Thursday, 17 February 2011
Madam Paris...the best neighbour a girl could ask for!
The irrepressible Madam Paris popped over today with a crumpled plastic bag from which she carefully produced a perfect white and pale green endive...a treasure from her winter garden...she paused momentarily rattling off a list of options on how we should consume these wee gems. She then departed wrapping her gorgeous cream shawl around her shoulders and shuffling back across the courtyard to an awaiting Dora, her loyal, if not rather huge and often too loud, German Shepherd. She suggested we eat the endive sliced raw with vinaigrette or with crumpled Roquefort cheese, walnuts and apple as a salad or wrapped in jambon under a bechamel sauce baked in the oven till golden and bubbly. I have tried this last suggestion before and, as it is still a little chilly this afternoon, the idea appeals as a nice winter warmer.
We often have our day broken with visits from Madam Paris but they are never without purpose. She will always have a gift in hand or maybe a newspaper article she thinks holds vital information that we must not miss out on or she will carry with her some news of the village...a church meeting, social event or report of a burglary in the area...she has become affectionately known to us all as 'dot.com' because she always knows whats going on when. Who needs the internet!
I am ever grateful for her bunches of fragrant purple lilac in early spring, dahlia's and rhubarb in summer, gorgeous pumpkins, onions and potatoes in autumn. She never brings things we have in our garden and the timing is always perfect...inspiring a new recipe, a discovery of a new French word like 'topinambour' for 'Jerusalem artichoke', or just the sheer delight in something so fresh and home grown to cook with for family or guests. I always stop and pass the day...sometimes she will come and warm herself by the fire or sit in the sun chatting to the girls...she never overstays her welcome and we have given up trying to give her tea or coffee.
Posted by Glenis at 10:16