Sunday, October 10, 2010


When Josh and I were in France in 2002 - that long ago?! - we visited Bayeux. As I am sure you know, one usually travels there to see the Tapestry ... you know, the one that depicts the Battle of Hastings of 1066. The battle that turns the tide of, well, lots of things, including language and cultural influence of the French, Normans really, on the Anglo-Saxons, and all that good stuff. What do sausages have to do with this history lesson? Well, while in Bayeux, Josh and I hit the market and noticed people cheerfully holding onto what looked like hot dogs. Wha? Sure enough, we spotted the wiener cart off in the distance. I knew how to say saucisson, but my head started spinning with the notion that I didn't know precisely how to order this saucisson. And what if I was asked about condiments? What do the French put on their sausage? Yikes. Nearly paralyzing for a perfectionist who easily reddens. But Josh and I wanted one of those sausages, so we got in line and I furiously read the signs and eavesdropped on other people ordering. When it was my turn, I procured two sausages, in bread, with mustard. They were magnificent.

We will also remember the cuisine of Bayeux because this was where we met a very strange Frenchman who declared, in English, "I hate cheese," when we asked for a recommendation. Don't you get deported for that?
I once had a Rachel Ray cookbook. For the uninitiated, she is a TV personality-chef, which is to say, not a real chef, which is the say, she hasn't had training, but she's got some skills anyway. Her claim to fame is 30-minute meals. When I, a simpleton, actually make these meals, however, I find them to be more like 40-45 minutes. I suppose that's still pretty good for dinner preparation time. Anyway, I went through a very heavy Food Network phase when I watched pretty much everyone and all shows. The above sausage dish is one of Rachel's, and it is quite good. You brown sausage - kielbasa is nice - then remove it from the pan and caramelize your onions. Throw in your greens to wilt, adding a little chicken stock if dry. Once everything is wilted to your liking, dump in some drained sauerkraut, a few spoonfuls of brown mustard, and a tsp. of paprika. Throw the sausage back in, and mix. Rachel suggests servings with pan-browned perogis - potsticker-like. I couldn't find any at Trader Joe's, so we went with gnocchi, and it was great. Sam even ate a little bit ... when Josh offered it to him, of course.

Speaking of sausage, our American version is, of course, the hot dog. My mother has been on me for months to just get some for Sam. Josh has reminded me, every time I muse over the possiblity, that hot dogs are the #1 choking and death-by-choking food for toddlers. But I found these franks with no nitrates or other chemical weirdness in them, so we gave the wiener a shot - all cut up really small.

So? Well? What happened?

The short version: Josh and I have some hot dogs to eat.

How about this veggie update: Sam will eat carrots if you give him the whole stinking thing. The carrot you see here was just barely gnawed on after much protest because I cut the green end off. Sam likes to suck on and contemplate that end, declaring, "Don't eat the green part." I denied him that pleasure, so he only ate a bit ... like a rabbit, too.