Two Great Things to Do in France: Save Money and Eat Food

I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

I have a few things that we need to celebrate.

Reason #1. This very blog just reached 2,000 views! Yes ladies and gentlemen, you've done it.

Thank you thank you thank you

Reason #2. Since getting to France a month ago, John and I have visited SIX different locations, skipped not one meal (ohhh quite the contrary), and gotten to thoroughly visit the real France while covering a distance of over 1,000 miles. We have spent less than $250 each. To expound on the beauty of having spent so little money, I would like to also add that I have literally (literally) eaten cheese 33 out of the past 33 days.
This sum is what we spent on necessities such as getting from city to city (sometimes spending more than we should've, in hindsight) and eating while on the move. This doesn't include the plane ticket to get to France, tourist activities (although those only add up to $21 since connections made through Couchsurfing and Wwoofing typically serve as "tour guides"), or food purchases that are made simply because we cannot resist them (nutella-filled donuts, for example).

Reason #3. John and I just made a really, really amazing fresh lasagna. Homemade pasta, sauce from scratch, Italian ricotta, yadda yadda. You wanted to be there.

Now, in the spirit of celebration, I propose to lavish upon you pictures of aforementioned lasagna.
fresh lasanga
Did I mention that there was garlic bread?

Chopped carrots and celery, garlic (of course I used it all), onion, and John's homemade pasta
Layering...we kept the pasta "sheets" long and zig-zagged them
throughout the layers to keep spillage at bay

Sauce transformation...transforming is yummy
Apart from weeding & lasagna-making, we've been doing a lot of eating, so take a look... (remember: clicking on the pictures makes 'em larger)
A pre-mixed tomato, basil, & onion salad

P√Ęte, butter, and olives. To be enjoyed with
crusty French baguette, and oh, maybe
some cheese. Yum, anyone?

Hyssop flower
Flowers so pretty you want to eat them. And then you do.  The purple is Hyssop (very herbal and slightly bitter),
the orange is Nasturtium (a bit peppery, but not too strong)
Tuna & Black Olive Quiche...why is it so easy for the French?

museli pudding
Oat & slivered almond pudding with black
 currants for dessert
cauliflower recipe
So simple: Corn, cauliflower, hard boiled eggs, and a few
splashes of red wine and balsamic vinegar and EVOO
The classic: Prosciutto wrapped melon

Ham, Walnut, & Cabbage salad with Fresh Tomato & Pea Salad.
 Of course we're always this healthy...
fresh lasagne
Can't I just show you one more picture of the lasagna? And how about letting me mention how the exposed pasta gets all crispy on the top layer and you will probably fight anybody (including children) for these sections?
Stay tuned for some lessons I've learned from the garden and of course, more food.


  1. If only France was a beer nation! Can you imagine how the interplay of malt and hops would enhance these dishes? Please, please try to find some malt beverages to complement some of your degustations... maybe something Belgian or French Alsacian, German if you have to, Czech if you can. You are making me so jealous!

    1. John and I were saying a couple days ago that the reason we couldn't ever live full-time in France is because the beer selection is so terrible. We finally managed to find a stout the other night (the FIRST ONE in a month!), but it was no SRB. A bit too sweet, but it was dark, at least. I'm encountering lots of malty beers here. So many times I've pined for a Pakos or an OB-1.
      I remain a believer that beer is usually better than wine with food.

  2. As a friend of your Mom and Dad and Carter and Carvel I'm delighted to be a part of chowgypsy's travels. Do you think your great idea for using plastic bottles could be used on house plants so they would water themselves while I am away? And you are so right! For the French it always seems so easy. They just throw things together and it all works out to be delicious. Have a great time and keep sending those wonderful receipes. Dobie




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