Friday, October 26, 2012

Home again!

Sorry for the lapse in blogging. Turns out traveling takes alot out of you. In summary, the last week had me saying good-bye to my home for the past two months, returning to my future home (aka Paris), learning to cook from a professional chef, eating (and almost liking) cheese, spending 24 hours traveling home, and being prevented from landing at O'Hare by none other than the President of the United States. But I'm home in Indy, hanging out with family and friends and thoroughly enjoying relaxing and relaying my stories to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Leaving was rather difficult. As excited as I was to be heading home and seeing friends and family, I'd made some great friends on the ship. There was a wave of people leaving the Saturday before me, so it made it a little easier to split up the good-byes over a couple days. Monday, though, I was a wreck. My beautiful cabin-mates met me for a brunch and bought me a crepe and coffee (Mercy Ships has the best crepes). I got a cards and traveling goodies from good friends Kalinda and Olivia, and Miriam made me traveling biscuits (aka cookies in American speak). Still, there wasn't enough time to say goodbye to everyone.

I'm still processing the trip. I keep wondering how it's affected me and changed my perspective, if I'll go back and in what capacity, and how to keep that part of me alive as I adjust to life in the States. It already feels like a dream, and I've only been away for 4 days. I pray for the people on and off the ship, but it's hard to reconcile two places that are so drastically different. I'll keep you posted as I sort through my thoughts, but for now, I'm grateful to be home and miss the home I left.

One way to distract oneself from reflection is to spend a whirlwind two days in Paris with the lovely Lynne (pictured above). Lynne was a cabin-mate of mine who had the great idea to have "special days" with friends, where she'd spend the day hanging out with someone-basically getting quality time with a friend. I, unfortunately, never got my day with Lynne in Conakry, so I stalked her in Paris and made her spend the two days there with me. Luckily, she was as excited to spend time with me as I was with her. After I arrived to Paris at 6 am, I crashed for a few hours at her hotel room and woke up ready to take on Paris.

She'd signed up for a cooking class in Montmartre, so we walked to the rendez-vous point, passing some gorgeous flower shops on our way. Part of the class involved going to local shops to pick out fresh produce and supplies. So once we met Constance, our chef, we headed off to the cheese shop, the butcher, the baker (of bread, but not the candlestick maker), and the grocer.

Montmartre has a reputation as a foodie area, so just walking down the street, the markets looked so colorful and inviting. I've never been so excited to cook. We ended up making foie gras with sautéed mushrooms, walnuts and root vegetables, chicken with a butter and parsley crust, roasted potatoes and tri-color carrots, and a pear tart with rosemary and gingerbread ice creams. WHAT?!! I've never felt so fancy. Beware those of you who live in Indianapolis. I have the recipes, and I plan on having multiple dinner parties until I figure out how to perfectly recreate the menu. So you will get to be guinea pigs. 

Constance the amazing chef

We were paired with two couples, one of whom was from Indy and lives not far from Butler. Go figure. I go halfway across the world and meet two people who live down the street from me.

And for the exciting news: I ate (and actually liked)....CHEESE! Oh Paris. Only you could change me so. And yes, the cantaloupe looking item is actually cheese. It's injected with a color to make it look like that. Something about an area wanted to recreate a certain type of cheese but wanted to make it stand out from its competition. I don't know. I sampled all of the above cheeses (except blue cheese...seriously, how can you eat something you know is mold? Gross.), and they were all palatable, but the only one I actually like was the pepper coated goat cheese. I'm still not ready to throw a wine and cheese party, but I didn't gag the entire night, which is rather impressive for me. We got to eat some incredible food, paired with some incredible wines, and met some incredible people. I'm so glad I got a chance to try it. And if you are ever in Paris, I highly recommend Cook'n with Class. You can take cooking classes, dessert classes, bread making classes, pretty much anything you want.

The second day needs it's own blog post, so I'll leave you with a photo of what you see out of the hotel.  *Sigh*

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jeaaaallllooouuuusssss!! We must go back together sometime. You can speak French to everyone, and I will just go around eating things. I will eat your serving of blue cheese for you, because I'm selfless like that. :)