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Some mood musique

 

We had some interesting discussions about French dietary habits last challenge (small portions, variety, satiety, quality, etc) that made me want to try a little French-themed experiment this challenge.  It may seem like I have a lot of goals (especially after the last  extremely simplified challenge), but some of these goals are things I do pretty well anyway and am just adding it to round out the theme.

 

🍞 Boulangerie

An important aspect of French cuisine is fresh, quality ingredients, especially BREAD 😍.  Sure, vegetables too, but we will work up to those.  My goal is to bake my own bread twice during the challenge.   I have no idea how long I should expect a loaf to last, and I don't want to overwhelm, so two is a good goal to start.  The bread does not have to be French -- in fact, I can almost guarantee the first one will be focaccia -- but baguette may happen if I am ambitious. 

 

🍰 Patisserie

Desserts are de rigeur in France, even among the svelte, but portion sizes are miniscule compared to American servings.  So my goal is to keep desserts to French standard portion sizes - two or three good bites.  The best way to make this portion size feel satisfying is of course to take smaller bites and savor a quality dessert (no prepackaged cookies, trail mix, or other low quality "junk foods").  A square of dark chocolate is fine.

 

🛶 La TraverSeine

There is an annual rowing event on the Seine in Paris in early September.  Kayaks, canoes, even dragon boats may enter for the 15k "explore" event or 26k competition.  The route goes under some 30 Parisian bridges and past most of the tourist traps: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, etc etc.  I...will not be going 😂.  But, for fun I will pretend to be training for the event by indoor rowing twice a week (minimum) and actually kayaking at least once (hopefully the Poker Run mid-August).

 

 🎨 La Louvre

Continue my exploration of pen and ink art via the Inktober52 Instagram challenge.  We are on week 29 (I think?) and I haven't missed a week yet!

 

⚜️ Lingua Franca

Maintain my streak of foreign language practice on Duolingo (currently at 209 days).

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1 hour ago, Everstorm said:

Desserts are de rigeur in France, even among the svelte, but portion sizes are miniscule compared to American servings. 

 

I've started making a lot of my desserts in a shot glass, and, honestly...  it's usually better. A bowl of ice cream is enjoyable, sure, but it's not really better than a shot glass of ice cream with some nuts and one cherry. (This is also how I used up my massive batch of lemon curd, garnished with mint leaves and a raspberry.) The tiny fancy one tastes better. And, like, it's so much easier to go, "yeah, that was enough, I'm done, totally satisfied" than when you have a bowl. It's like, when volume stops being one of the measures of the treat, you stop craving volume for a treat? (I admit, it helps to use a commensurately small spoon. And some of it may be how much less sugar it represents, both in how their desserts are usually less sweet, but also in the volume reduction, there's just less room for sugar. Sugar is a bit addictive, it's kind of unsurprising that a large serving of sugar leads to craving more.)

 

It's really no joke that a smaller dessert of higher quality is more satisfying than a large, low quality American dessert. Like, that's not a French Jedi mind trick.

 

So my concept of a regular dessert lately is "can it fit in a shot glass, or on the saucer of an espresso cup". They can be loaded up, and variety of textures and flavors is good, so they often are, but those are my ideal dessert sizes.

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2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Some mood musique

 

We had some interesting discussions about French dietary habits last challenge (small portions, variety, satiety, quality, etc) that made me want to try a little French-themed experiment this challenge.  It may seem like I have a lot of goals (especially after the last  extremely simplified challenge), but some of these goals are things I do pretty well anyway and am just adding it to round out the theme.

Brilliant. 😍

2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

🍞 Boulangerie

An important aspect of French cuisine is fresh, quality ingredients, especially BREAD 😍.  Sure, vegetables too, but we will work up to those.  My goal is to bake my own bread twice during the challenge.   I have no idea how long I should expect a loaf to last, and I don't want to overwhelm, so two is a good goal to start.  The bread does not have to be French -- in fact, I can almost guarantee the first one will be focaccia -- but baguette may happen if I am ambitious. 

