Happy Bastille Day! I've been obsessed with French cuisine ever since I was in high school, thanks to my food-loving French teacher Monsieur Llama (let's not talk about how many years ago that was... yikes!). As a reward for surviving the hours and hours we spent conjugating verb tenses each semester, M. Llama would set aside a chunk of time to explore the cultural aspects of France; there were movies, music, and politics, but most of our time was focused on food. He had a never-ending stash of food photos from his trips abroad and would often lovingly describe dish after dish as we all drooled on our desks. Other times he would assign us cooking homework, in which we all had to make simple French dishes and serve them to the rest of the class (I once made a really sad French flan tart with my cooking partner). The best times were when he gave us small treats he either made or brought back from his trips - I remember how excited I felt about this food that was all so incredibly different (to a Midwestern suburbanite who subsided on mostly cereal and mac & cheese) and how I couldn't wait until the day in which I could travel to France and explore the cuisine for myself (and practice my terrible French during a chance encounter with a lovely single French boy).
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