Monday, December 30, 2013

Individual Apple Crumbles

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Why not upset the apple cart? If you don't, the apples will rot anyway. 
- Frank A. Clark 


The New Year is swiftly approaching, but before we pop the cork on that bottle of bubbly we still have the time to savor the last few days of this year, playing with the toys we have received from loved ones, putting up our feet and watching one more Christmas movie, the last slice of pie nabbed, plated and on our lap. We watch as the leftovers disappear from the fridge, never fast enough, although we know that all those plastic containers of turkey and relish, stuffing, salads and bûche de noël will save us from having to cook another meal quite yet. We sit in our favorite comfy chair and sigh contentedly, smiling at those who gather round us as we tiptoe towards January first and a new year. So just take a breath and, before we commit ourselves to those big, impossible resolutions, let’s have a little more cake and think it all through.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bûche de Noël – Yule Log

IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. 
- Dr. Seuss 


Four o’clock in the afternoon and the sky is already darkening towards dusk. Deep into winter, yet Nantes cannot decide what it wants, like a temperamental spoiled woman used to being pampered and coddled. Steely skies and frigid winds morph into a soft breeze and a blaze of sunshine only to flash to rain and glacial, tempestuous winds before you can say “Jack Frost”, before you realize what has happened. Capricious. We are a slave to her moods. We sneak out of the house as the lights outside dim, as the heavens are painted inky black and the streets begin to twinkle and glow in the holiday lights.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Modern Lardy Cake

HOLIDAY BAKING

Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine, and a block of curiously heavy cake, 
and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people. 
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol 


Once again, we arrive in that limbo between Hanukkah and Christmas. I wait for hints, curious to know what his decision will be. Sons wiggle around us looking for clues that something is afoot, bringing up (once again) the topic of gifts. Hanukkah has come and gone in its own very quiet way amid subtle displays of joy, bringing us together as a family, and now we watch as the city dresses itself in its Christmas finest bringing a bit of cheer to the drab seasonal weather. But whether or not we will be celebrating Christmas this year has yet to be decided.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Winter's Tale

A BREAKFAST RITUAL


The beauty of our new home, the street upon which we lived, was that it was the crossroads between city and country, sandwiched as it was between Paris and le Forêt de Notre Dame, Notre Dame Forest, the first a half hour train ride from the local station, the latter a stone’s throw from the house and a place where we spent many an autumn afternoon, gathering chestnuts and mushrooms and catching the occasional glimpse of a deer or a lumbering wild boar. We had just moved back from Italy to France, settling in a new home in the suburbs, a home perched atop a hill with a wide expanse of a lawn stretched out behind where the boys could play and romp with the dog.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lamb Curry – Sautée de Mouton au Curry

SAYING GOODBYE, COMING HOME

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning 
and out of the heart of darkness comes the light. 
- Jean Giraudoux 


Husband flew down to the south of France last Monday. He joined his sisters to say a final goodbye to his mother, Madeleine. Her last wish, this simple, homey, old-fashioned woman, was to be cremated, her ashes blended with those of her husband and her brother and the ashes strewn into the wind. She was a woman who asked very little of others, who gave much, gave what she could, and her passing, though expected, was sad indeed.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...