N is for Navet

N is for Navet

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Lacking the language agility of Luxembourgers, Blogger Amanda tries to figure out how her oven works and what those mystery vegetables are at the store.

I can barely see to type this, what with all the smoke in here.

Seriously, I don’t know how to work my oven. The instruction book is in German, for one thing. I mean, in French or Spanish I can more or less muddle through, especially if I am only reading. But German?

I had a similar German moment when I was filling out the form for my grocery store loyalty card. The form wanted me to select my langue. My choices were F, L, or A. At first I checked the box by A, assuming it was for Anglais. But then, on further consideration, I scratched it out figuring that if F = Français, L must = Luxembourgish, and therefore A probably = Allemand and NOT Anglais.

Silly me.

I continue to be amazed at the linguistic agility of the Luxembourgers.

During our marathon run to Barcelona and back, a small rock bounced off the windshield and made a small ding in the glass.


I have not yet even paid the insurance premium, but I called Insurance Dude and asked if he could tell me the name of one of those places that fix windshields. This he did. I found them on the Interwebz and made an appointment online.

Hurray! Language crisis averted. No need to speak French on the phone today!

Until they called me.

I flailed about for a while, struggling to figure out if what the guy on the phone was asking for was, indeed, the car’s license plate number.

When I finally backed myself into a linguistic corner, he said to me in French, “Ma’am, would this be easier for you in English?”

Um . . . OUI!

So he switched over to flawless English and finished taking my information.

But back to the smoke. Why the smoke, you might ask. In the photo I posted, you can’t really tell that clouds of it are billowing out my open kitchen windows and probably alarming the neighbors.

I am roasting a beef fillet, and while the recipe is for a piece of meat twice the size of the one I have, I have now had it in the oven about three times longer than the recipe says to, and it still does not even register as BLOODY on my meat thermometer.

Yet the kitchen is filled with smoke.

I have no idea. I am not very good with meat. I tend to ruin it, so I fear today’s very expensive cut will be no exception.

I am much better with vegetables. Like today, I have caramelised onions again and mixed them with the right kind of goat cheese this time. This will go into the oven just as The Spouse begins walking home from his office and should be all bubbly and wonderful by the time he gets home. I have a nice, rustic baguette to spread it on. And I’ll make a green salad. Or, rather, I will open a bag of salad.

I have another vegetable for tomorrow. The label said they were navet jaune. I know that a navette is a shuttle bus. But what’s a navet? There were white ones, too, and I bought a bunch of them as well. Ran home and looked them up.


Them’s neeps, ladies and gentlemen. My research tells me I ought to peel, cube, and roast them. Add some bacon (or lardons, since I actually have lardons in the fridge), and serve them as a side to roast chicken.

I can roast a chicken, actually. I do a very good roast chicken. No clouds of smoke even. Come over and see.


Originally from Ohio, Amanda was bitten by the travel bug when she spent a summer as an exchange student in Australia. Before following The Spouse to Luxembourg, they lived in Taiwan, South Florida, Buenos Aires, Bratislava (SK) and Russia. Follow Amanda as she settles into Luxembourg on her blog thebeetgoeson.net.

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