This week has been pretty calm, all things considered. I've gotten back in the swing of school, patiently waiting until spring break comes along in a month, have been experimenting with different recipes -- some of which have been hits and some of which have been entirely disastrous. Do you know how difficult it is to cook without an oven? I've been going INSANE without one over here, but I feel like I'm finally learning how to use my two pots, one pan, and two burners to their full potential.
On Tuesday our group of study abroad students visited a chateau, although I'm sad to say the name has escaped me and I never wrote it down anywhere. We got a tour of the underground refuge -- caves built into the limestone with rooms for animals, storing grains, and places for the royalty to sleep -- as opposed to going through the actual chateau which was quite an experience. It was also a bit frustrating being six feet tall and having to be perpetually hunched over because the ceilings were not built with someone of my height in mind.
We also got to see the kitchen, which had tiles that were burnt black from all of the cooking that had been done there over the centuries, and the wine cellar -- which included this press which we were told had been used up until the 1980s!
One of my favorite things about spring in France so far is how green everything is! There are also a great number of new-to-me plants and flowers over here, which makes wandering around quite the adventure.
On Tuesday we also visited a mushroom museum, which was quite... interesting. We got a guided tour through the caves where various types of mushrooms are grown and learned a great deal about the process for each mushroom. There was also a shop where we could buy various forms of mushroom paraphernalia and I decided to be bold and try the mushroom beer. I'm sure there are some people who will love it, but the taste was just not for me.
Yesterday was probably one of my favorite days this week because of a new tradition with one of my friends in the program -- Kebab Thursdays! Kebabs are super popular here, and extremely inexpensive which makes them perfect for a student budget. However, it's a different kind of kebab than you'll be thinking of (and actually, I got a three cheese panini yesterday instead of a kebab so I apologize for my photograph being misleading). In Europe a kebab is a sandwich made with lamb meat that's shaved and grilled and served with lettuce, onions, and other vegetables inside the bread. You also pick your sauce and depending on the place you go to, that sauce is either served on the side with your fries or is put inside the sandwich.