Thu 18 Dec 2014
I find it hard to believe that December is half over and that the shortest day of the year is almost here. I always look forward to that day because I love longer days with more sunshine and time to be outside. One new thing for me is that I tried out an exercise club near us for one month. Last year I tried the Club Med club which was really excellent and, as you might imagine, more expensive. During my time there I never met or talked to one person. At this new club everyone is very friendly and I now have at least some acquaintances, people who say hello and goodbye and even carry on a conversation or two. Believe me, that is totally new to me. The only thing is, I don’t like the exercise classes as much. The teachers are nice but there seems to be more behind what is taught at Club Med, plus the classes last a full hour not the 40 minutes at this new place. We are going out of town for Christmas and I will be starting again when we return. I have to. I have found I will only show up each day if I am paying for it. If I tell myself that I am going out and run, half the time I won’t. What to do?
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine who is from Belgium made us this dish of endives and ham. She said it originates in Belgium although the French have claimed it as their own along with French fries. I read that Belgium is trying to get first claims to originating French fries. Anyway, this was a great dish and it turned out to be pretty easy. First you brown the endives in butter, then add water and let them cook until tender (either stove top or in the oven), let them cool, wrap in ham and cover with Béchamel sauce, a milk based sauce, then top with cheese and bake for thirty minutes. I cheated and used store bought béchamel which is much smoother than what I make. It’s too bad endive is so expensive in the States. I guess you could do this with asparagus.
Every once in a while we splurge on something as we did here at the bar in the George V. The drinks aren’t cheap but it is such a pleasure to sit in a dark and elegant bar drinking a special cocktail, mine was a glog since it was chilly outside, and I ate a huge amount of gourmet nuts and olives.
I asked for plain water from the tap not wanting to pay for a bottle of water but the waiter brought a little bottle of Evian over anyway and said it was “Château-la-Pompe”, a fancy way of saying tap water. They didn’t charge us for it at any rate.