My hubby was a Second Lieutenant in the US Army when we got married. He was stationed in Kitzingen, a town in the German state of Bavaria. During our engagement, he lived and worked in Germany, while I lived and worked back here in Rhode Island. It was a tough arrangement, to say the least. We got engaged in July and were married the following April, and during those 9 months, we saw each other for a total of about two weeks!
My hubby flew home 5 days before the wedding, and just 3 days after our "I do's", we were on a plane to Paris for our honeymoon. It was a short stay in the City of Lights (4 nights), since we were exhausted (me), jet-lagged (both of us), and not exactly rolling in the dough (again, both of us). But whatever our honeymoon lacked in time, it more than made up for in sheer romance :) I mean, it's Paris!
Of course, no honeymoon gets pulled off without any snags, so we did have to learn some lessons fast as a newly-married couple. For instance...
...don't let the weather ruin your trip. You may have imagined April in Paris as being lovely and warm, with bright beautiful flowers everywhere and butterflies all around. However, you just might be stuck with honeymoon photos of you wearing a ridiculous fleece hat and a long winter coat, because it's freezing cold and drizzly.
...do spend some time just sitting on the Champs-Elysees. Because you're exhausted, jet-lagged, and too poor to do anything that costs money.
...do not attempt to walk up the inside of the Arc de Triomphe on an empty stomach, or on an even slightly unsettled stomach. See those weak attempt at smiles? We're actually about to toss our cookies after walking up the most ridiculously tight spiral staircases ever built.
...do cook some wonderful French-inspired meals at home 10 years later, to erase the memories of the Pizza Hut, Haagen-Dazs, and McDonald's that you ate during your honeymoon in Paris. Le sigh.
What a great idea!
Tonight I made Beans Bourguignon and Quick Herb Bread, two recipes from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. This stew was to-die-for-delicious and I felt like a true Julia Child making it. It smelled heavenly while it was cooking (1 cup of red wine will do that to a dish), and it was tummy-rubbing scrumptious. Woodsy mushrooms, kidney beans, carrots, garlic, shallots, tomatoes, and herbs are sauteed, simmered, and steeped in red wine. The stew is thickened by a vegan version of beurre manie, which made me feel super-French, even though it's just vegan margarine kneaded with flour. But doesn't buerre manie sound so much fancier?
While the stew simmered, I cooked some green beans and baked the bread.
This simple, rustic loaf was made with white whole wheat flour, baking powder, dried herbs (basil, thyme, and marjoram), salt, pepper, soy milk, and olive oil. It had a great crust and was a fantastic accompaniment to the stew.
Le Royale with Cheese, n'est-ce pas?
I have more pics (and tales) of Paris, which I will get to in a later post. For now...au revoir, mes petits amis!