Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘French Food’

Yesterday, a crocus pushed its shiny, new green leaves up in our garden. I remember always being surprised to see the little flower in the midst of snow and ice in the Berkshire Mountains. It is the harbinger of spring, just as sure as a robin jumping around in the grass. But this time, it’s too early; the first week of a new year should find us deep into winter with hats and scarves and gloves. Instead, today it will be 60 degrees.

“In addition to Crocus’ merit as a beautiful and cheerful winter bloomer, one species, C. sativus, is the source of the spice saffron. Henry Beston describes C. sativus in Herbs and the Earth (1935, D.R. Godine, Publisher, Inc.): “An autumn Crocus with a long history as a drug, a flavoring powder, and a pigment, only the golden stigma of the flower being used… May not overwinter.”  True enough, although many Crocus are perennial in Tennessee, as a USDA Hardiness Zone 8 plant C. sativus may not overwinter for many Tennesseans. If that doesn’t deter you from growing your own saffron, Steven Still writes that “about 7000 flowers are required to produce 3 ounces of saffron.”  https://ag.tennessee.edu/news/Pages/POM-2016-02.aspx

I had no idea the costliest spice in the world comes from a crocus!

Makes me want to dig up my old, Julia Child paella recipe. I was thinking about my younger, newly married self in the car the other day; living in Cambridge, MA and spotting Julia herself at the small green grocers’.  NPR was interviewing a chef about his “…worst kitchen disasters.” Of course, it was slicing off the tip of a finger with a mandolin his first time on live TV!

I’ve managed to avoid the dreaded mandolin injury – I use mine to slice whisper thin vegetables into my veggie lasagna. But one of my very first attempts at the fine art of cuisine in Cambridge does come to mind. I almost torched my kitchen when I tried making Julia’s recipe for Coq au Vin! Since then, I’ve left anything flambeed to the experts. Even resisting the urge to buy a tiny blowtorch to crinkle-brown creme brulee – my favorite dessert!

I wish my keyboard did l’accent aigu“Getting your (French) accents right is the difference between being a pêcheur (fisherman) and a pécheur (sinner). Which one would you rather have on your résumé?”

Parsley and rosemary are still growing in the garden, even some of Bob’s winter kale seems hardy and ready to be harvested. The Bride and her family are returning soon from Hawaii and I’d like to cook them something for their first night back. Maybe I’ll buy some red wine and make a big pot of Boeuf Bourguignon! Like every good semi-Southern cook I’ve got some bacon in the fridge and I know the L’il Pumpkin loves this dish.

Although, after hearing about their first Kalua Pig in a Pit, where the Love Bug definitely did not like the idea of unearthing the body of a full-on, dead, roasted pig, I may have to get creative with vegetables and her old stand-by, pasta. Maybe we’ll roast some marshmallows on the fire pit, and pretend it’s still winter! Here they are on a lava rock.

IMG_6991

 

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve said it myself, “I’d just like a reboot please.” Who doesn’t want a “do over” every now and again? I was signing up online for a restorative yoga class, when my computer asked me to “sign in” and pick a password. Then it had the gall, when I hesitated, to suggest I may want Safari to assign a password for me!

First of all, NO, thank you computer, but nobody else gets to pick a password for me. I already have too many passwords: one for Google, another for Facebook; one for Twitter and one for Tumblr’ then there’s Etsy, Amazon and Zillow, to name a few. And now I need a new password to check out A Place to Breathe Yoga Studio?

I admit it, my brain on passwords is not pretty. Once you hit a certain age, your memory center starts to fill up and things like birthday dates and wedding anniversaries may just slide right on down your brain stem and end up in the proverbial trash heap of spam messages.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my smart, talented hair stylist Christopher Hays. I received the reminder email the day before, but a few days before that, I had received another email – a group list serve – from Christopher. The first message was about a conflict and it suggested I make another appointment online . HA. Well I have never signed into their scheduling service online simply because I don’t want another password! I always schedule the next appointment when I’m actually there, face to face, shears to hair.

Luckily he knew that about me, so he just scheduled yesterday’s cut on his own! And since I always usually do what my computer says, I showed up!

I got up early and went to the Cville City Market for some fresh okra and heirloom tomatoes. I schmoozed with some vendors, and met a great baked plantain gal. Then I went to confession – isn’t your hairdresser your confessor? – and started to plan my Indian fresh market dinner. Because Bob and I happened to see Helen Mirren’s new movie,  A Hundred Foot Journey, about dueling French and Indian restaurants, and love and renewal. We sat among the grey-haired legions at bargain matinees everywhere.

And we didn’t get our tickets on Fandango, although the line was long and filled with seniors on walkers. We strolled into the lobby and bought our tix at the kiosk – no human interaction necessary! And I wonder…

Will we be the last generation to know how to interact without an interface? To know how to write a letter? To know how to leave a phone message?

Thankfully, I wrote down my yoga password. I’m starting my yoga journey slowly, with the best of intentions, to restore my memory.

My Reflection pre-Market

My Reflection pre-Market

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: