When my brother and I were kids, we used to pretend that we could smoke like adults. Yet, he and I could not stand the smell of any cigarette nearby. Of course, in a country like France, especially almost thirty years ago, that was nearly impossible. To make it worse, both my parents smoked a lot. And I mean a lot! Comme des pompiers ! (literally smoked like firemen, which, I am told, is really the translation of smoked like a chimney — Don’t you love to notice the differences in images used in each language? We French speakers think about “firemen” when English speakers think about “chimney”). So my brother and I always wondered how we would have them stop. Until one day…
As much as I loved to go on trips far from home, Benoit would not consider going anywhere. He was just happy to stay around and hang out. So when the usual middle-school trip to England came close, he simply refused to go:
“Mais pourquoi est-ce que j’irais ? Et en plus, on mange mal en Angleterre !”
(why would I go? Besides, we don’t eat well in England!) is what he would argue when my parents tried to convince him to go!
D’accord, j’irai seulement à une condition, c’est que vous arrêtiez de fumer!
(Ok, I will only go if you stop smoking!) The day that followed this conversation, my parents stopped to smoke. There was never another cigarettte to be found anywhere at home. Benoit went to England and stayed with the only host family from the entire group where the father was a pastor. He delightfully reported that he ate well while most of his friends complained all the time, but added that every morning, he had to follow the family ritual morning prayer. And that was something for him to do! Of all the people, I wondered why this had to happen to such a non-believer as he was! Well, I was happy; my parents had stopped to pollute the air with the bad cigarette smell we hated so much.
But I still remember us fooling around, and roll crêpes as if they were cigarettes we wanted to smoke. I guess there is a certain pleasure to do that kind of thing.
While I remembered this story, I thought I would use it for what has been going on these days around here, and there.
These past few days, I have been more nervous than usual. Weird as I live in a country where the thing that makes me nervous is really not much talked about here, unless you come from South America or Europe generally speaking.
While driving back from Maine yesterday, to be home by 3 pm sharp (USA EST time) to watch the France/Portugal game, I called my dad and asked :
Moi : “— Tu regardes le foot ce soir ?
My dad : —Oui, moi oui, mais pas ta mère! Ca l’énerve et elle dit que si elle regarde, on va perdre.
M. : —Ah, bon ben, on se rappelle après le match, d’accord ?”
Moi : “— Are you watching the game tonight?
My dad :— Yes, I will, but not your mother. She says that it upsets her and if she watches it, we will lose.
M. : — Ah, right. Well, let’s call each other after the game, ok?”
Well, unlike my mum, I watched the game and was really nervous. Why I am doing this to myself is the big question. We won but phhh, it was limite! And it is not yet over as Sunday is really the big day! I decided that I would need to prepare some kind of snacky, get-the-nervousness-out type of food. And why not to make it blue, just like les bleus? Cheesy! I know! I reckon that it even probably looks more Greek than French, with this shade of blue, the feta cheese, filo pastry and mint mais tant pis ! (too bad). C’est l’idée qui compte ! (it is the thought that counts!) After all, I should add that I come from a family where my dad used to coach the local soccer team, and both he and my brother used to play a lot!
Allez les bleus !
This recipe is from the magazine Régal, a real success if you want my opinion. Definitely a dish that I will make following my imagination, in a lot of different versions, now that I have tried my hand at it.
- 5 sheets filo pastry
- 5.5 oz feta cheese
- 2.5 oz Chavrie (goat cheese)
- Olive oil
- 2.5 oz pine nuts
- 1 Large bunch fresh mint
- Preheat your oven at 425 F (220 C)
- Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan without oil and set aside.
- Mix together the 2 types of cheese.
- Wash the mint leaves and keep 10 nice leaves.
- Chop the rest and add them to the cheese preparation.
- Add the pine nuts and mix well. Season with pepper.
- Lay a sheet of filo on your counter top.
- Brush with olive oil.
- Cut in two halves.
- On each sheet, place a small amount of cheese at the bottom, in the middle.
- At the top part, in the middle, place a leave of mint.
- Fold each side on top of the cheese and start rolling, fom bottom to top, as if to form a cigarette.
- Brush with olive oil
- Repeat with the other cigarettes.
- Place them in the oven for 10 min, until golden.
- Take them out and let cool for 5 min.
- 5 feuilles de filo
- 150 g de feta
- 75 g Chavroux
- Huile d’olive
- 75 g pignons de pin
- 1 gros bouquet de menthe
- Préchauffez votre four à 220 C.
- Faitres griller les pignons de pin à sec et réservez de côté.
- Mélangez les deux fromages.
- Lavez les feuilles de menthe, et réservez 10 belles feuilles.
- Hachez le reste et ajoutez-le à la préparation de fromage.
- Ajoutez les pignons de pin et mélangez bien. Poivrez.
- Étalez une feuille de filo sur votre plan de travail.
- Coupez-la en deux dans le sens de la hauteur.
- Sur chaque demie-feuille, placez une bonne cuillerée de préparation au fromage, au milieu en bas.
- En haut, placez une feuille de menthe.
- Repliez les deux bords de filo vers l’intérieur et roulez de bas en haut, comme pour former une cigarette.
- Huilez à nouveau.
- Faites de même pour toutes les cigarettes.
- Placez-les au four et cuisez pendant 10 mns, jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient dorées.
- Sortez-les du four et laissez refroidir pendant 5 mns.