, 2012

You can drink your wine and eat it too

I've had quite a busy week (for an unemployed bum. And I apologise to anyone seething with rage at posts filled with fun and frivolous purchases. I assure you I spend most of the time weeping and self-flagellating, but I save that sort of thing for my BDSM blog).

We had a picnic in the park on Sunday to celebrate someone getting her PhD approved, which was very nice. It wasn't sunny, but at least it didn't start raining until that evening (and then all day Monday). Then I went home and watched delayed coverage of the Grand Prix, which, contrary to all expectations, was actually very exciting (although I'm still a bit upset over what happened to Hamilton).

Since then, I've been running around going to the gym and working on my CV and other such scintillating stuff. I walked all the way to the Pôle Emploi the other day because I thought "right, I'm going to go there and work on writing cover letters in French without distractions and see if someone can help me with the French" only to find that there is only one computer there with a chair, all the rest you have to stand up at, and all you can do on them is look up job notices on the Pôle Emploi's own website. And when I asked if I could get help writing in French, they gave me a pamphlet designed for French people who can't read and write well (and I don't mean to sound snarky, but examples of people applying for factory jobs in very simple French are not much good to me) and enrolled me in a general workshop in like a fortnight. And told me that the job I wanted to apply for was only open to disabled applicants (which, of course, is a noble initiative, but it's just discouraging every time you come across something else that you don't understand about how the system works here). I know that sounds very whiny, and I know no-one forced me to move to a non-English-speaking country, but it helps everyone if you help us dirty immigants to speak better French and get jobs. And blogging about it helps to vent some of those frustrations.

Wednesday was hot hot hot, with actual sunshine. I went to a garden party, if you can call 20 or so people having drinks and nibbles in a garden a "garden party" (the Queen wasn't there, let's put it that way), which was nice. I spilled red wine on my new dress and had to wash it with detergent in the kitchen sink, but along with washing it properly when I got home, that did the trick, yay. (I'm a big believer in acting immediately, no matter what stain-busting equipment you have at hand, to get rid of stains.) In a brave move, since there will often be sudden thunderstorms in the evening after a hot day here, they set up a TV in the garden so I was able to happily ignore the football until it got to the penalty shootout after an undoubtedly exciting 2 hours of play without a goal.

On Thursday night it was my turn to have Liz and Charlie around for dinner. We have a sort of 'supper club' where we meet up at irregular intervals at each other's houses for dinner. It's a bit tricky because there's a ton of stuff Charlie won't eat, starting with onions and garlic!! This time, I made spinach, feta and chicken pasties and for dessert, the pièce de resistance:

That's no ordinary glass of wine, that's rosé jelly (jello to our American friends)! Basically, you simmer rosé with sugar, add gelatine and pour it into a glass with berries in it and voilà, hours later you have yourself a wobbly paen to the noble art of finding new ways to consume wine.

Cheers!

I didn't want to give the game away, because I think half the fun is bringing out a glass of "wine" and then the big reveal that it's jelly, but I ran the idea of a jelly-based dessert past Liz, who begged me not to do it, because as Canedolia mentioned recently, the French for some reason think the English can't get enough of eating jelly. And, indeed, Charlie found it hilarious to the point of making a video of it wobbling. But I thought a rosé dessert was too cool not to do! So, how did it taste? I did a little test pot of it and thought it was just okay when I ate some on Thursday morning, but maybe my palate just wasn't ready for wine first thing in the morning, because I actually thought it was very nice when we had it in the evening. Just the right amount of sugar and a nice flavour. The frozen berries were a bit seedy, but oh well.

After dinner, Liz went home and Charlie and I met up with Marion and went to a bar and then a club. Tomorrow is Marion's last day in Tours, boohooooo! Now I will (probably) be back to being the only Kiwi in the village. She doesn't yet know where she'll be living, her boyfriend is looking for an internship and in the meantime she'll be going between London and his family's place in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. They're leaving some stuff in storage here, so I'll probably see her again, but it's still sad to have a friend leave.