Ooh! I've been thinking about trying the bread recipe @Heidi shared a couple challenges ago. Pretty sure it'd be better than my first attempt at bread-making, which was a Dune sandworm spiced bread. 😅

 

2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

🍰 Patisserie

Desserts are de rigeur in France, even among the svelte, but portion sizes are miniscule compared to American servings.  So my goal is to keep desserts to French standard portion sizes - two or three good bites.  The best way to make this portion size feel satisfying is of course to take smaller bites and savor a quality dessert (no prepackaged cookies, trail mix, or other low quality "junk foods").  A square of dark chocolate is fine.

😍😍😍 I like this plan a lot.

 

2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

I...will not be going 😂.  But, for fun I will pretend to be training for the event by indoor rowing twice a week (minimum) and actually kayaking at least once (hopefully the Poker Run mid-August).

😆😆😆 If only, right? But good pairing of inspiration and goals! 😃😃😃

 

2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

 🎨 La Louvre

Continue my exploration of pen and ink art via the Inktober52 Instagram challenge.  We are on week 29 (I think?) and I haven't missed a week yet!

 

⚜️ Lingua Franca

Maintain my streak of foreign language practice on Duolingo (currently at 209 days).

❤ & ❤

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14 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

The tiny fancy one tastes better. And, like, it's so much easier to go, "yeah, that was enough, I'm done, totally satisfied" than when you have a bowl.

I have noticed this too!  I have even felt that when I serve more, I want even more afterwards.  Maybe because when there is quantity you eat fast?  When the serving is small, I draw it out and savor it.

 

16 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

my concept of a regular dessert lately is "can it fit in a shot glass, or on the saucer of an espresso cup

That is really close to what I am wanting to do.  I have been putting ice cream or similar texture desserts in a Oui yogurt jar, which is probably more than a shot, but still quite small.  I don't have an espresso plate, but I was actually out looking for one this afternoon just for desserts!  I wanted a small plate both to be pretty and to make the desserts look like the right size.  Tiny pie on a big plate just looks sad.  Tiny pie on a pretty, tiny plate looks adorable.

 

9 minutes ago, MaeradCase said:

Ooh! I've been thinking about trying the bread recipe @Heidi shared a couple challenges ago. Pretty sure it'd be better than my first attempt at bread-making, which was a Dune sandworm spiced bread. 😅

Oh, what kind of bread did she make?  

 

I have made wheat bread, quick breads (like banana, zucchini, cranberry), focaccia, and pizza crust before, I just don't do it very often.  At all.  Hopefully with my experience, the learning curve on making my "daily bread", as it were, won't be too bad.

 

13 minutes ago, MaeradCase said:

If only, right? But good pairing of inspiration and goals! 😃😃😃

Haha thanks

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1 hour ago, Everstorm said:

Oh, what kind of bread did she make?  

 

This kind:

https://www.heidichronicles.net/2023/05/the-no-touch-quasi-sourdough-recipe.html

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C’est parfait! 

I am so excited to follow along with you. Bonus points for pictures of bread and desserts. ;) 

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14 minutes ago, JuiceeTarget said:

J'adore ça! (Can't remember if that is even correct, but I tried)

 

I do love this challenge, just please don't take up smoking 😜

J'adore ceci/cela/ça are all acceptable depending upon the degree of formality and specificity.  So you did great!

 

And never fear:  I have always thought smoking was a terrible habit.  I am content to be un-French enough to never pick it up.  (And I am extra glad my husband quit 10 years ago).

 

Just now, Elastigirl said:

What a fun challenge. Here to cheer you on!  I want to row on  the Seine!

Right?!?  #goals

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11 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Continue my exploration of pen and ink art via the Inktober52 Instagram challenge.  We are on week 29 (I think?) and I haven't missed a week yet!

 

Hey, this is amazing work!  Also, happy rowing! 

 

9 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

I've started making a lot of my desserts in a shot glass, and, honestly...  it's usually better. A bowl of ice cream is enjoyable, sure, but it's not really better than a shot glass of ice cream with some nuts and one cherry. (This is also how I used up my massive batch of lemon curd, garnished with mint leaves and a raspberry.) The tiny fancy one tastes better. And, like, it's so much easier to go, "yeah, that was enough, I'm done, totally satisfied" than when you have a bowl.

