American Foods Revisited

Four years ago I wrote a blog post about the American foods I missed while in France. I’m back in France now, and I thought it would be fun to re-visit that post and see if the foods I miss now are the same as they were then! Especially since one of the most quintessentially American holidays (the 4th of July) is right around the corner, and as every American knows: holidays are an excuse to eat as much food as possible!
Click here to read the original post with my comments.

Ice cream will always be one of my favorite foods. Especially from the Hop in Asheville!

White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville has the best tacos.

  1. Macaroni and Cheese. I will always miss mac and cheese. I made some from scratch in Finland, but it wasn’t the same– Gouda and Gruyere might be fancier, but it’s not the same as good ol’ cheddar cheese.
  2. American-style breakfast. — Okay, so Finland was great about American-style breakfast, since I made my own scrambled eggs and bacon on a regular basis. I do miss biscuits and waffles though.
  3. PB&J. NOPE. I wish I had peanut butter for carrots or apples, but I don’t miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  4. COOKIES! Brownies, cake-with-legit-frosting. I don’t really miss this, either. Butter cream cakes, maybe, but I did a fair amount of baking in Finland, and there were plenty of brownie-like cakes.
  5. Phish Food flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. This is still my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s, but I just want ice cream in general. These days I really miss The Hop in Asheville – they have the best ice cream!
  6. Mexican food. I will always want Mexican food. Just like mac and cheese, it’s one of the greatest things about living in the USA, even if it isn’t technically American.
  7. PASTA with non-meat-sauce or pasta with not-ketchup-and-Gruyere. I have not had to eat bad pasta, so I’m good on the pasta front.
  8. Barbeque. Like the kind with pulled pork sandwiches. Oh yes, I still miss this.
  9. Pop-tarts. No, and I am embarrassed that this was even on the list. Pop-tarts are sad food. I saw some in Finland and considered buying them just for the novelty of it, but… nope.
  10. Hershey’s Chocolate. NO. I had lots of delicious chocolate in Finland, and there’s plenty of chocolate around so that I don’t feel like I’m lacking everyday chocolate. My everyday chocolate is of higher quality.
Basically, I only miss 5 of the American foods I missed in 2010.

A mac & cheese and bacon pizza is as ridiculously American as it gets.

So what do I miss besides mac&cheese, American-style breakfast, ice cream, Mexican food, and barbecue?
  1. Americanized Chinese takeout. Oh yes. So unhealthy, so good.
  2. Pizza with fluffy crust. I don’t mean Chicago-style deep dish pizza, but normal, fluffy crust pizza. The kind with air bubbles in the crust. The thin crust is great and delicious, but lacking in variety and the crust bubbles are my favorite.
  3. My favorite teas. Technically not a food, but I’m still going to count it. I am almost out of my stash of tea bags from the USA! Nothing is quite like my favorite Constant Comment.
  4. Mashed potatoes with gravy. 
  5. Cinnamon rolls & donuts. Cinnamon rolls without cardamom and with real icing, instead of sugar are heavenly. The Finns have korvapuusti (like a cinnamon roll, made with pulla dough and sprinkled with sugar crystals) and munkki (fried pulla dough– can be in a donut shape or filled with jam, covered in sugar) which are delicious, but not quite the same as sticky cinnamon rolls and donuts.

Scott Ableman on FlickrThe foods I miss seem to be late-night foods: greasy, horrible-for-you piles of fries and cheese and bacon. Breakfast at all hours of the day, in any combination. Everything sweet, greasy, and (typically) unhealthy… mmm.

Soon enough, I’ll be back in the USA, enjoying all of these horrible and delicious foods. Though in the meantime, there is plenty of delicious French food to eat! (And American-style pancakes on the weekends!)

Three Years Ago…

 

 

Pictures from my last day with my French friends when my mom and brother visited.
 

Hello, all!

Three years ago I landed on American soil after seven months of living in France. 

