The Garden That Is A Kitchen

The minute temperatures start rising, our dining table falls into some kind of hibernation – is there actually a term for hibernating in summer? It can’t be summernation, that sounds like a Tommy Hilfiger fragrance. Anyway, we declare the sombre mahogany totally useless, and adjust ourselves to teak. From then on, we not only have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the garden, we also prepare the meals outside, at least any part of the dish whose prepping doesn’t require gas or running water and allows us to enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine alongside cutting, peeling, trimming, snapping, or whatever you do with it. Asparagus, green and white, but the white ones especially, is the best example, peeling those bastards is such a pesky business, it makes you want to employ a cook, for my sake even with a staff of her own, but since nobody can no longer afford servants, we have to blame socialism, no doubt about that, we have do to such things ourselves, however tedious. But when sitting in an apple tree’s shade and sipping some red wine, the whole undertaking suddenly makes you feel blessed. And while I’m peeling away another spear’s tough outer layer, I hope autumn will come late this year, a week before Christmas will do.

This Is Where I Cook & Eat

Instead of posting another yummy dish or even yummier dessert, I give you the place where I cook and eat: my kitchen. Don’t get fooled by the current cleanliness, it’s just because the maid has just left (the maid being me…) and I’m off for some days, normally you find the place filled with pots, bowls, vegetables, cereals, flour, nuts, fruit, spices, herbs (sage, rosemary, and basil), bottles (olive oil, vinegar, wine, Coke Zero, and Evian) and lots and lots of coffee mugs, tea cups, glasses of all kind, candles (not scented, never in the kitchen), plates and tureens, and some Italian opera going on on iTunes (a cliché from the 1980s that just keeps sticking…). Anyway, this is my kitchen and I hope you like it.

The Icecream Chronicles

Binge watching VEEP (a show, I discovered only yesterday, so far, I’ve made it to season 2/episode 4, laughing out loud every five minutes) has made me not leave my couch for quite some time now, except for short runs to the fridge in order to get some fresh supply of strawberry cheesecake icecream (not from that really famous brand, but from the other really famous brand, you see, their cheesecake layers are a bit saltier, which is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries, but I digress), a dessert, or basic nutrition, which I have grown addicted to as swiftly as to Selina Meyer and her wonderfully obnoxious crew. I wonder what I will do after the end of the last season… not much, I guess; probably, I won’t be able to move at all by then…

Spread Some Joy

I am a devout devourer of jam, marmalade, jellies, confiture, and all other kind of preserves. First, because they all taste so very good, second you can eat them on/with almost everything, orange marmalade especially. Lately, I tried it on French pâté which looks like German leberwurst but is in fact some fine pâté, some ducks died for it, which always makes me sad as I love ducks, but every once in a while somebody brings duck confit or pâté de canard in order to amuse my taste buds and instead makes me mourn and cry out loud for the poor creatures. But since I don’t want them to have died in vain, I spread the pâté on baguette or German bread and always eat it up, every last bit of it—call me a hypocrite. Anyway, whatever concerns you might have, you should forget all about them and try some pâté with some (or even lots of) fine orange marmalade, it’s just too yummy. I understand, they make pâté from less lovely creatures, too…

Messy Mystic Pizza

What was that film called again? The one with Julia Roberts and all these pizzas? Mystic Pizza? It was Mystic, wasn’t it? Not Messy Pizza? Well, the one I ordered today was both in a way, mystic and messy. Messy, because it made me think of some sort of midcentury action painting, as if Willem de Kooning was responsible for the topping, heavy white brushstrokes of buffalo mozzarella, counteracted by frantic splashes of basil. Mystic, because the blend of aromas was quite intriguing, it tasted quite unexpectedly vegetarian despite all the salami, actually, it didn’t taste like pizza at all. I’ve been trying to come up with a description of what it tasted like since noon, but I failed… Messy and mystic, that’s all I could come up with.

Good Friday’s Good Fish

Actually, we had planned to have dorados for dinner on this Good Friday, but then all of a sudden our gardener came over, telling us he knew somebody who knew somebody who knew some trouts and as he knew we loved fish, he didn’t tell none of all these somebodies that he doesn’t like fish at all, not even on Good Friday, and brought us his share of the trouts that used to know somebody who knows somebody who knows our gardener. It was all very mysterious, but as one isn’t supposed to look a gift fish in the mouth, we took a rain check on our dorados. A rain check, we did not regret at all: Boy, these trouts were ever so good!

The Snack Who Came In From The Cold

I ran out of chips and anything crunchy to snack while watching TV, supermarkets were already closed, so I had to come up with something else. What’s crunchy, I asked myself, what’s crunchy and salty and yummy? Nuts! Roasted almonds! Stupid idea though, as I had none at home. So, I asked myself, what’s crunchy and salty and yummy and available? I opened the fridge so that a bottle of beer could give me a leg up, when a cucumber caught my eye. Well, you’re crunchy, but you’re not salty at all, and, quite frankly, not that yummy either. But then I got inspired by divine intervention, or the Irish flag, who knows, and put together trout caviar, cream cheese, and sliced cucumber! Very crunchy, very salty, and, most importantly, very yummy. Now, what’s on TV? Jeanne Moreau? Great!