 

 

It's really no joke that a smaller dessert of higher quality is more satisfying than a large, low quality American dessert. Like, that's not a French Jedi mind trick.

 

9 hours ago, Everstorm said:

I have noticed this too!  I have even felt that when I serve more, I want even more afterwards.  Maybe because when there is quantity you eat fast?  When the serving is small, I draw it out and savor it.

 

I.... I have never experienced such a thing. When I have a high quality European dessert... I want plenty of it. Tiny incredible creme brûlées just make me want to eat three of them. One of my favourite things in the world is frozen heavy cream and maple syrup. If I ate as much as I wanted, I'd eat about 2000 calories of it daily. There is never enough. The sadness of finishing a small portion is worse than the sadness of not having any in the first place. Even my most modest sweet, pure honey, requires restraint. I could easily eat hundreds of calories of that per day. 

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4 hours ago, Harriet said:

Hey, this is amazing work!  Also, happy rowing! 

Thanks!

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

I have never experienced such a thing. When I have a high quality European dessert... I want plenty of it. Tiny incredible creme brûlées just make me want to eat three of them. One of my favourite things in the world is frozen heavy cream and maple syrup. If I ate as much as I wanted, I'd eat about 2000 calories of it daily. There is never enough. The sadness of finishing a small portion is worse than the sadness of not having any in the first place. Even my most modest sweet, pure honey, requires restraint. I could easily eat hundreds of calories of that per day. 

I have definitely swung in that direction, too.  (We won't talk about what happened to half a cake on Sunday).  I am curious to see in this challenge what works for happily stopping at a small serving and what seems to trigger "enough is never enough".

 

How did I do yesterday?

Boulangerie - Not yet

 

Patisserie 🍰 Kept my slice of strawberry rhubarb pie to roughly half what I normally would have eaten.  Felt satisfied after and didn't feel like snacking that evening.  (Sorry, no photo -- I ate it before we made our our deal 😅)

 

La TraverSeine 🛶  I added 10 minutes to my previous row time and it still felt really good!  Bonus:  I added a short run-walk session afterwards.   I went to the flagship gym of the ones I have access to.  It's slightly farther but much nicer and offers tons more stuff.  I got to try a waterrower instead of the typical air rower, and I have to say it is nice.  Much more quiet and the wood feels very soothing.  My husband and I talked about buying one for the home gym maybe next year.   I also love that the big gym has an indoor track so I can run in the A/C (because it is well into the 90s this week).  Going again today!

 

La Louvre - no drawing yesterday because I finished the week's prompt on Sunday.

TRAP:

IMG_20230723_173904_772.thumb.jpg.3cff4f9187eafa3ef0a5c8dcb0928ced.jpg

 

Lingua Franca ⚜️. Practiced French (and Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Greek,Japanese, and German 😂😂😂)

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Oh my goodness, all those languages! You’re amazing! 

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Past Challenges: #1, #2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The day in review:

 

Boulangerie:  I looked for rye flour and bread flour at the store today, but they didn't have rye.  I had found a recipe for "artisan French bread" I wanted to try, but I guess I will need to check some of the other grocers, since the all-purpose white, wheat, coconut, or almond flours I have will not suffice.  🙄  I guess I can still make focaccia with what I have though.

 

Patisserie 🍰🍰  Kept my slice of pie moderate again.  I did notice I was a bit more peckish this evening than I was yesterday.   Not really hungry, but wanting to eat anyway.  I decided to borrow a cup of  @Harriet's reframing tea (with spices), followed by a large cup of water and the feeling went away.  I was...thirsty?  Interesting. 

 

La TraverSeine 🛶🛶  Already hit my goal for the week, although I plan at least one more session for Thursday.   I took the pace a bit easier today, since I checked my training plan and discovered the pace increase was for next week, not this one.  Oops.  After yesterday, the relaxed pace felt very meditative and soothing.  The time just flew by.  I skipped the run afterward, though, as hubby came with me this time and he was needing to leave.

 

Le Louvre - No art today

 

Lingua Franca ⚜️⚜️  I practiced Spanish, French, and Portuguese and called it a day.  I may hit some other ones tonight.  We'll see.  The big ones for me are French and Spanish.  The rest are just gravy. 