Three years have passed since my friends came to pick me up at the airport and I didn’t quite believe it was real. Since we screamed and cried and hugged in an airport lobby because it had been so long and so much had changed.

Seven months changes a lot. 

Three years changes more.

Three years ago, I had already accomplished the dream that I had been working towards for 10 years of my life. I didn’t have a new dream; I was happy to be home but my language and my heart was still captured in French. (It still is, but to a lesser extent.)

Three years have passed since I was last in Europe. Slightly more than that since I said goodbye to “my Frenchies” and embarked on a short vacation to Italy with my mother and brother. More than three years since I wandered through Southern France with near-strangers that are kind of family and now-distant friends. Since filming silly videos with my friends and dancing through La Villa Aurélienne. Since hanging out in MacDo and Quick and getting sunburnt on the beach of La mer Méditerranée

Picture from a picnic my class threw me before I left France.


I find myself looking through those pictures and blog posts and thinking of all those experiences and I fall in love with those experiences all over again. Or I feel the sting of loneliness as I read about those rough days when I felt like I was falling apart. I re-watch the video I made to celebrate five months in France again and tear up as I remember those friends and I think about all the stories and pictures that I never shared here. (There are so many)

I think about who I was then. How I felt out of touch with the United States and my friends on either side of the ocean at different points; those moments of clarity on long train rides alone and when goofing off with people whose names I probably never pronounced exactly right. 

And then there’s now. 

I’m rediscovering myself and my strength and challenging myself all over again. I’ve found a new dream to pursue at long last and I am pursuing it the best I know how.

Life is strange and time passes too quickly. I’m not sure where I will be seven months from now, much less three years from now. I wonder if I will still maintain the friendships I have had for years, or if I will re-establish the closeness I once had with my seven month friends. 

That being said, it’s time to share again. 

A bientot!
Aly

Pizza

HELLO!

Superduperquickpost.

Today was busy! Spent most of the day at the library. Project DONE, yayyy! Classes worked out for dual enrollment– very strange story. Cross-country was good, tomorrow is first day of school EEP and it’s REALLY LATE!

SENIOR YEAR WHAAAT?! D:
-Aly

P.S. Sorry this is fail, I just finished everything and I still have more to do to be ready for tomorrow!

Granola Bar

Coucou!

Okay, so, today I’ll be writing in English, though yesterday’s post is definitely not the last post I’ll be writing in French just because I can…

ANYWAY!

My first day of Forsyth Tech went surprisingly well. I was EARLY, but my teacher was late, so I stood anxiously in the quickly-emptying hallway and fidgeted, while obsessively checking my phone for the time. Eventually he showed up (about six minutes late), and the class began. There were only SEVEN of us there, which was REALLY WEIRD. Is that how it works at community colleges, or did everybody just…skip?

We were discussing Ethics and Law, which is really quite fascinating, though the chapter in the book is TWENTY-SIX pages long (so after working on it for a good chunk of my day and taking probably unnecessary notes, I’m on page 18). I really hope every chapter won’t be like that, because I fear that might be a bit too much reading, even for me. Unfortunately, I encountered so many problems with my Sociology class that I didn’t even get started on that today.

I logged on to Blackboard, only to discover that I WASN’T enrolled in any online classes. So I called the help desk, only to be put on hold for 10 minutes and hang up. I then called the Dual Enrollment organizer, only to find out that she will be gone until Friday (unless she’s forgotten to change her voicemail…), and then i called Tech Support AGAIN, only to be on hold for 15 minutes before actually talking to an actual person, who told me that I was enrolled in the class from their end, and that I’d have to contact my teacher to have them open up the course. Unfortunately, I can’t see my teacher’s contact information since it says I’m not enrolled in the class. GAHHHHHH. SO FREAKING FRUSTRATING.

All of that means that I have to deal with more stuff tomorrow, since I didn’t today. Emails, emails, emails, that I don’t have time to do.

