Last week was kind of a doozy. We recovered from Lyon just fine, but I soon realized that I had less than 3 weeks left in Paris and about 8 million things on my To-Do list. Actual important, practical things, not just things to eat. But in between chores and organizing for the big move I still managed to discover some new things, even if I didn’t have time to write about them.
For example, I discovered that the dark circles under my eyes aren’t residual mascara smudges. Nope! That’s the natural color of my skin now!
I also discovered that undercooked lamb chops are not the same as rosé lamb chops, no matter how tired you are and unmotivated to return them to the pan for a few minutes. They’re undercooked. And they will give you and your Husband synchronized tummy troubles.
(That’s about when I realized we get the tummy troubles here a lot. Enough that sometimes I think my tummy would be better off in a remote, sewage-filled village in India. But I take heart knowing that Julia Child had the same problem – she wrote about having to go on cleanse diets because of the havoc the rich French food was wreaking on her stomach. So as soon as I get home, I’m going to take it easy on the foie gras and champagne and bricks of golden butter. I swear.)
At the same time as my lamb chop discovery, le bébé discovered a new and exciting way to flex her vocal cords. It’s really endearing. It does not make me want to dig out my ear drums with a spoon at all.
And as evidenced by my state of appearance at the end of that video, turning 32 feels like getting punched in the face 32 times. While a really cute chubby baby squeals in your ear.
Actually though, it was a lovely birthday with lots of birthday wishes from the people I love. And flowers from Husband. And a fabulous dinner at a fabulously delicious, quintessential Parisian place called Bistro Paul Bert. There I put my tummy troubles aside and had a celebratory glass of champagne, and even felt brave enough to try some lièvre for dinner- that’s wild hare, stewed to perfection in red wine and blood (I know. Ew! But try not to think about it) and served with a celery purée so rich and creamy you could have sworn it was mashed potatoes.
It was hard to convince my table mates that celery and rabbit blood was in fact more delicious than the giant cave man cote de boeuf steak they were eating. And I will admit that they had one of the best specimens of boeuf I’ve tasted since being here, accompanied by some pretty stellar frites. But the intense gamey-ness of the hare was just so spectacular and different than anything I’ve tasted before. Plus I think it gave me some street cred with the waitress. And it was my birthday. So I win.