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6 hours ago, Everstorm said:
7 hours ago, Sovalis said:

Oh my goodness, all those languages! You’re amazing! 

I think I collect languages the way you collect dice and tarot 😂  I am now at the point where I have to stop myself adding more (and cut off a few I had started)

I resemble this remark on the dice side and cutting off the excess. In fact I parted ways with 15 sets to give them away to people because I really don't need so many dice. 😅

 

2 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Patisserie 🍰🍰  Kept my slice of pie moderate again.  I did notice I was a bit more peckish this evening than I was yesterday.   Not really hungry, but wanting to eat anyway.  I decided to borrow a cup of  @Harriet's reframing tea (with spices), followed by a large cup of water and the feeling went away.  I was...thirsty?  Interesting. 

An excellent discovery! 😃

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J'adore le thème de ton défi ! Je suis aussi un peu accro à l'apprentisage des langues mais le français a toujours été et sera toujours ma langue préférée. Et les français nous fournissent une illustration pratique de comment bien manger, tout en restant en bonne santé. Bref, tu as très bien choisi tes objectifs et je te souhaite beaucoup de succès et de plaisir tout au long de ton défi.

 

I will follow along with interest, if you don't mind! Your goals are wonderful and combine to form a very well-rounded set of plans. And I always love it when people share art, so thank you for doing that! I don't know if you're one of the people who finds it difficult, but I appreciate it either way.

 

Also, in response to your observation about tea and cravings: I've heard that many people are not good at distinguishing between thirst and hunger at lower intensities of both sensations. So if that's the case for you, you're far from alone. Apparently, it can be retrained with mindfulness/observation.

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8 hours ago, MaeradCase said:

I resemble this remark on the dice side and cutting off the excess. In fact I parted ways with 15 sets to give them away to people because I really don't need so many dice. 😅

I think that collectors find it hard to resist whatever they collect.  (I'm looking at you, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, and Korean).  And "need" never really enters the equation 😆 

 

2 hours ago, Severine said:

J'adore le thème de ton défi ! Je suis aussi un peu accro à l'apprentisage des langues mais le français a toujours été et sera toujours ma langue préférée. Et les français nous fournissent une illustration pratique de comment bien manger, tout en restant en bonne santé. Bref, tu as très bien choisi tes objectifs et je te souhaite beaucoup de succès et de plaisir tout au long de ton défi.

Merci beaucoup!  Ta français est magnifique.  Je dois confesser que la mienne n'est pas aussi bonne.  Quelle autres langues as-tu etudiées?

 

3 hours ago, Severine said:

And I always love it when people share art, so thank you for doing that! I don't know if you're one of the people who finds it difficult, but I appreciate it either way.

I find it more difficult to post disappointing works, but some that I have done since the beginning of the year, I have been pretty proud of. 

 

9 hours ago, MaeradCase said:

An excellent discovery! 😃

 

3 hours ago, Severine said:

Also, in response to your observation about tea and cravings: I've heard that many people are not good at distinguishing between thirst and hunger at lower intensities of both sensations. So if that's the case for you, you're far from alone. Apparently, it can be retrained with mindfulness/observation.

I feel like I have heard this before, but I needed it reinforced, I guess.   I am terrible at properly hydrating for some reason.  It would be crazy if that were the source of all my weight trouble. 

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5 hours ago, Harriet said:

Amazing work on the moderate pie. Respect.

Thank you!  I was pretty proud of myself.   Today however...

 

I did the GoodMom thing and took my kids to the beach. 

20230726_105003.thumb.jpg.723e299c263c91cda6d5181dee87bc8e.jpg

It was the perfect day for it imo .  My kids wished for bigger waves.  Anyway, after the beach we stopped for obligatory frozen custard (and burgers).  I ordered a "mini" sundae, but it was actually just a reasonably sized sundae instead of a ridiculous sundae and not really mini at all.  I told myself I would only eat half, but I got jalapeños on my burger and I needed the cold to put out the fire.  Sooo...not the greatest success on patisserie, BUT I am giving myself at least partial credit for 1) going for quality frozen custard over cheapo soft serve and 2) ordering the smallest possible serving, even if that wasn't as small as I would have hoped for.

