Oh, dear me.
Well, here is the deal. Last night, while watching the municipal election results roll in from around France, I was pacing the room violently, sloshing the red wine in my glass as I did so, until worked up to a fuming pitch, I swore to myself that I was going to write a tirade of a post today.
And yet, I just can't quite do it. Not yet, at least.
Am I angry/afraid/appalled that the extreme right Front National party made such a large advance over their numbers from four years ago? Indeed I am. So much so that I find myself slightly stunned and waiting eagerly for next Sunday to arrive for the final round of voting with a desperate hope for a "Say it isn't so" moment.
Here in Arles, Herve Schiavetti, the current mayor, has the lead but with only 38% of the vote, while the FN candidate has a whopping 24%. Really? In Arles? Such a second place status was rampant, especially in the South of France and in nearby towns like Avignon, Saint-Gilles, Tarascon and Beaucaire, the FN so far has the lead often with just shy of the 50% needed to have won in the first round.
So, for lunch today, I knew just what to make. It is one of my favorite winter into spring salads but is also quite bitter. Parfait.
Endive, beet and blue salad
for 2 people (any more and you might have political disputes)
3 heads of endive, sliced into rounds and sliced in two
cooked beets, diced
sprinkling of dried cranberries and/or golden raisins
a sliced apple for crunch
ample amounts of crumbled good blue cheese (I used a bleu d'Auvergne)
sliced nuts on top
Sweet mustard vinaigrette
2 soup spoons of Dijon mustard
2 soup spoons of a sweet vinegar
(I used a mix of crème de noix - aka nuts - and balsamic with lavender honey)
4 soup spoons of good olive oil
salt, pepper and herbes de Provence to taste
Whisk the mustard and vinegar together then add in the olive oil by two's, adjust to your preferred consistency and taste.
To read an article in the New York Times on this subject (not the salad): please click here.
For those of you wishing to learn more about the background of the Front National party, please click here (and don't miss the founder's denial of the Holocaust and the current interest in deporting unemployed immigrants...*cough cough*)
To read a previous post that speaks of this party, please click here.
As for Ben and Kipling?
They have both made their point of view clear: "Wake me when it's over."
Just to balance out the amertume?
Here is the beautiful opening to the new collaboration between Bonobo and Late Night tales. The entire album is just wonderful...
Have a great week everyone...
PS. Thank you all so very, very much for your overwhelming response via comments and emails about Remi's first story in National Geographic magazine. We both are extremely moved and grateful.