Me? A l’aise…





alaisefraise @ gmail . com

(I’d love to hear from you!)

As a 20-something year old New Yorker living in France, I spend my days laboring over languages.  I feel like I have my “butt between two chairs,” as they say in French.  I have not and might never perfect my French, but as the days go by, I see my English suffering as a result of a lack of usage.  I write to my family in Frenglish; that is to say English with French constructions.  I forget how to say words, expressions, ideas in English.  There is always a French expression that is more precise and I can rarely find the English equivalent.  Yet, I embrace this unique mental confusion on a regular basis.

In French, there is a slightly outdated expression that goes: “à l’aise, Blaise!”  which sort of means “keep cool, Raoul.”

à l’aise meaning relax and Blaise being a first name.

Since I find my Frenglish (franglais?) to be a large majority of my charm, I have taken to creating my very own Laurenisms which are neither French expressions nor English ones but a combination of the two that is sure to get the strangers that I meet laughing at my ability to play with (or perhaps destroy) their mother tongue.

Last Spring as I spent a sunny provincal morning picking strawberries in a tiny Alsacian village near a place called Kurtzenhouse, the only expression that came to mind was à l’aise, fraise (relax, strawberry!) It rhymed perfectly well with Blaise, and yet it evoked the cool freshness of enjoying this wonderfully red hand-picked wonder in the middle of a strawberry field, lost in Alsace.  A star was born.

Now, many a Frenchman will correct my misuse of their tender expression.  But once I insist that language is but a combination of grammatical rules, vocabulary, syntax and character, they often roll their eyes, mutter about those Americans who do n’importe quoi (who knows what!)  I shrug it off, proud of my expression, but always knowing in the back of my mind that I could do the same with many of their English-a-cized French phrases. (C’est fun, anyone?)

This blog seeks to show not only moments of cultural tomfoolery but also how those particular moments of cultural tomfoolery most usually happen in the kitchen or surrounding food.  I am what you might consider a gourmande (someone who loves food) but I am a gourmande learning how to cook with my butt between two chairs.



7 Comments to “Me? A l’aise…”

  1. Love it!! Look forward to reading more! 🙂

  2. Looking forward to the grand opening! We want more!

  3. Thanks for following my blog. I hope you are able to try out some of the recipes sometime and let me know what you think.

  4. Lol! I do that too… but with Swedish and English (otherwise known as Svengelska… or Swenglish ;)) Love your blog concept and your recipes look delicious! Happy to follow! All the best on your adventures 🙂

  5. Thanks for following my blog. Thanks for sharing your story here. What a fantastic life you are living. Enjoy every moment.

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