Tuesday, 26 January 2021

A bruschetta with a twist

As those who can read French might have known from a previous post, I recently made bruschette (yes, the plural is with an e, not with an s) for the family lunch. One of the things I learned spending time with Italians at uni, apart from a bit of Italian, is how to make bruschette: you toast a piece of bread, you grate a garlic clove on it, you then pour a bit of olive oil on it, then add a cut tomato, or some passata, then add grated cheese, preferably parmesan, then that's it, you have a healthy meal for you and your loved ones. You can of course do a few variations with bruschette and add different things. Which is what I always do with Wolfie: he loves them, but with olives. I put some one day on his, he won't have any without since then. Maybe I should do the same for my own bruschette, come to think of it.

Passer la gratte

J'ai acheté cette gratte jouet pour petit loup lors de notre dernier passage à Dorval, quelques heures avant de prendre l'avion. C'était hors de prix pour que c'est, mais il la voulait et ça fait un assez beau souvenir de Montréal en plus d'être un jouet qui lui permet de découvrir sa part de québécitude. Toujours est-il que lorsque la neige est tombée, il a enfin pu utiliser la gratte sur le patio du jardin, comme une vraie de vraie gratte. Wolfie avait prévu son coup: comme il savait qu'on prévoyait de la neige, il avait préparé tous ses jouets du genre la veille, afin de pouvoir les utiliser. Je vais le redire ici: avoir un fils quand tu es un père, c'est vivre son enfance une deuxième fois.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Snow at last!

Well, it was expected, but I had stopped hoping for it: it snowed yesterday, in the little hours of the morning. More to the point: the snow did not melt right away. So I took this picture when I got up and Wolfie and I spent a lot of time outside in the garden. Not as much as I was hoping, but some time anyway. It is not meant to last and will soon turn slushy and grey, the moment people trample on it loses its whiteness. But for at least one day, we had some snow this year.

Bruschetta "classique"

Hier pour le lunch, j'ai comme eu l'inspiration de faire des bruschette, puisqu'on a beaucoup, beaucoup d'aïl (longue histoire). Ça me prend parfois, c'est un met que ma femme aime vraiment et une des choses apprises de mes amis italiens qui m'a souvent sauvé quand j'avais une fringale. C'est niaiseux à faire: on fait une toast, on gratte de l'aïl sur la tranche, on met de l'huile d'olive, on rajoute une tomate coupée (ou de la passata), ensuite on met du fromage râpé, pde préférence du parmesan (ici c'est du cheddar). Bien entendu, on peut amener des variations, par exemple petit loup aime ça avec des olives. Mais j'ai décidé d'en faire une classique pour la photo. Et en passant, on dit bruschette au pluriel et non bruschettas et le ch se prononce "k".

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Looking for a Masterpiece

I don't know why, maybe because I am terribly nostalgic, but sometimes I think of things I did not quite experience when I was a child and wished I did. This is the case of Masterpiece, a board game by Parker Brothers which my maternal grandmother had among the many board games stacked in her basement. It was that old box which you see there. We never played it, but I have always wanted to. I'm not sure why, maybe because an auction room seemed to be an exciting setting. We once actually sat down and our uncle read us the rules, but for some reason we were interrupted and we didn't even start playing. I have always been into board games and I hope once the pandemic is over we can play some again with our friends, although it will be hard with Wolfie being just old enough to stay active, but too young for that kind of board game. All the same, I think I will try to find a copy of Masterpiece, or give it as a gift suggestion for my birthday.

Le temps des p'tits gâteaux?

Mon frère PJ m'a envoyé cette photo parce qu'il en a fait il y a quelques temps pour les Fêtes. C'est une tradition familiale qui date de l'enfance du côté de ma mère. Ma tante appelle ça des "mochas", allez savoir pourquoi. On ne les fait pas exclusivement durant les Fêtes, en fait on peut les apprécier à l'année longue. Bon, ce sont des cupcakes ordinaires, en fait, mais j'ai toujours aimé comment on créait de la variété quand on les décorait: p'tit gâteau à la vanille avec de la crème à la vanille, p'tit gâteau au chocolat avec de la crème au chocolat, ou vice-versa, avec des pépites de chocolat comme garniture, ou d'autres garnitures, etc. J'en avais fait un vanille et plein de noix de coco dessus, un autre avec quatre cerises au marasquin. C'est parfait quand on est enfant. Comme depuis le confinement je fait souvent des gâteaux avec Wolfie, je songe à en faire aujourd'hui.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Collecting mugs unconsciously

I was chatting with my cousin Amy recently and she told me that she was collecting mugs, things she buys in thrift shops and other places. She sent me a picture of some of the mugs she bought, including this one. I sent her pics of some of the mugs we've had here, because since I have been living in a nation of tea drinkers for the last twenty years or so (on and off), I have found a few interesting ones of my own. My wife, who thinks our cupboards are way too full with mugs of various sorts made that remark: "We have been collecting mugs since we've been together, but only accidentally, we don't need to turn it into a hobby." Which is very true and it deserves to be a new great unknown line. And a note to end this post: this nice blue rustic ceramic mug was a birthday present from my parents-in-law, bought from a local artisan when they lived in Brittany. They gave us two of them. My wife wished they hadn't.

De la neige?

