Wrought Iron Around Albertville

It's time again for "Make Your Own Photo Souvenirs."  When my parents visited, they had a desire to make a themed photo collection.  They did a great series of Irish doors a few years back, and were looking for something similar.  Nothing really materialized, and so after they left, I put together a group of pictures for Wrought Iron.  

The following are a sample of the 25 or so pictures I selected.  They are all from our little town of Albertville, including the medieval neighborhood on the hill, Conflans.  Enjoy.  


Taste-Test: Fromage

As we have alluded to before, French food has an intrinsic attachment to its land.  That is why, for the most part, French wines are named not for their grapes (such as Merlot, Pinot, Chardonnay), but for their region of land (Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Cotes du Rhone).  It's the same thing for cheeses, and a few other products.

There are of a lot of French cheeses that have earned the right of their proprietary name being protected by the government.  We have a couple local examples of this.  Our favorite is the Beaufort, which is about 15km from Albertville.  If you're going to call it Beaufort, your cows have to graze on this certain side of the mountain.  If not, the cheese police will come after you (I guess).

But cows do graze the other side of the mountain.  And cheese is made from them by basically the same process.  What to do with such disgraceful bovine products?  Hmm...we can't call it Beaufort...how about Beaumont?

And voila, we have Beaumont cheese, which sells for about 70% of the price of Beaufort.  French food tradition would suggest that it cannot be the same taste, since the taste is linked to the land, and the land is (though albeit nearby) not the same.  I must admit that, growing up happy on American generic products as I have, I was skeptical of any significant difference.

Rachel's family is visiting, and they bought some Beaufort.  We then realized that we had some leftover Beaumont in the fridge.  Taste test!  The Beaumont is at the top of the picture, and the Beaufort is on the cutting board at the bottom.  As well trained medical scientists, we created a blinded study by cutting the cheeses into the same shape.  I closed my eyes and Dr. Rachel fed me the first one.  

However, immediately on tasting, I could sense a difference.  I had a suspicion that this wasn't the real Beaufort.  I rinsed a bit to cleanse the palate, and then Rachel gave me the second.

This time there was no doubt.  The second piece was much creamier with a much stronger Beauforty taste.  I told Rachel my results.  I was right.  She did the same, as did Aunt Lois, in a non-blinded fashion, and the result was unanimous.

Sorry, cows on the other side of the mountain.  The cheese is good, but it's not Beaufort.


Family Photos

Things are definitely winding down here in France.  After Eric's parents left, we only had a few weeks until our mission-wide retreat in Spain (every 3 yrs).  Now my mom is en route to come visit us for a few weeks as well, and within a week or so of her departure, we leave France.  Yikes!  Be praying for our upcoming exams, packing, goodbyes...

On that note, we decided to take some new family photos.  We probably won't send out new prayer cards until 2015 but you can always print off our new photos from the blog and stick them up on your fridge. :)  Jess Cropsey's sister, Abby, was here for a visit and was gracious enough to take a few photos for us as a new family of five!

Also, our friend Carlan took a few pictures of our kids at the beach this past week...totally informal, but super cute.  And of course we can't help but share cute pictures of our kids.  enjoy.