Anyway, after all that mess, I went up to my high school to help out one of the “coaches”, Mr Fisher, who is really a math teacher. I got there early (since I’m bad at timing), and ended up staying for the next two hours, dealing mostly with the organization of textbooks, which included putting names into many of them. I gave one of my friends a New book because I could, and then spazzed out later when I found MY old Algebra 2 book. I’m so glad I don’t have to go through that again. I wanted to leave a note for the next owner of that book, but decided not to. I mean, I wouldn’t want to embarrass anybody by being that creepy! … 🙂

Finally, there was more cross-country, where I ran with a small group of girls, For once, we had a girl from every grade! We were just chilling, a nice, relaxed run. One of the other groups (the “faster” group), walked, which I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, and it annoys me quite a bit but so far as I’m concerned, they can make their own decisions about what they want from their season. I’ll just run with the “slow” group, enjoy myself, and at the end of the day, feel good about what I accomplished.

In other news, Real School starts Wednesday, and I’m still not done with Summer Reading, so I’ll be squeezing that in tomorrow!

A demain, comme d’habitude 😉

-Aly

Scones!

Salut!

Alors, aujourd’hui, je vais ecrire en français un petit peu 🙂 J’espere que ça te derange pas trop! (Inquietez pas, je vais ecrire apres en anglais pour ceux qui savez pas le français.)

J’ai lavé ma voiture aujourd’hui! Ca prends beaucoup de temps, malheursement, alors je n’ai pas beaucoup fait à partir de ça. En fin, j’ai rien accompli aujourd’hui sauf faire le menage. Apres diner, j’ai fait la cuisine—j’ai fait les scones de myrtille avec un glaçage de citron. Ca m’a fait beaucoup de plaisir, parce que je vais les manger pour petit dejeuner demain matin! Ils sont très bons—mon frère m’a dit ça et il dit jamais les choses gentils au sujet de la cuisine que je fais! xD Mon premier cours de l’ecole à l’universite est demain matin, à 8h. Je ne suis pas pret!

En fin, j’ai dit au revoir à Via et maintenant, je vais au lit! 😀

*****

Okay, In ENGLISH now! 😀 I just wanted to practice my French, since the only time I write in French is when I talk to my French friends… unfortunately, that’s never frequently enough, due to my busy schedule and the 6 hour time difference. Anway, I hope that didn’t annoy you too much, and any of you that speak French, feel free to correct me 😉

Today, I ended up washing my car, though I didn’t originally plan to. That took up most of the day, so I really didn’t do much else! I didn’t end up accomplishing anything today except a few chores. After dinner, I baked—I made blueberry scones with lemon icing, which are DELICIOUS, and a smoothie with leftover blueberries, some raspberries, strawberries, and cranberry juice. The scones will DEFINITELY be my breakfast tomorrow, and even my brother (who never compliments my cooking!) said they were good! xD

My first class at the community college is tomorrow morning at 8, so I have to get up reallyyyy early 😦 Luckily, I’ll have scones to look forward to as breakfast, instead of cereal! I’m not ready for this at all, so I really hope I’ll survive—I guess I’ll talk about it tomorrow?

After all that, I went over to Via’s to say goodbye, but didn’t cry. I’m still trying not to think about the fact that so many of my friends are so far away. GAHH MY LIFE IS BORING!

I’m going to bed now 🙂

BONSOIR/GOODNIGHT!

-Aly

P.S. What would you say if I make EVERY blog post from this month a food-title? I think I’ll make it my Thing.

Popsicles and Ice Cream

Hello again!

See what I said about blogging every day? I’m making this happen.

So, today was BUSY. Not that every day isn’t, but today was borderline hectic.

We had a long run this morning. My run was strangely satisfying. I wore my NEW SHOES which are the same as Molly’s shoes, which was of course, completely unintentional. It was sunny again, thus really humid, after all the rain we’ve had lately. My shoes are ALREADY dirty, but hopefully they won’t smell as bad as my spikes do anytime soon.

