Croque Monsieur

I’m moving to Paris.

No, not Paris, TX.
Paris, FRANCE.

Because, nobody there knows me. But more importantly, because a substantial portion of the population won’t understand when my children insult them, or me, or both.

It was bad enough when Shelbi was 2 years old, and we were walking in Home Depot and she yelled to some strange middle aged man, “Daddy, Daddy” like he was holding a sign that said “Lost Father.” Did she do it once, twice, three times? Nope. She beckoned for that man for at least 5 minutes, like she was some fatherless child looking for the man who had knocked up her mommy. I’ve since forgiven her, but I’ve had to keep one eye on her every minute since.

And now her little sister has stepped up to the plate, and tried to one her up.

1:36 pm, Monday afternoon.

Bella, Soledad, Phoebe and I pull up to the drive-thru at Sonic to order ONE Lemon-Berry Slush. I’ve already warned these children to tread very lightly.

“I’m not having the best day children,” I said. “You do not want to make Mommy mad today. Or you will not be having a very nice day either.”

They seemed to understand what I was saying, and we waited for our ONE slush. The car hop rolls out to our truck in her roller skates, and clearly even with her skates on she was maybe 4 ft tall. I lean out the window to grab the drink and when I reach back into the console to get the money Soledad yells, “Oh my goodness! She is soooooooooo short! Look Bella, Look! She’s so short, she’s so short, she’s so short, and she’s so short!”

You don’t have to tell me. I know. But there was no time for that lesson. Which, by the way, I’m pretty sure I’ve given to her before.

I had to hush her up fast.

“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Soli. BE QUIET!” I tried to lean back and cover her mouth, but our darn truck is just too big. I looked at Bella sitting 2 seats away, and my eyes pleaded with her to help me. And she did, like the holy counsel coming down from heaven.

“Soledad, be quiet.” She calmly says. “Why do you even care? She’s taller than YOU and you’re not freaking out about how short you are!”


Probably not the route I would have gone, but well said. Soledad did then shut the heck up. Meanwhile, the poor car hop is looking at me imploringly, like ‘Lady just gimme my money!’

I’m not sure if she heard what went on, but she shorted me on my change by 5 cents.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – –

I mean it. I’m going to Paris. I’m not kidding.

And I don’t want to hear any complaining from the Woo children about how they can’t speak French, and the food’s different here, and boo hoo hoo, The Eiffel Tower is too big.

Well TOO BAD! You should learn to be nicer to your mother (and car hops and strange men in Home Depot).


Croque Monsieur


2 TB butter, unsalted
2 TB flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of Nutmeg
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
8 slices Gouda cheese (about 1 oz. each – I use Gouda because it 1) it’s good 2.) melts well 3.) Is similar in taste to Gruyere but it’s cheaper – a lot cheaper at my grocery)
*8 slices bread, lightly toasted
Dijon Mustard
1/3 pound Deli Ham, thinly sliced
*add a few more slices of bread and ham if you like. The recipe makes extra béchamel sauce.


1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon constantly for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, and whisk constantly until thickened. This should take about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 slices of Gouda cheese, parmesan, and nutmeg. Stir until melted and combined well. Set aside.
3. Brush half of the toasted breads lightly with mustard. Add 3-4 slices of ham, a slice of Gouda, and another piece of toasted bread.
4. Top with a generous portion of the cheese sauce, and sprinkle with any remaining parmesan. Bake in oven for 5 minutes until heated through.
5. Turn broiler on high, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email