I HATE to be rude, BUT:

here comes a MASSIVE complaint.

To the French.

About French.

Imagine an average woman of average intelligence, average assiduity, average education, who is very very willing to learn their language, and what do the French do?
They make it difficult.
Very difficult.

Can a “COMPUTER“ not be a “COMPUTER“ like  almost everywhere in the world?
Why does it have to be an “ORDINATEUR“? What on earth is that word supposed to describe? An ordering device? ( I shall only recognise one ordering devise around here: myself!)

Or the days of the week: “Thursday”: that’s “Donnerstag” in German: almost the same thing. But alas to the French it´s  got to be “Jeudi”. Nothing, really nothing to do with the others..

Yet the biggest effrontery to my mind comes with the numbers: a perfectly simply precise straightforward “98”  Euros which, let’s say, I have to pay at the till off an overcrowded supermarket with an imposing cashier lad. She’ll ramble “four-twenty-ten-eight..” with lightening speed. (And all that in french on top of it) Hello? Which one? Eight? twenty?  Four?
In the long cue behind me lots of formidable housewives, overloaded mothers and screaming children all of them snorting at me. Oh God let me sort out my brain before I sort out the numbers….No, let me run away. Quickly.

I find this very unkind.
In fact, I find it deeply disturbing.

Hach, the French.
Don´t they drive you mad?
They drive me mad.

Because at the same time they gave the world delicacies like

“Chicken with forty cloves of garlic” .

1 ready-to-cook Chicken
Salt, freshly ground pepper
2 bouquets of provencal herbs:
bay leaf, parsley, thyme, celery leaves, savoury,
a little rosemary (I use fresh herbs)
1/4 cup olive oil
40 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
1 tablespoons anisette, pastis, or anisina
flour and water paste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
rub the chicken with salt and pepper.
Stuff with one of the herb bouquets, the truss the chicken.

Place in a casserole. Combine oil, garlic, anisette, salt and pepper and remaining herb bouquet and dump over the bird.

Cover and seal the casserole with a ribbon of flour and water. ( to seal the flavours,)

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Open at the table only and let the wonderful explosion of odours surprise your guests.
Drink Champagne.
Speak french if you can.
Go on, feel superior…

No! Don’t omit the anisette. It´s not the same without it! Promise.
Oooooh yeah, you have guessed it.
It’s that time of the year.
Tour Auto approaching.
It’s sooooooo…..


  1. Arneyb says:

    Oh dear !
    Going again to the Froschfressers ?
    I am totally jealous again, have f****cking great lots of fun and this time, please keep the Kobold in one piece.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Folks who invented Tour Auto can’t be rhat bad, Gaby. I am sure that Deux Cent Trente will be faster to spell than Zwei Hundert Dreizig. Even much faster than my own Hundert Dreizig Frosch. Welcome in France and have great fun on the Tour like we all do.


  3. Yes, Arne, we very much intend to do so!!!
    Freewheelin: no, you´re right they can´t be that bad. I´d be very interested to meet your hundert dreissig Fosch!

  4. fea says:

    Sounds nice – have fun – they aren´t that bad

  5. Milou says:


    How about a frenchman trying to learn German? God, I tried for many years… nearly impossible..all those constructed sentences with the verb at the end…pheeewwww…. at least the German can cook…. well not really ;)…..at least they created Porsche….that’s genius!


  6. Thank you fea!
    Thomas:Yours german is fantstic, plus you´re suisse? Doesn’t count. Not one bit! hehe.

  7. Jamie Gibbs says:

    This is one of the things I love about language; the different ways words evolve. The main problem we get with French is that it’s based on Latin roots, whereas English has Germanic roots (which is why Thursday and Donnerstag sound similar).

    I love the recipe too. I’m a garlic fiend, so the more the merrier for my cooking. I’ll have to give this a try.

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