HELLO out there!?!.......... Hello!!?.......... Is there anyone out there who can tell me how much French food I need to cook and/or eat before I start speaking the language fluently? I've been working hard, really, really hard ........... but it's just not happening........... at least not yet ...........
............. I've been cooking French food all week here at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York,where I'm spending the week studying French cuisine. I've personally cooked Bordelaise Sauce, Sauce aux Tomates Fraîches (fresh tomato sauce) and made over a zillion (well at least thirty) crêpes for a delicious dessert called Crépe Beurre-Sucre (Crépes with Butter & Sugar). I've also made Mussels in Cider and Cream, French Onion Soup and Ratatouille. I've watched wonderful demonstrations (do these count in linguistic expertise?) by our instructor, Chef Bruno about everything from Pâte Brisée to Spaetzle and Aioli.
Yesterday we nibbled on cheeses from every region of France: soft, hard, mild, strong, creamy, salty stinky, yes France has them all. It was so fun learning the unique specialties.
In addition to all this, I've eaten a ton of amazing French dishes created by my cohorts. If you didn't stop by The Café yesterday you can see here what types of things we're preparing (and enjoying) each and every day.
After all this, sadly, my French is still confined to the paltry few words that I knew before I came to this wonderful institution; lets see ........... merci, au revoir, baguette, adieu, à la carte, crème brûlée, bon voyage, concierge and of course, thé, café, sucré and farine. That's was about it when I came and, much to my chagrin, that's still about all I know!
Maybe ........ just maybe ......... the big "ah ha" moment is going to come tonight. Part of the curriculum I'm enrolled in involves dinner at several of the fine dining establishments staffed by the very talented students here at The Culinary Institute. Tonight we are excited about dining at the award-wining Escoffiér Resaranté, legendary for it's delicious French cuisine ............ I'll let you know if this is the magic bullet, you know, the one that loosens my tongue for the French to come pouring out ......... :)
P.S. A note to my blogger friends; please don't think I don't like you or that I think I'm highfalutin because I'm studying French cooking. I'm still the same old me. I haven't visited many blogs this week or answered many comments because at the end of the day I am just plum worn out. Most nights I've fallen asleep sitting up in the bed trying to finish my post for the next day. I'll be back to see you next week and who knows, I might even be commenting in French ......... but then again, maybe not :)
|If you visited The Café on Monday, you will have seen some photos of what I thought was the front of the CIA. Was I ever wrong. The front is actually in the back and faces out over the Hudson River. Check it out above and at the top of this post. Quite magnificent, isn't it? There is a large terrace where I love to wander on pretty days.|
|View from the front of the CIA. It's set high on a hill on the banks of the river.|
|Every direction you look is gorgeous. The trees beautiful right now as they are in the midst of autumn transformation.|
|One more view as the sun was setting.|
|This is one of the fun restaurants within the CIA run by the students here. They serve sweets and treats along with lovely soups, sandwiches and salads.|
|Everyday there is a long line down the hall and around the corner at lunch time with people waiting to eat at the Apple Pie Bakery.|
|Another of the student-staffed restaurants.|
|Our faithful friend, Richardo, showing us the proper way to caramelize onions.|
|You want crépes? I can make some serious crêpes! It took a bit of practice but I've got it down pat after about 30.|
|My cooking partner, Kenneth, hard at work.|
|Some of my cohorts working with Chef Bruno|