S’mores, The Taste of American Camping

Originally posted on Brat Like Me:

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The kids wanted to make S’mores.  We bought all the ingredients a few days ago and promptly ate them ’round the hob.  You typically do this sort of food around a campfire.  Lucy insisted that we do this properly.  So back to the shops to buy some more ingredients.  Everything is easy to find except the Graham Crackers.  The closest I could get was ” petite beurre ” cookies.

Z demonstrates the final product.

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For those who aren’t familiar with The S’more here’s a quick how-to.  The ” S’more ” is short for ” that is so fantastic! I want some more! ”  or Brent’s version, ” what a complete waste of chocolate and marshmallows. ”

Build a small campfire.

Toast your marshmallow over the campfire.  Everyone has their own style.  Kids usually flame their marshmallow just because they can.  I’m more of a crusty on the outside, gooey on…

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Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak, a dish so American, you’d think it came from Germany.

With a milky gravy.

Here’s something to do with those steaks you have no idea what to do with.  With the “Gite a la noix” cut, which translated by google is “Cottage has nuts” … now my new favorite nickname for the Gite / Noix cut … you can do one of two things:

1) warm, fry and rest.  The flavor is there, but a bit chewy.  Perhaps with a nice sauce.

2) Pound the crap out of it – a la Chicken Fried Steak.

At a glance:

-  pound flour into beef with salt and pepper

- start some rice

-  chop onion

-  fry beef in hot duck fat

- while beef rests, gently cook onions

-  add flour for gravy

- add milk, make magic gravy

-  grab wine and serve

 

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Behold the Cottage Nuts cut:

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Pound in the flour.

I’ve pounded then floured many times.  This is the first time I’ve pounded the flour in.  I highly recommend this method.  It serves you well when you fry.

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My Ikea countertops can’t handle a pounding, so I use a step stool and a sturdy chopping board.

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Pound the flour into the meat.

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Salt and pepper after.

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Prepare the onions for the milky gravy.

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Take a moment to snap a photo of a cute three-year-old.

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Fry those babies hot hot.  Get the pan hot before the steak goes in.  Otherwise, it will get all melty man.

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After the steak has been fried, dump out most of the fat.  Add a lump of butter and add the onions.

When the onions go all soft, add some flour to make a roux.  Then add a cup and a bit of milk.

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Stir and thicken.

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Serve in strips or cubes or whole. Just don’t forget the gravy!

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The Taste Of Orange

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There isn’t a specific food I miss from America.  We eat meat and veg.  You can get or grow meat and veg here.  It’s nice.  But when our friend from America said, ” I’m coming over, do you want anything? ”  I thought of the children.  Our children have no idea what Kraft macaroni & CHEESE tastes like.  Kraft macaroni & CHEESE has a specific flavor that no other macaroni & cheese product has to offer.  Kraft macaroni & CHEESE is the flavor orange.

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I haven’t eaten mac’n’cheese for soooo long, but I retained a kinestetic memory of how to make it.  It fell out of me like those days of having a quick bite before getting back for dress rehearsal.

Get the water boiling.

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Bubbly bubbly, pasta in.

 

 

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It’s so quick from here.  Kraft noodles boil faster than other noodles.  They are super noodles.

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The orange shower with butter nub.

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Powder more addictive than addictive illegal powder itself.

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The squidge and sound of orange mixing.  You begin to salivate and panic, where’s my bowl?!  Where’s my fork?!  No wait, I’ll eat it out of the pan!

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Minty samples.  ( in her Judo outfit.  Friends don’t let friends let your kids eat orange in their Judo outfit.  bad idea )

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“Weird.”

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I want more.  Yes, Minty, you and the rest of children across America.  It’s is amazing stuff.  Thankfully, I can’t find it here in France.  No … don’t … zip it … ” They don’t sell it in France … “

American Pancakes

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It is necessary to provide the flavor of the American Pancake to our children.  They are American after all and we live in France.  Fluffy, bready, num-num covered in fake maple syrup is not common in the Gers.  So, we do our little part to keep on keeping on.

 

It all started when I saw Aunt Jemima winking at me.  When did Aunt Jemima arrive in France?  I’m like, “yeah!  my kids have no idea what this tastes like!”  and then I’m like, “I’ll bet in French they pronounce “Aunt Jemima” like “Aunt Jemima”  we need to act.

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For the first time ever, I managed to get the baking powder right.  In America we have “double acting baking powder.”  Here you have “Levure Chimique.”  I’ve flattened most things on most occasions.  They sell baking powder in packets here in France.  So with this guy, I chucked in one packet per egg.  I feel that maybe, somehow, I double acted it.  It goes like this for six hungry, extremely tired and crazy Curtis humans:

3 cups flour, we used local ancient

4 eggs

4 packets of French Baking Powder

3 tablespoons of sugah

3 cups of milk

4 tablespoons of melted butter

2 teaspoons of salt

A splash of Armagnac or Rhum

 

… mix however you like, then ladle on a hot, hot griddle

 

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After a puff or a bubble pop, flip.

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Brown is good.  Too brown and the husband complains.

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They need less time after the flip.

 

Pile on a plate.  Butter bud.  Pour some syrup American.   Eat and thank yo’ mama.  She did this dinner on a Thursday because things can sometimes be crazy.  Sometimes, American pancakes are fast-food when fast-food n’existe pas in the country.