Jun 12, 2014

Worst Mother Ever: Signal


I am guilty of the WORST PARENTING MOVE EVER -- crossing a street with the girls through (stopped) traffic and not at the cross walk, at night -- and my punishment is that I watch Pippa get hit by a motorcycle, flying up in the air and plopping down on the pavement. Oh how I wish I were kidding. Before you panic, she is fine. Nothing broken. No permanent damage. She does have a little neck-ache, though, and is wearing a minerve (neck-brace).

The motorcycle is going about 5-10mph between a row of stopped cars, and she mostly just bounces off the plastic on the side. She does not hit her head, and gets up immediately, without a bruise on her body. It frankly seems less severe than the times she hurts her neck at gymnastics (once doing the vault, and once on trampoline). When distracted, she doesn't seem that bad off, but still, she does have a stiff neck. And she is SO angry at me. And with good reason. Anthony and myself are so angry at me, too.

I am normally extremely safety conscious, so this is out of character and just beyond stupid. The first night after it happens, I am somewhat numb, because the self-loathing that completely floods me is neutralized by the simultaneous relief and joy in seeing that she's not hurt in any major way. Around 5:30 in the morning, however, what I mostly feel is the self-loathing.

We make it through the night, and she wakes up briefly a couple times because of her neck. I get a bad night's sleep, though: Pretty hard to sleep like a baby when you almost get your own baby killed. Yikes. So the next day I am exhausted, and guilt-ridden, but also nearly ecstatic. Given the theory of alternate universes, I am so, so, so thrilled that I get to live in the universe where my daughter is in the next room singing, playing, laughing, and goofing off with her friend. She's twisting and moving and not even thinking of her neck -- when I'm not around, that is. But I really can't begrudge my most dramatic child any amount of rubbing it in when I am around. Needless to say, I am in the doghouse, and she's a big fan of Daddy for the moment.

So since this isn't funny and doesn't do much to enlighten you about Paris, why am I publicly shaming myself by telling you this story? A) to give you the news B) because I know I fully deserve it, and C) to serve as a cautionary tale: This is a city where you really should cross with the light at the crosswalks! Because traffic is such an issue, expect motorcycles coming down between the lanes at any and all times. And know that you might not be able to see them between the cars and buses.


Also called Chèvre du Signal, Signal is a farmhouse raw goat's milk cheese from the Savoie region, made near Lake Aiguebelette. It's a small guy, but fat, like a stack of silver dollar pancakes and is well worth buying on the rare occasion you come across it. It's related to a Charolais or a Chavignol, and the flavor is similarly medium-goaty, savory, salty, and -- as they say -- "long in the mouth". That is to say that the aftertastes lingers and grows. Delicious.

The texture is firm -- not quite hard and crumbly. The more it ages, the harder and wrinklier it gets. While not spreadable, it still melts in the mouth and is thick and creamy. As it is, the outside crust is edible, but chewy and solid. Signal is covered with a white bloom under which you can see clear hints of reddish and golden yellow molds.


If only I had crossed the street at the red signal (the traffic light, not the cheese), all this could have been avoided.


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