lost in translation

There are two American-style burger joints in Bordeaux, both of which have customizable burgers. Like Subway. Anyways, last night on the walk home after finishing water polo practice at 9:45 at night, one of the places, Upper Burger, looked rather promising. So I girded my loins and prepared to leap over all of the communication barriers to explain to a bread-loving Frenchman that I didn’t want a bun with my burger.

“Je suis allergique du gluten, un protein dans le ble.” “Je ne peut pas manger du pain.” “Est-ce que il est possible d’avoir seulement le steak sur la laitue?” « Non, je ne veux pas du pain, merci. »

Throughout the conversation, not being able to eat bread came up at least 4 times. The cashier smiled and nodded and rang up my order. Perfect. Five minutes later, I opened a paper bag and pulled out a warm foil ball. I unwrapped it slowly, excited for my lovely, hot, fresh burger…

…in a bun.

Seriously? All that and there was still bread attached to my burger? Irritated, I marched back into the store.

“Excusez-moi. J’ai pense que j’ai commande un burger sans pain?”

Yes, he remembered that I’d said I was allergic to bread. Couldn’t I just take the burger off the bun? And if I wanted a new one, I’d have to pay for it. So I took my bun and went home, offered it to my housemate, who wasn’t interested, and proceeded to eat leftovers.

At least they were the type of leftovers that are actually better as leftovers, instead of straight off the stove.


Fall Flavored Turkey Stir Fry – serves 4

1 ¼ lb turkey  breast, cut into chunks

1 large yellow onion

3 carrots

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1 large sweet potato

1 large apple

1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken stock

1 tsp each cinnamon, clove, ginger, and salt

8 large mushrooms, cut into sixths

2 TBSP olive oil

Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a pan and cook the turkey for about 5 minutes, until it is almost totally cooked. Pull off the heat and set it aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan, along with the diced onion. While the onion is cooking on medium-low heat, peel and cut the sweet potato into chunks and the carrots into thin half-moons. When the onions start to get clear, add the sweet potatoes, carrots, ½ cup of chicken stock and garlic. Stir and add in the spices and salt. Cut up the apple – I left the skin on, but you could peel it if you wanted to. After about 15 minutes of simmering with a lid on (or when the sweet potato and carrots get soft), add the mushrooms, apple, and turkey and remove the lid. Cook for another 5 minutes and add the rest of the chicken stock if needed. Pull off the heat and serve! This is the perfect dish for a cold fall evening, and tastes even better reheated a day or two later!


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