Friday, January 23, 2009

chez moi

I've only been living here for a week and a half and already I feel at home. Strasbourg is a beautiful city and extremely student-friendly.
This is my friend Elizabeth and I immediately after unloading our beloved bus that had taken us all around northern Europe during our traveling seminar. We were thrilled and after a quick orientation meeting we parted ways as we met our host families for the first time. My host-sister (20) was over a friends house so it was only my adorable host-mom that brought me to my new home. I love how she asked if the room was okay for me, I couldn't have been happier. The entire apartment is lovely. My host-mom is interested in the arts, as am I, and she decorated everything so nicely.My rooms much bigger than I would have imagined... actually the entire apartment is. We're on the 4th floor in a building near the center of town and have a gorgeous view of a nearby church. With all the excitement I didn't realize how hungry I had gotten but she promptly fed me anyway :). As I mentioned before, she's a vegetarian too, so my first dinner consisted of a vegetable soup, warm mixed vegetables, a hard-boiled egg, tomato, olives, toasted bread, and my favorite cheese of all time, brie. It was all delectable. The next morning she put together a delightful breakfast for me, consisting of French bread slices, cheese, cherry jam, a cereal bar, a date, a dried apricot, 3 almonds, and tea. It's adorable how meticulous she is! If that sounds like a lot... it was and I ended up only eating 2 slices of bread... but I finished off the rest :).
Then we had a looong morning of meetings and speakers to assist us in our transition with our new French lives, bank accounts, insurance, traveling, classes, a city tour, etc. By the time our lunch buffet came out I think we were all starving!
I had some chicken, cous cous salad, and a whole ton of fresh veggies.

It was all delicious but I think I over-estimated the filling factor... I ended up getting a whole 'nother plate after this one.
Same stuff, same deliciousness. So happy with the selection that the SU center gave us! What a great program they've got going on here ;).
Just give me some crunchy finger foods and I'm focused all afternoon!
Following our long first day I came home, ate a quick dinner (of which I can't recall) and immediately went to bed. I was positively exhausted! The next morning I awoke to another new breakfast, this time featuring our housekeeper's fresh-baked bread, she's Moroccan.

I enjoyed another mug of Thé du Petit-Dejuener as well.

With a little bit of cherry jam, a clementine, and two gingerbread cookies (of which I saved for a lunch dessert) it was a wonderfully satisfying breakfast. That bread is incredibly filling!
For lunch I ate the left-overs at our university's student center. Finally, after another LONG day, lol, I came home for a light dinner and another great night's sleep. I had a big bowl of vegetable soup with two Wasa crackers and yogurt for dessert.I like having light dinners but then I wake up with only one thing on my mind... food! To be honest, I prefer it that way though :). Seeing as it was a Saturday morning, my host-sister and I had a breakfast treat, Chinois. Woah, was this yummy!
And to add to my delectable treat, I had a Vanilla Cappucino too!

For our first dinner out, my friends and I were looking for delicious without a big price tag. We found it! Downtown we stumbled across this small but festive Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Matteo.

We immediately ordered two bottles of wine for the table of six and were so happy with the our choices. My choice, the Pinot Noir, was a definite crowd pleaser :). What came next, ordering, was the hard part. Eventually, Elizabeth and I decided to split the Pesto Pizza.

It was an exquisite choice! The fresh mozzarella cheese over the house pasta sauce and pesto was divine! There were also a few scattered olives of which, neither Elizabeth nor I, are fans of. However! foodies as we both are, we ordered this despite the fact, or rather, because of the olives. We're determined to LOVE olives by the end of this trip ;).
I've got to admit, my last olive was actually pretty good.
And then came dessert! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Our two table choices were to die for! I'll go back and look up the names for you, but in the mean time, just please, drool over the pictures...


Ryan can't imagine how you couldn't! He would like to take this opportunity to introduce himself to the blogosphere. He's joining me on the many European food adventures of the semesters and is quite the character. I'm sure you all will make him feel very welcome :).
We spent the rest of the night exploring the area and stumbling across the symbol of Strasbourg, the cathedral. She's quite impressive!
The next morning I enjoyed a combo breakfast of my two recent favorites. Unfortunately, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I could hardly finish all of it. Oh well, more for the next day :).
Our first Sunday in town was deemed, Dimanche avec ma famille, a day devoted to spending time with your new host family. For lunch that day my mom made an authentic Quiche Lorraine.

Paired with a salad of endive, tomatoes, olive oil, and parsley.
Light with whole foods and simple ingredients and heavy on family bonding it was a very authentically-French and delightful lunch.Then we drove outside of Strasbourg to the birthplace of Bugatti race cars. Hear that boyfriend?! If you come visit we can explore the museum, I promise! :) All of the smaller towns surrounding the city are adorable and full of unique history. As for our plans that day, we simply explored the old Alsacian town and then went to a play. It was performed in the Alsacian language, a combination of French and German, and I couldn't understand a thing! Haha, it was a great cultural experience though and I got a splendid cup of French-pressed coffee and dessert out of it!We got home around 8ish that night to my poor exhausted host sister. She had quite the partying weekend and it had finally caught up with her! She's a sweetheart, and although we have conflicting busy schedules, I hope to hang out with her soon. Anyway, back to dinner! We had a warm corn and pea casserole alongside sliced sweet potatoes in ginger, brown sugar, and pepper, and topped with sliced almonds. Ending the meal was the obligatory cheese plate, this time with Brie and goat cheese and a clementine.
As you can probably tell, I've been very happy so far! Whether with the food, the people, or Strasbourg it seems I've gotten lucky again :) I couldn't be more thankful. We obviously still have a whole weeks-worth of food to go over but I think I'll get to that tomorrow in a less explanatory, more picture-heavy post. As for now, I've got to get home, my host mom is hosting an Art Gallery in our home and I promised her I'd be there to help. Also expect a full review of that and a city tour, I want you to get to know the city like I am. Oh and I'm going on a country excursion tomorrow too that I need to review for you! Please let me know if I'm overwhelming you! I don't mean too, I'm just excited :) and want to tell you all about it! Take care lovelies, hope you're having nice weather wherever you are and a delightful weekend. Bientôt!

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