A Chicken in Every Pot and a Gaseous Emmission From Every Nun?In the US, we associate the phrase "a chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage" with Herbert Hoover's presidential campaign. But as I learned in reviewing a copy of Anne Willan's new cookbook, The Country Cooking of France, at least the poulty part of the saying dates back to France's King Henri IV, also known as Henri of Navarre. He wanted to make the transition into ruling as supported as possible. Being a Huguenot, he wasn't too popular on the surface, as the country has been embroiled in the Wars of Religion. So he decided to convert to Catholicism, and he also promised a chicken in every pot. He ascended to the throne in 1589 and nine years later issued the Edict of Nantes, which was probably the first real step toward religious tolerance, at least in that part of Europe, as it secured civil liberties for French Protestants. He was apparently popular among many of the people, although not with the Catholic who assassinated Henri in 1610.
The other humorous lesson in French came from a recipe for cream puff fritters. You fry pits of cream puff pastry and then top them with jam, honey, or sugar. The French name is pets de nonne, and I'll leave it to Anne Willan to explain the significance:
Toddlers learn the name and no polite translation exists. It means quite simply "nun's farts" because the fritters are so light.I'm still trying to figure out whether it says more about the pastries or the nuns.