Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once upon a time, we were poor as the proverbial church mouse, yet living quite happily and abundantly in our frugality. We marketed together, eyeing prices, buying seasonally and planning out our meals. We loved to cook and did so in our little kitchen whose wide French windows opened out onto a tiny stretch of lawn, a handkerchief-sized garden. The sun would flood in through those windows as we stood and chopped, minced, breaded, stirred and simmered. Our few cookbooks, our past travels and my days spent working as an interpreter in a cooking school, listening and watching a series of chef-instructors, were a constant source of inspiration and recipes. We went out for the occasional couscous at the neighborhood Moroccan restaurant, but we were more than content, actually quite tickled pink to play house in that little doll-sized abode on the outskirts of Paris. Not only did we stay within our meager budget, but we were well fed and satisfied.