Canadians. We are a quirky bunch, eh? Being from Canada, more specifically from the West Coast of BC, living in France has been an adjustment. There are a few things that I miss from my kitchen back home that I hunt around for, and other things that I will never be able to replace. Yup I am talking about you! Here is our top 10 ten list.
Rooster Red Hot Sauce is not from Canada. It’s from China, but you cannot buy it here. The hot sauces in Europe are not hot enough for true hot sauce, burn your face off, yes it bites back, connoisseurs! We resort to dousing everything in vinegary Tabasco, going through a bottle a week. Alfonz found a sweet Chinese hot sauce last week in Budapest and we drench our eggs, rice, meats, you name it, in it, but it is too sweet for my liking. I love the Roosters sauce with no garlic, namely for the lack of vinegar, not too salty, and lower in sugar than other brands. It is like eating a crushed up red hot chilli pepper, sauced.
We love and miss our hot sauce, it is true but at least my mom can send it to us. Right mommy? Please!
The kids love Annie’s shell noodles with cheese sauce from Costco. It is similar to the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, except it is organic. We used to buy the economy 12-variety pack, and it would last us the month. I love giving the children a snack after school, one that will fill them up until dinner. One box is the perfect amount to feed my 2 kids.
Here we just eat dinner when the kids come home from Elementary, being so late in the evening by the time they get back from school but I know when the weather gets hot, we won’t be eating until much later in the evening. The instant food time saver is very missed.
I even tried making shell noodles with a homemade white sauce and melted cheese in, but it was lost on us all. Just not the same! Something so good about instant dried cheese, where you just add milk and butter and a whole meal magically appears from a box! Modern science!
I miss my family, especially my mom. We really got used to mom being around all the time, helping us out with the kids, counting on her when we got sick, and hanging out around the dinner table. No one could replace her. She will have to come visit us and eventually move here, end of story! 😉
My circle of friends back in Canada are an amazing bunch of women I adore. Each of them, mean different things to me, but all equally important. Building a support system like this, over the last few years, was very hard for me to leave. Our children all play, celebrate holidays and birthdays together. I can only hope to have a few friends like that here. They say if you have one good friend in your life you are a rich man. I must be a very rich lady!
Oh how I miss carrying around a coffee wherever I go. Not to mention their delicious Thai Wraps I used to grab if I had skipped breakfast and found myself ordering a tall latte extra foam. I definitely miss you Starbucks, parting was such sweet sorrow.
I miss my huge red Star Bucks cups and my Starbucks espresso maker too. B is lucky to have them to drink giant mugs of coffee, out of while us in France have tiny shots of espresso, everything seems to be itsy bitsy here. Boo!
The other thing we cannot find here in France or Europe for that matter is decaf tea. They give their children tea when they are sick, so when in Rome. Angelina was up for three days before I realized the camomile tea I was giving her to help her sleep with her bad flu had caffeine in it! Poor child of mine. It doesn’t make sense that they don’t have to write caffeinated on the box of herbal tea.
I cannot believe how much I crave these little breakfast biscuits, made from a fresh egg, a round peppered sausage and melted cheese, on a fresh buttermilk biscuit. The biscuits are fluffy, and the egg is done to perfection, done fresh while you wait. Best Canadian morning fast food hands down! There is no ‘grab a coffee and breakfast’ place close to us here in Capestang. We have a McDonald’s in Narbonne and one in Beziers, but it doesn’t taste the same.
I crave breakfast meal deals when hung over, you know, the exact amount of grease to coat and settle the tummy. I haven’t actually been hung over here, no invites to big parties yet, but when it happens, I am sure to make my cravings known.
Yesterday Alfonz and I went on a date, and ended up at McDonald’s for lunch. The breaded chicken in my chicken sandwich was real meat! No, like actual chicken, and everything was healthy. Gone to hell! I guess I won’t be able to have a hang over in France. Jeesh!
In France we’ve not been able to find the low-calorie bumpy wet cottage cheese Canada sells. Angelina and I used to eat one tub a day and put it in everything. Here it is creamed into a paste, and I think it has gelatin in. I made a lasagna with it, although it taste delicious and cooked up like a pastry filling, it didn’t stretch or melt the same. Maybe someone should try making it here? I love cottage cheese on my pizza, with pepper and hot sauce, on my pot stickers with tofu, but most of all on my spoon the first day of opening the tub. Awe cottage cheese bliss!
Going over to my favorite clothing store, Plum, in White Rock was a favourite pass time. They have everything from: dressy dresses, to simple summer ones, to work clothes to shorts, stylish coats and jackets, to T-shirts and sweaters. And their medium always fits me, as well as anything in my size, it is always the same! I can grab a dress off the rack and walk out the door knowing it will fit, or a pair of yoga pants or a top and the standardized fitting is always good. Alfonz often went in to buy a gift for me, and he could grab my size, wrap it and there you have it. I got so used to the fabulous staff at the Peninsula Village location too, they would always help me pick out an outfit, often in under 10 minutes. They knew what I liked, and always were eager to help me. I miss you Plum, come to France! http://www.plum.ca/
I haven’t found an all in one diffuser and natural oil store in France. Essence is one of my favorite stores. I love to have eucalyptus burning when we are sick or add peppermint to freshen stale air. Citrus scents are good to cover food smells. It gives us energy and makes us feel happy as well as has healing agents to build immunity. They have electric diffusers and the French salesmen assure me they are way better. But for me there is something so magical about the glow of a candle, and the mist that carries off the ceramic, floating up towards your nose. The process is just as important as the result. I like little rituals after all, huh? http://www.escentsaromatherapy.com/
We spent a large amount of time and money in Chapters and Indigo book stores. For those of you that don’t know Chapters or Indigo, it is like Barnes and Noble or Virgin bookstores throughout the world, with isle after isle of endless books to buy. Ours had a Starbucks attached! The perfect marriage of caffeine and stories.
All being avid readers in our family, we devour books like apples. In some ways they are very much like apples aren’t they. Huh? An apple a day, full of nutrients, that first crack as you get inside…I’ll stop daydreaming, back to my post…
I miss buying books, which are new and clean and have a factory print smell. Knowing you are the only one that has ever read it! It will be a while before I have this luxury again, if ever. With eBooks so readily available, eventually real life books will be for the rich, a novelty like a rare antique or a designer watch.
I still miss it, the weight of the book as I read, how my arms get tired holding them in bed. Ah the art of reading from a book.
In chapters you can browse through endless amounts of books, also a ritual more then a necessity. Nonetheless I miss our lazy Sunday mornings at Grandview corners Indigo store.
Eva’s Note: So if you come visit, hit Plum first! I am a medium top, size 8 dresses, 29 pants.
If you love me send shell noodles and hot sauce, I am Jonesin’!
Oh and some English books like Stink books 2&3 for the kids! They decided to shout in on this post! 😉