 

I did make my own dinner rolls today, though.  I'll post them after they come out of the oven.  Baking gave me the first chance I've had to use the new tea towel my sister gave me for Christmas in July.  I use it to cover the bread when it is rising.

20230726_155252.thumb.jpg.44029c9fa23b7b22caef0df3f99d9f5e.jpg

She really gets me 😆

 

Rest day from rowing.

 

No language practice yet, but should have time this evening. 

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Pix as promised:

20230726_170435.thumb.jpg.fa9f910b4e31d2829e52b741a28a8436.jpg

 

I practiced Spanish and French this evening...and then I realized I had been practicing Portuguese all day.  My husband and I bingewatched the docuseries "Fearless" which follows several top-level Brazilian bullriders through the 2015 World Championships.  Although the series is in English, the Brazilians mostly spoke Portuguese in their interviews, and to quote one of my favorite books of all time, I "listened, listened hard, with the muscles of of her back and of her thighs, as if the Hill-speech were a fractious horse she might tame".  I definitely picked up a few words.  I definitely would not have gotten enough to follow the story without the subtitles lol.

 

New prompt for Inktober comes out tomorrow.   I am looking forward to it!

 

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Good job getting the smallest portion! That is a total win! 

 

Your baking looks wonderful and that tea towel cracks me up. 

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Past Challenges: #1, #2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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18 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Merci beaucoup!  Ta français est magnifique.  Je dois confesser que la mienne n'est pas aussi bonne.  Quelle autres langues as-tu etudiées?

 

It's a very weird hodgepodge. My undergrad degree was in Latin and Ancient Greek, so I can read and write in both at a very high level, but my spoken Latin is minimal and my spoken AG non-existent because the focus of my program was on literature and translation. Modern Greek is very different from AG so I am useless with it. My French is good enough to converse about a wide range of complex topics and live comfortably in a French country/province. My Spanish is very uneven: situationally excellent for talking about specific things like how to find an apartment because I used it at work for years (helping people find affordable housing) while also being much lower level for topics I'm unfamiliar with. My Italian is super rusty and basically not good for much except understanding opera and being a tourist unless I refresh it. My Russian is good enough to talk to my in-laws about normal family stuff, but I'm quickly lost if the topic turns to anything more complex because my vocabulary just isn't that large. I am still a beginner in Mandarin Chinese. And I once knew how to read German well enough to access articles I needed for Latin/AG academic stuff, but it's so rusty I doubt I could read a children's book these days, and I never learned to speak it.

 

I am fascinated/tempted and terrified by Korean..my friend told me the other day all the different ways there are to refer to "uncle" depending on whether the guy is on your mother or father's side and depending on whether he's older or younger than your parent and whether he's married. And I just wanted to cry, haha. But it's so beautiful and unique and I think it would be so cool to learn. I totally don't have time, of course...

 

18 hours ago, Everstorm said:

I find it more difficult to post disappointing works, but some that I have done since the beginning of the year, I have been pretty proud of. 

 

As someone who only ever shares things she's happy with, this 100% makes sense to me. I admire the people who have the courage to post everything and anything, but I'm not there yet. I hope you know you'll receive nothing but judgement-free enthusiasm from everyone here no matter what you choose to post.

 

18 hours ago, Everstorm said:

I feel like I have heard this before, but I needed it reinforced, I guess.   I am terrible at properly hydrating for some reason.  It would be crazy if that were the source of all my weight trouble. 

 

When I had a non-WFH office job, I bought a nice pitcher and kept it on my desk during the day filled with water with a few slices of fresh fruit thrown in. It was crazy how much of a difference it made in my water intake to have it right there, accessible, even though the office kitchen was only something like 50 paces away. When I am working, I often get hyper-focused on a task, so before the pitcher, I would feel thirsty and tell myself I'd go get some water in a couple of minutes and then 90 minutes later I'd still be sitting there. I copied the idea from a colleague, and then after he and I both raved about its impact on us, half the office had personal pitchers within a couple of months  :D 

 

6 hours ago, Everstorm said:

to quote one of my favorite books of all time, I "listened, listened hard, with the muscles of of her back and of her thighs, as if the Hill-speech were a fractious horse she might tame".  

 

This is such a delicious quote. What's it from?

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