Feeling cheated by the arrival of "spring"? Um hum, I hear you.
There are a fair amount of mopers around these parts as well. Why? Ah, you see the puppers were in a tizzy because leur maître, Remi, was out of town for a few days and so they were stuck with...sigh...the girl...me. No big romps in the country. Oh, the utter sadness of sofa surfing and resting weary heads on velvet pillows...
I also felt a touch out of sorts but not exactly for the same reasons. You see, when you spend as much time together as Remi and I do, when one of us suddenly goes missing it is as if an arm had been misplaced. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for it too. However, one way in which I let my "freedom" sing is in the kitchen.
Now I love to cook, don't get me wrong, even in the truly closet-like "turn around and there you are" space in our current apartment. It is the "what" that tires me. As I often cook for both lunch and dinner, that is a whole lot of menus to scramble. So when Remi is gone, I don't think, I copy. Things like the really perfectly balanced goat cheese, radish and arugula "tartine" (I used Wasa crackers instead for the crunch factor) drizzled with fruity olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt from La Tartine Gourmande (minus the endamame--again, Trader Joe's how I long for thee!). Or my version of Ella Coquine's "Italian Girl Stir Fry" aka "Pasta sans Pasta".
It goes a little something like this: chop broccoli into florets, slice up red papers, prepare cooked chick peas. Sauté all of the above with a sliced onion and several cloves of garlic plus more spices than you can shake a stick at (chipolte, cayenne and ancho pepper? Uh, yup), add in enough coulis de tomates to coat, top with a blanket of melted emmenthal and then plop down in front of the most unapologetically girly American movie, because you can.
It was so good that I did exactly that two nights in a row.
And if that doesn't warm you up (and it will)...?
Find a buddy to cuddle up to and hold on. No matter what might be happening outside of your window right now, the real deal is right around the corner.
Speaking of Ella, she recently wrote about tracing the path of her jazz vocalist Grandmother, Stella Levitt, who was an established artist in Paris for several decades. Frankly, this story is too fascinating not to pass on, so here is the link. The same can be said for the incredibly unique voice attached to it, so take a listen and see if that doesn't make your heart take flight. It did mine.