21 November 2015


Yesterday when the bread lady came by at about 10:30, I went downstairs to buy our usual baguette de tradition. She asked me how I was doing, and I told her I had just spent a sleepless night because of le décalage horaire. I don't know if she's someone who has traveled long distances or who has any experience of jet lag.

The vegetable garden in mid-November

"My sleepless night was night before last," she told me. She said it was because of the recent violent events in Paris and their aftermath. She couldn't get all that out of her head and she couldn't fall asleep. "One thing about it, though," she continued, "is that after one nuit blanche (sleepless night), you usually sleep really well the following night. Your body just requires it."

Oignons jaunes...

Well, she's right. I just woke up after eight hours of a sound, peaceful sleep. Sur les deux oreilles. Comme un plomb. Le sommeil des justes. J'ai dormi comme un bébé. And all those expressions. Getting over jet lag is kind of like breaking a fever. It happens just when you start despairing and thinking it will never end. One really bad night, whether sweating or tossing and turning, and it's done. Catharsis. Relief.

...and Comté cheese

We had a lot of wind and a good amount of rain yesterday. The weekend is supposed to be calmer, the weather less extreme showery and still windy, with a risk of thunder, sleet, and even snow (I just saw the morning's first weather report). Temperatures are falling. It's good soup weather, and today I'm going to make soupe à l'oignon gratinéeFrench onion soup — using the broth from the coq au vin that Walt made for my return to France on Tuesday, plus some toasted bread and good French "Swiss cheese" — du Comté.


  1. It was foul out yesterday, with debris all over the road. I've got a fungi foray on Sunday -- it's supposed to be cold, but not raining and windy. I hope it's not too awful.

    1. Today has been pleasant so far, the pessimistic forecast notwithstanding.

  2. Onion soup...that's some real comfort food. The baguette must seem that way too.

    They always say that jet lag is worse one direction than the other, though I can't remember which.

    You had rain? I had to look that up on Wikipedia...it's a weather phenomenon that happens outside California.

    1. I hope you'll get some rain this winter. Your current drought seems to have been a disaster of great magnitude. I remember the 1986-92 dry spell and it wasn't much fun.

  3. Our supermarket here in Texas carries Comte during the holiday season. Glad you reminded me to keep an eye out because
    when it's gone, it's gone.
    We're hoping for some of that El Nino rain makes its way over here too.

  4. my husband became quite fond of comte while we were in Biarritz last month...but, man, it's $$$$ here so it may have to be a holiday treat

  5. Oh dear, sleepless nights and I are old acquaintances now. I used to sleep like a baby .. when my husband slept beside me. But now he is gone and there are 2 cats ... who sleep very well. But I don't sleep like I used to. I always think of it as the sleep of the secure and happy and then there is just sleep.
    Right now I have a suspicion that there is a flea on a cat and that has me crazed.
    Sweet dreams :)

  6. your garden looks nice in November

  7. Missed yesterday's post -- sorry to hear about the card hassle and the sleepless nights. Great that this past one was good!
    Will you show us a photo of your French Onion Soup? Love it!
    Rainy, windy, actually SNOWING here this morning -- just big, wet flakes coming down like rain.

  8. It is so cold and windy here today where I live ... I wish someone would give me a bowl of hot French Onion Soup !!
    I asked the cats and they yawned. oh well.

  9. Glad you got some sleep. I haven't made onion soup in a long time. I bet yours will be delicious!


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