Photo prise hier matin. Pas de la neige (enfin je ne crois pas que ça en soit), mais pas loin. En tout cas, il a gelé au sol. Tout ça pour dire qu'on prévoit de la neige aujourd'hui et en bonne quantité, j'espère qu'il y en aura. J'ai l'impression que l'on n'a pas eu d'hiver "complet" jusqu'ici et la neige me manque vraiment, surtout qu'étant en confinement, nous n'avons pas à subir les inconvénients qui viennent toujours avec la neige ici.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Shosholoza

Sometimes there are songs that get stuck in my head and I don't even now where I discovered it. This is the case of Shosholoza, a traditional South African song which was featured in the movie Invictus, based on real events about the Rugby World Cup of 1995. I haven't seen the film yet, but my in-laws bought me the DVD as a Christmas present. My father-in-law is South African and like many South Africans he loves rugby you see. In this household, we do not follow rugby, but we did a bit for the last World Cup. I know the song has a far deeper significance for South Africa country, but for me it is a catchy rugby song. I decided to share it here, with lyrics and translation.

La tasse aux pattes de canard

Ma cousine Amy fait la collection de tasses de café et elle m'a envoyé cette photo, une tasse aux pattes de canard, je l'ai trouvée assez mignonne, même s'il y a du café dedans. Moi j'y verserais autre chose.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Books and Happiness

I was checking through my old pictures and found this meme, dating back from I don't know when. I don't think I shared it before on this blog, but I thought I might as well now that I think about it. Often memes are neither funny nor wise, but this one is both. And on a side note, I really miss going to the bookshop.

Fournée de pâtés à la viande

Mes parents ont fait des pâtés à la viande et mon père m'a envoyé cette photo. Je sais que c'est un autre billet de food porn, mais je n'ai pas pu m'empêcher. Ça me manque.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

January, 20th, 2021

I don't date things the American way usually, I put the day, then month, then year, but I made an exception for the title of this post, because of the circumstances. One of the advantages of having a working day that ends early, is that you can watch historical live on TV. So I watched the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. This is the second live inaguration I've made, the first one was the one of Barack Obama and you can read my impression here. Rereading it now, I'm surprised that I feel that I have been harsh on George W. Bush. He was not exactly my kind of president, but by hindsight, he was a decent man. I did not watch the inauguration four years ago, but I shared a filthy joke I made about it, which got me the attention of a troll. Biden may not have the eloquence or the charisma of his former boss, but given that he won against the Swine and pretty much saved American democracy (or at least contributed to its salvation), I am even happier than I was back in 2008.

Arbres en contre-plongée

Ma cousine Amy l'artiste-photographe m'a donné cette photo prise lors d'une de ses promenades. J'ai décidé de la partager ici (avec sa permission il va sans dire) parce qu'elle est saisissante et parce qu'elle est un exemple parfait de contre-plongée, comme on dit en language filmique. Ça me rappelle mes belles années du cégep, où j'ai appris que la contre-plongée est utilisée pour donner de l'impression de majesté, de grandeur, mais aussi de menace. Dans tous les cas, c'est notre mot du jour.

Until the next train journey...

I took this picture at the National Railway Museum of York. It has changed its name to the Railway Museum for some reason, but for me, it will always be the NRW. The museum is currently closed due to the pandemic and I have no idea when we will be able to travel by train or visit it again. Of all the things that I have ben missing since the first lockdown, train travel is maybe the one I miss the most. Train travel for please, with my family of course. And I can't believe how long we've been without a proper train journey. But as I am typing this post, Wolfie is playing with one of the train apps on his Kindle and he spent most of his afternoon playing with one of the many, many train sets he has. So until the next train journey, I can take comfort in the fact that my son loves trains too and that I can join him in his games.

Petit loup et son cousin

Comme vous le savez sans doute, mon frère Andrew a eu un bébé l'automne dernir avec sa blonde. Wolfie a donc un petit cousin qu'il n'a pas encore vu en personne. Mais il a quand même très hâte de le voir et il a des sentiments familiaux pour lui qui se développent, même si un océan les sépare. Récemment, alors que l'on faisait le tri des vieux vêtements de Wolfie et que l'on mettait tous ceux qu'il ne porte plus dans une boîte, il a dit qu'ils sont tous pour son petit cousin. Je ne sais pas si on va en transporter avec nous lors de notre prochain voyage, mais quand Wolfie a une idée en tête, il ne l'a pas (mais alors là vraiment pas) dans les pieds.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Did you notice Blue Monday yesterday?

So it was Blue Monday yesterday. Did you notice it? I certainly did not. Firstly, because I don't think the most depressing day of the year can truly be calculated, secondly because every working Monday is dreary and depressing. And this year, with the pandemic and the lockdown, it feels just like any other working day, no more nor less depressing. There is another reason why my Blue Monday went like a charm, or as well as a Monday can go: I hated my previous job, so now I feel that grateful I have a better job, better employers and better colleagues. Things are always more bearable when you know they could be far worse. This year's Mondays feel better than last year's Fridays.

Les monstres marins

Photo prise dans Les dires de Piloé, le livre de français de quatrième année que j'ai tant aimé et que mon frère PJ m'a gentiment acheté. J'ai hâte de revoir le Module 8, sur les monstres marins. Enfant, j'étais grand amateur de cryptozoologie, même si maintenant je ne crois plus aux monstres marins. Je ne me rappelle pasdu chapitre, seulement son illustration. Je me demande s'il a encouragé ma crédulité. Cela dit, jolie image.

Monday, 18 January 2021

January Crimes

I've been reading very slowly since te beginning of the year, something I want to change. Maybe it is because I don't commute anymore and has thus less occasions to read. But anyway, I have also decided to start the year on a good note by reading crime fiction, starting with Nocturne by Ed McBain. It of couse features the detectives of the 87th Precinct. I decided to start the year with it because it is set in January, a good reason as any, but also because you cannot go wrong with Ed McBain. In any case, January being in many ways a dreary month, crime fiction is the perfect genre for it.

Une vraie tempête de neige

Non, non, je ne parle pas d'ici, bien entendu. Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo avant-hier et les chanceux, ils ont eu droit à une vraie tempête, la première vraie de l'hiver semble-t-il. Les chanceux.