04 August, 2012

The Big Bon Voyage

Tonight we had a special bon voyage to camp dinner for my eight year old son.  His favorite lobster, this time cracked, picked and eaten by himself. It even wound up on the back of his head.  Corn on the cob that came from Canada, probably due to the severe drought this year in the USA, and spaghetti with aglio e olio and anchovy. My son likes anchovies.  So we ate outdoors to make the necessary mess and try to catch a hint of a breeze in this stultifying air.

Four gals busy removing moss and cooling off
The chickens were gaping they were so hot, so I let them dig up the moss, which I've been meaning to do anyway, and literally roll around in the cool dirt eating their weight in yucky bugs. Good girls! They are four months old now and starting to look very grown up.

The dry soil and moist air have done little for my gardening efforts. I made two terraria with plants my son brought home from school three years ago. They sat in the kitchen window in a sorry state but alive all of this time, so I made something interesting for him.  I'm not much for indoor gardening. I saw a photo in a French design magazine (to which I am addicted) of a wall in a Paris apartment covered every inch in plants. I assume they have an indoor gardener. I have a palm from IKEA in my room to which I sometimes remember to add a couple of ice cubes.  On the deck I have several planters, three tomatoes  a pepper and a variety of Mediterranean herbs. The herbs are doing the best, although the oregano shriveled up once and had to be cut back to start again. This morning I gathered enough goodies for lunch, the tiny tomatoes are as sweet as candy.  I would like to visit the Abbaye de Senanque yet again to see the enormous fields of lavendar, and walk the beautiful cloister.  I was looking at a rental property today 30 km from Avignon, not far from the abbey. There isn't a day that I don't speak, dream, read, write or cook in French. My thoughts are always of what I know to be in the markets or which fête is coming up.  I clearly remember the flinty white wines of Cassis drunk beside the white calanques.  I can taste a rosé from Tavel after a hot hike on Montagne Sainte-Victoire, at the empty café overlooking Picasso's home (and grave)  at the  Château de Vauvenargues. These memories span the now 20 years I have traveled or lived in France. Yesterday, though, I watched my son play on the neighborhood beach with his buddy, riding an enormous inflated Orca through the waves. So what if my only rosemary is in a pot, not in a huge Provençal hedge.  It tastes as delicious under the same summer sun.