We ended up partying with some cute French and Belgian pilots


I also bought these super-cute fold-up ballet pumps from Redfoot shoes in the UK, after Liz sent me a coupon code for their half-price summer sale (which may be still on, let me know if anyone wants the code, because they are really quite expensive). I haven't worn them yet, but it does seem you get what you pay for - the uppers are real, soft leather, and they have a gel sole, so they seem like they'd be much more comfortable for walking than the cheap pair I bought at H&M, which had basically no sole, so it was like walking on the pavement in your socks or something (plus they were too big and fell off all the time, so I gave them to Liz).

In case anyone doesn't know, the idea is you wear them out of an evening and then switch to your high heels when you get wherever you're going, and they fold up as shown and go in a little pouch in your handbag. I look forward to actually wearing heels some time, because with having to walk everywhere and the cobblestones and so on, I never do any more!

16 comments:

  1. Brilliant jelly! And send me link to shoe sale ! Jess x

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  2. Oops I wasn't meant to publish this yet, unless it's not obvious, Thursday night hasn't yet happened!

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  3. I'm confused. This post was there and then it wasn't and now it is again. No matter, I'm just relieved that it wasn't me imagining things!

    So many great ideas - jelly wine with berries and foldable shoes. I'm going to forward the link to my daughter and one of her friends because I think that they will be interested in both.

    Oh, and what's the address for your BDSM blog? I didn't know that you had one! ;)

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    1. Yes, I accidentally published it too early - I took the jelly photos on Wednesday (observant viewers may notice I change outfits mid-blog) but we didn't actually eat them until Thursday so I got caught out doing a bit of advance prep on the blog!

      Cool, there are lots of recipes online, I played around combining a couple of different ones since there are different ways of incorporating the gelatine or how much sugar to add etc. In the end, I simmered about 500 ml of rosé for 10 mins or so with 100g of fine sugar (adjust for taste) while soaking 2 leaves of gelatine in cold water, took the gelatine out of the water and straight into the hot wine, stirred for a few more minutes and poured into the glasses with the frozen berries already inside (first I used a ladle to transfer the wine to a measuring cup for easy pouring), then left them overnight.

      Ha ha that would be telling!

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  4. I like how the marketing people came up with 'leaves' of gelatine, instead of calling them 'hoof slivers' ;-)
    I would still try your jelly though! Did your guests enjoy it??

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    1. Heh, yeah stroke of genius there! I hope so, they didn't spit it out at least!

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  5. I like how your glass of jelly matches your dress! What a sultry photo of you! Unemployment suits you well. ; )

    So how does it taste? Is it like a jell-o shot? Do those even exist outside of cheesy Long Island bars? And is it soft enough to drink or do you need a spoon? omg, so many questions! Sorry!!

    Have a nice weekend, Missy!

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    1. Thanks!! I know, very matchy matchy with my nails as well. Of course, being in the apartment by myself meant I could take a dozen photos of myself with jelly until I was happy with it. I actually ran late for the thing on Wed because I was busy taking jelly photos ha ha.

      Much better than a jelly shot! I've never had a good one of those, they're normally rubbery and nasty in my experience. I don't know if it had a distinctive rosé flavour or if it just tasted like berries and jelly, I have some left over so I'll have to have another test (with a spoon).

      Bon weekend to you too!

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  6. I am totally going to try this. But shhh, don't tell anyone French!

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    1. Your secret's safe with me!

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  7. I'm going to save this recipe for when my French in-laws come to visit. The more I cook, the shorter their visits get. Maybe this will whittle it down to one night.

    Love the shoes. I miss wearing high heels too.

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    1. No, they will stay longer cos the jelly is awesome!

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    2. Please can you make me some? Mx

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    3. Next time we're both in the same room with jelly-making accoutrements, I promise x

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    1. It took me a minute to get what you meant. SUMMERSALE (I think it might even be written somewhere on the website)

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