(For you non-cross-country-runners, spikes are the racing shoes we wear… and they have a very pungent odor. I refuse to take mine out of the box, and they stay in a corner of the basement where the stench can’t hurt the quality of life…)

Our coach brought Popsicles for us for after the run (YAY! TREATS!), and since there were so many of them, Molly and I got three each. We were laughing, being like “oh, Fattie Club is BACK IN SESSION!” and “I wonder if we can make this a thing?”, so Coach Cromwell took us off to the side for a Lecture. It wasn’t so much of a Lecture as it was an Expression of Worry About Our Mental Health, which made it rather humorous. But, in a way, it was complimentary and I think both Molly and I realized how awkward and difficult it must be for him to confront “girly” problems (even if they are perceived as problems, but aren’t).

Though it is funny to note his reaction to us senior girls with our water-guns at yesterday’s practice and then what he said to Molly and I today. We’re just enigmas. 🙂

Other than that, I spent today shopping for books with my mother, which ended in me getting a couple books from the Free Shelf (ONE IS A PLAY IN FRENCH!) and lots of Shakespeare. She finally showed me the houses she likes, one of which we will hopefully buy… as soon as our house sells.

After all that, I went to Via’s house (with Molly) to help her pack for college. That was fun, but the reasoning is sad. It SUCKS to say goodbye, and she’s not ready to leave. For that matter, I’m not ready for any of my “ex-senior” friends to be gone. I know I’ll keep in touch somehow and this won’t be goodbye forever (at least, I SINCERELY hope not!), but still, the whole people-leaving thing is just not fun as leaving yourself.

During all that, we stopped by Cold Stone. Hence, ice cream. Delicious, FattieClub worthy, ice cream. YAYYY SUMMER! (I’m holding on to Summertime for dear life, though I could do with some nice fall-like temperatures…)

A demain! 😉

-Aly

NaBloPoMo

Hello, everybody!

So, I’ve been back from France for a month-and-several-days, and time is still passing far too quickly. I’ve got less than a week until school starts again, and to be honest, I’m not at ALL ready. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that this is my last year of high school, though I’ve been worrying excessively about colleges since about April.

In other news, I’ve been REALLY busy lately, which is why I haven’t yet finished the last two blog posts from France. Sorry about that. Part of the reason is that finishing those posts feels like saying goodbye to that time in my life. I’m still holding on to the memories and the people I met there, my friends and “dreamland”.

Since I’m not that great at blogging or keeping up with this blog, I’ve decided that I’m dedicating this month to be my National Blog Posting Month, which is rather like NaNoWriMo, except it’s basically any time you like. I’ll be blogging daily until September 19th, even if it’s a small post. During this time, expect the last couple blog posts about France, and a few other big posts with excessive pictures. However, it’ll all depend on my schedule—cross-country season is nearly here for good (not just pre-season), and I’ll be busy with college applications, classes, and volunteering soon enough. With a bit MORE luck, I’ll be able to keep up with my French by tutoring others in French, since they cut the AP French program. Basically, if you know anybody that wants to learn French or is struggling with French, let me know, and I’ll see if I can help! 😉

(In reference to the “volunteering” thing—I’m applying to volunteer at the public library! I turned in the application yesterday, before settling in for an hour and some of working on school stuff. I love libraries :D)

Last night was Orientation (at least I didn’t have to go to REAL orientation in the silly clothes I wore to the “What Not To Wear skit” for Freshman orientation in the morning. The Freshman are probably embarrassed about the seniors xD), so I got to “meet” my teachers, though I more-or-less know them all. I’m really excited for my English class, because I have it with Molly, Matt, and Duncan… though I feel sorry for my teacher.

My dual enrollment classes begin Monday. With luck, I’ll be able to change my study hall to be a study hall with French… so that I can speak in French for an hour of my day!

In a strange way, I’m excited for this year. I just know it’ll be hard and crazy, though I think I can handle it. Don’t hold me to that one, though, because I’m probably going to spaz out in a few weeks!

-Aly