La Toussaint

Today is All Saints’ Day, a national holiday in France.  I get the day off from University, and younger students get the whole week off!

At the hospital this week, we had a fête d’halloween (halloween party).  I put up decorations,  the children made Jack-o-lanterns (but in reality they just drew on them and I did the cutting, no knives for children), and the same chef as before came back and we made a halloween soup.

I paid attention to how we made the soup, in case anyone is interested:

  • Half a pumpkin, cut into approximately 1 inch squares (no skin, no inside gunk)
  • Cut up 2-3 leeks into 1/2 inch squares
  • generous amount of butter
  • 2/3 L milk
  • 2/3 L creme (save last 1/3 for chantilly)
  • 1 vanilla (i don’t know the word, but the long and skinny outer shell with the seeds inside)
  • can add others spices if you want, not obligatory

Put putter in big big pot, sauté the leeks.  Then add the pumpkin, continue to sauté. Once they’re softer, add in 2/3 L of milk and 2/3 liter of creme.  slice the vanilla shell, and scoop out the seeds, add to the mixture.  Stick the outer shell in afterwards.  Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, get out a whisk and turn the rest of creme into chantilly (do not add sugar) Take the vanilla shell out.  Grab a big mixer and mix it all up so its liquid.  Add salt to taste (depends on how sweet the pumpkin is).  Pour the soup into cups or bowls, top with a dollop of chantilly.

Warning, this soup is very heavy…. nonetheless very tasty!

We celebrated Halloween at the Hospital (on Tuesday) for something fun to do with the Children.  However, Halloween isn’t generally celebrated in France.  No one dresses up, no one trick-or-treats, etc.

To my dismay, I had my first exam on Halloween.  The exam was in my  Sociology of French Culture  class.  First of all, they make you bring your own paper for exams.  And of course, no one can use pencils.  For this exam in particular, he put an image projected on the board, it happened to be La Liberté guidant le peuple and asked us to analyse it in the context of the class.  Then he asked us to define culture in the context of the class.  Then he gave us a short extrait from a texte from David Harvey about modernity and asked us to analyse it in the context of the class.  I was shocked by how broad the topics were.  This happens often in France, they give you a super broad topic, but are wanting a super specific answer…. So, I was able to respond to each of the questions, but I wasn’t sure I got to the specific points he wanted… we will find out.  This type of in-class-essay always stresses me out because I don’t get spell check and I’m sure I make numerous grammar mistakes because I can’t read it over multiple times :/

So today, for my holiday, I’m doing homework… I found the films for my film class on youtube so I’m having a pretty relaxing day.  The first film was a sci-fi clip from the 60s.  It showed the destruction of a theoretical third world war that took down Paris.  The second film I’m watching right now, and so far it’s a sort of documentary where a woman is walking along the streets asking people if they’re happy.  Documentaries weren’t very popular in the 60s, so a lot of people are treating the poor woman rudely.

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