Friday, December 3

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Happy December! It has definitely gotten cold here, and it snows close to everyday so I thought I would warm up with some tea and do a little update.

Santa's Mailbox
Crèche (Nativity Scene)
After America's real Thanksgiving, I had quite the 'holiday' weekend. Friday night the Marché de Noël started in front of the Parliament building. While some of the vendors have some 'different' things, most of it is knitted hats and gloves, or jewelry, or pottery - but most importantly, food. They have hot churros (basically like a thin Spanish doughnut that you dip in hot Nutella), gaufres (which are essentially Belgium waffles, but with Nutella, and you eat them for dessert), and all kids of candy and chocolate covered fruit (salivating yet?). So I walked around with some friends and admired the quaintness of it all.

Our beautiful, fresh, farm turkey

bon appétit!
Me and Berit
Saturday was the big day. On Wednesday a few of us had gone to a market to seek out a special butcher for our Turkey. Turkey's are NOT easy to come by like they are at home, but we found a really nice man who gave us a HUGE turkey to feed about 15 of us ... it was enormous. And not to be too graphic, but he informed us he would get it fresh and proceeded to tell us he would kill it for us on Thursday afternoon to be picked up on Friday. When a friend of mine went to pick it up, his main question was "Head: on or off?" - I guess you can't get fresher than that! So by Saturday morning everyone had gone to the market, picked up their last minute produce and began to cook. A few of us tended to the turkey starting around 5 with some appetizers and cocktails. We had to cook the turkey in one oven, then carry it across town to eat it at my friend Caely's - quite a production. We ended up having an incredible, incredible meal: baked brie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (which is genius because it definitely does NOT exist here, so bravo to my friend Julia for making-do with some hard-to-find and très cher dried cranberries), sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, salad, and paté - not to mention about 12 bottles of wine and apple pie, apple brownies, ice cream, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie (another incredible feat, due to the fact that nothing exists here to actually make pumpkin pie, so one has to find a real pumpkin and purée ... intense no?). After overeating, some of us cleaned, while others took a short nap. No one left Caely's until about 3 am - it was quite epic. 

And don't forget dessert ...
In other news ...

Teaching is going well. I've had some difficult kids the past couple of weeks, but I also was able to work with my favorite class for 2 hours this week. They are all sophomores - so about 15 - and they are so smart and funny and really fun to be around (aka they laugh at my jokes). There is about 36 of them and they are ALL really great - it's cute to see them outside of the classroom too because they are always saying "Hello miss - How are you today?" - I think they get confused sometimes if I respond in French. 

Tomorrow is the big Monaco vs. Rennes match in Rennes so I am going to that which will be great - hopefully the snow will hold off. 

Going home in about 3 weeks from tomorrow! Very excited because the peanut butter I brought has already run out, so I need to do some work stocking up.

À bientôt!

p.s. Thank you for the pics Caely!