elliot dans la neige

Elliot snow

During our time in Franche-Comté for Christmas, it snowed a bit, leaving a nice white blanket of soft snow.

Since adopting Elliot and learning his weird quirks, we’ve been curious as to how he’d react to snow. In the rain, he plops himself down in the doorway and refuses to go outside. Luckily, he’s small so we can force him outside to do his business. Would snow be the same way?

It didn’t snow at all last winter, so we didn’t get a chance to find out. When we awoke to snow a few days after Christmas, we finally had the opportunity to find out. Continue reading

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christmas in franche-comté

Later in this post: A visit to the Christmas markets in Mulhouse and Montbéliard!

For the Christmas holidays, we made our way down to J’s parents’ in Bourguignon, Franche-Comté. As predicted, the week and a half was filled with lots of food, wine, and of course, family. Just to give you an idea, we had a raclette three times in a week’s time. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve had our fill for this season.

almostbilingue christmas raclette

Raclette

For Christmas Eve, to go along with the massive amounts of food for dinner (though I sit out on a few courses – foie gras and escargots – giving my poor stomach a break. I don’t have the dexterity of the French yet), we picked up two bûches de Noël from our favorite place there Julien Patisserie. He’s the one who made our wedding cake. Continue reading

english in bourguignon

alostbilingue elliot

When I posted about our unplanned trip to Franche-Comté, I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I completely forgot to tell you about one of the best things that happened during our trip!

J’s mom works at the primary (elementary for Americans) school in Bourguignon (where J is from). We were chatting about the school and English lessons, and J’s mom brought up how disinterested some of the kids are in English despite the fact that their teacher loves English.

I joked that I should go in and talk to the kids.  Continue reading

recipe: mont d’or chaud

As promised last time, I’m going to share with you a simple recipe for Mont d’Or chaud (baked Mont d’Or).

Mont d’Or is a cheese made from cow’s milk that can be found in both Switzerland and France in the Jura mountain area. The French version is unpasteurized and produced in the Haut-Doubs department. It’s only sold between the beginning of September and the beginning of May. We prefer to wait until at least end of October or later to buy Mont d’Or as it has a much stronger flavor, because the cows have been in the stable longer so their milk tastes different due to their change in diet.

almostbilingue_montdor1

Mont d’Or cheese

 

almostbilingue_montdor2

As we were in a neighboring department – the Doubs, we picked up a medium sized Mont d’Or, because we simply love the cheese. You can eat it as is or you can bake it which is what we decided to do. However, you can find the cheese in most supermarkets or at the local markets in France. I’m not sure if you can find it elsewhere. Continue reading

unplanned trip to franche-comté

Elliot sleeping

Elliot sleeping on the car ride

I’ve been a little quiet on here, and that’s because last week, we made an unplanned trip to J’s home town in France-Comté. We went for a family member’s funeral, but I don’t feel that it’s my place to talk about that here.

While the trip was made on a sad note, it wasn’t without happiness. While the family was saying goodbye to one member, they were welcoming another. J’s sister gave birth to her second son on Sunday November 16.

So while we were there, we were able to meet our new nephew who was only a few days old at the time. He’s such a cutie, and I like to think that he likes the sound of English. It’s also so strange to think that I have nephews now. I didn’t really think I’d ever be an aunt, and now, I am!

We also used our time there to catch up with some family (and eat far too much – hello, raclette!).  Continue reading

say fromage take deux!

I swore I would keep up with this blog a lot better than my old one, but here I am, updating after a 3 week absence. Oops. I did not mean to let it go that long.  I wish I could say that it’s my classes that are taking up all of my free time, but other than the (sometimes inconvenient) commute, that’s really not true. It’s more like extreme and utter hatred for my program that demotivates me from doing pretty much anything productive. More on that another time.

Instead, I’d love to share with you some of the yummy meals we have had since returning to Lille from Franche-Comté. Winter is rapidly approaching with many places in France already experiencing their first snowfall of the year (luckily, Lille has remained snow free), so it’s the perfect time for some heart cheese meals.

For the November 11th holiday, we enjoyed a very delicious fondue. It was a mix of 3 cheeses: Vieux Comté, Comté fruité, and emmental. Needless to say, it was very yummy and very very filling.

Fondue

Fondue

Continue reading

say fromage!

Over the long holiday weekend, we drove down to J’s parents’ place in Franche-Comté. Because of the long drive (the train is too expensive for the three of us), we only had two full days there, but they were jam-packed!

Like many regions of France, Franche-Comté is home to many delicious cheeses including Comté. One of my favorite things about France is all the wonderful cheese, so of course, I’m always thrilled for these trips. Okay, it’s also really nice to see J’s family and friends, but we also always come back home with pounds of yummy cheese.

As the weather is turning cold, it’s the perfect time for fondu and Mont d’Or chaud (like a fondu but with just this one specific cheese and baked with wine in the oven), so we returned well stocked. We now have a fridge filled with different types of Comté (the older, the better in my opinion), Mont d’Or, cancoillotte, etc. I’m excited! Seriously, the slabs of Comté we have in the fridge are bigger than Elliot.

Cheese

Some of the cheese we brought back.

Continue reading