I'll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal. ~Martha Harrison
My Dearest is a true blue Aussie man. He has become more cosmopolitan in his advancing years but his one & only venture onto the continent he originated from left him rather more rotund than he began thanks to the abundance of good German pastries, French sauces & robust red wines, which he was forced to drink alone because I do not drink red wine.
I, who should have been the size of a small suburban village, gained no weight at all.
However, towards the end of our travels through France Dearest began to get lonesome for the taste of home ~ which in his case was a craving for that solid Aussie staple, meat pie & tomato sauce.
Accordingly when we pulled in to the next patisserie I was forwarded with a wad of French francs & instructions to get him a pie, or at the very least a sausage roll. My French, never very good, had not been overly improved by my mangling it all over Europe & I quailed at the idea of negotiating my way through a maze of unfamiliar vocabulary.
Besides, by then, we were very experienced with foreign patisseries &, " They won't have it," I argued.
"Yes they do, " Dearest argued pointing in the laden window dripping with things glazed, creamy & rich with butter. "There. What's that if not a sausage roll?" I looked at the concoction dubiously. If nothing else experience had taught me that whatever that was in the window it was extremely unlikely to be a sausage roll but I gathered up my battered French to do battle with the little French proprietress who was listening to our exchange with keen interest but little understanding.
My fluent French comes down to one well used phrase: Que est Ce? [which I can't spell either. I could once, in the far of long ago but no more] I tried it out uncertainly on the little round lady behind the counter pointing to the article in question & her face lit up with a huge beam of pure happiness. The foreign girl spoke French! She was beside herself with delight & rattled off a long paragraph like a Gatling gun of which I caught just one word as the stream rushed by: chocolate!
No, whatever it was it wasn't a sausage roll but pastry filled with rich, dark chocolate; something I would definitely experiment with but that Dearest wouldn't eat under any circumstances except near starvation.
We made our choices & I got to try out the other phrase I got to use a lot: Combien? How much?
The two most important phrases in any language. What is it & how much?!