Les ustensiles de cuisine et l’aménagement de la maison doivent être pareils entre les États-Unis et la France, non ? En fait, en tant qu’américaine, j’ai eu besoin d’acheter beaucoup des nouvelles choses en m’installant dans ma nouvelle maison grenobloise !
Home necessities should be the same between the US and France, right? Actually, re-locating to France as an American meant that I had to purchase certain kitchen items and general home goods that I did not own while living in New York!
Ma première préoccupation a été de faire du café pour moi et mes invités français. Ensuite, j’ai dû apprendre à suivre les recettes françaises sur Marmiton (mesurer le sucre en grammes et non en cups?! Et que sont cl et ml ?). Où mettre les bouteilles de vin qu’on nous offrait, ainsi que les bouteilles d’apéritifs que j’ai acheté pour acceuillir nos invités? Comment supporter les étés grenoblois brûlants sans clim? Voici quelques-uns de mes premiers (et plus pratiques) articles de maison que j’ai acheté en arrivant en France ! [Mini-explication en français dans la légende sous les photos]
My first concern was making coffee for both myself and my French guests, shortly followed by following French recipes on Marmiton (measuring sugar in grams, not cups?! And what the heck is ml and cl?). Where would I put all of the wine bottles friends were giving me as well as the bottles of aperitif liqueurs I’ve acquired in order to properly welcome my French guests? How do you cope sans AC during the scorching summers in Grenoble? See below some of my first (and most useful) purchased home goods since moving to France!
The first thing I bought was this De’Longhi combined filtered coffee + espresso machine from Carrefour! American coffee for me, espresso for my European guests — et voilà !
Now that I had an espresso machine, I needed espresso cups of course! French stores have a wide variety of them; from classic to modern. The first two in the photo are from Alinéa, the last one is from Habitat.
“Bilingual” measuring cups. I say bilingual because these American-style measuring cups are also in milliliters, which comes in handy when following French recipes. (Tip: for cl you divide ml by ten. 10 cl = 100 ml)
This looks like a typical kitchen tool but I actually had no idea what to do with it when my boyfriend took it out of storage for us to use. Little did I know I would be using it all the time to follow Europe recipes which are often measured by weight (grams)! I absolutely could not bake without this guy!
#5 (we’re halfway!): Jar storage for your growing jam collection! I’m not kidding. When you have French in-laws, you may very well receive numerous jars of delicious, homemade confiture each year. I can’t believe how much jam we have acquired, so I’ve had to figure out where and how to store them properly!
This may not seem particularly French, but let me explain. If you’re living in France you probably don’t have AC. This can be very intense (and even dangerous). Cool smoothies have made life so much more livable during Grenoble’s hot summers. I literally used this blender (purchased at Darty) twice a day during the heatwave this past July, often making my Banana Berry Smoothie and my Ginger Lemonade. A blender is also handy for making yummy French potages in winter.
A place to store the booze! Whether you drink or not, if you like to entertain, you will end up with an insane quantity of wine bottles. Inviting 5 people over for dinner? Well, you will probably acquire 5 wine bottles. Also, I ended up purchasing various apéritif and digestif liqueurs, as it’s a must in France while hosting. From Pastis, Porto, flavored wines (orange, nut, prune..) to Chartreuse, Pear liqueur and Get27 — you may need a mighty deep shelf to store all of these bottles. Above: from Ikea
A bread basket! Did you really think that bread would not be mentioned here in some form? When you have older French people over for dinner (or any age, really), they may very well expect sliced baguette with their meal (it doesn’t matter what sort of dinner it is). This was the case for my in-laws, so I skipped over to Maisons du monde to get one of their bread baskets (above), and, as I thought, it was certainly not lonely while sitting on the dinner table! The idea is not too foreign for me though: In my Italian-American household growing up, we often had fresh-out-of-the-oven, buttery garlic bread with our meals. Yum!
This is not kitchen or food-related, but I had to include this one in here. Once again, you will probably not have air conditioning in France, so you will need a fan. Maybe even two or three of them! If you’re rolling your eyes, just wait for the summer to come (especially if you’re moving to Grenoble). Nope, I did not own a fan in NYC. Everyone has AC, period! Image: Ventilateur Watton from Habitat
#10: A fruit basket! I wanted to end on a happy, fruity note: France’s farmers’ markets are absolutely stunning! If you live here, you know what I’m talking about! You will need a decent bag or basket of some sort to carry all of that gorgeous, fresh produce. Also, you may want to bring it to the grocery store as well, as plastic bags are not always provided (and if they are, you usually have to pay for them — in any case they’re very weak).
Et vous ? Êtes-vous un expatrié en France ? Qu’est-ce que vous avez acheté quand vous avez déménagé ?
Over to you! Are you an expat in France? What items did you purchase during your transition?
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