I have not yet decided if a lack of connection is a curse or a blessing. Connections can always be found – here in Louviers Le Grain de Café has one; friends and neighbors are sympathetic and open their doors wide; there are random hotspots – but lacking it at home certainly turns things upside down.
I have experienced this breakdown on the part of my provider – need I mention names? It is the largest in the country – with remarkable alacrity if I may say so. This has been possible through the offices of my iphone, though composing on such a midget scale is impossible and the aforementioned relief spots. It has been incredibly synchronistic, in the annoying sense, as workplace upheavals occur, webmasters disappear; phones become fuzzy. When such messes accumulate the only thing to do, I find, is look to the stars. I did, by contacting a friend who is an astrologer. Her reasoned response? Equinox and Libra are messing around; Cardinal Crosses aren’t going away.
I took nothing personally and left it to the stars. When I found out that others around were experiencing similar malfunctions and upsets, I transmitted my friends’ information.
Then, we all got into the kitchen to cook. That makes everything seem right Why just the other day a student tossed mixed nuts in butter, honey, spices, and fleur de sel, toasted them in the oven and we enjoyed them as an aperitif. They were more than addictively delicous. We followed these heavenly morsels with toasted walnut bread topped with a richly (and nutty) flavored eggplant purée, seasoned lightly with Leblanc walnut oil (Nuts in the Kitchen, pg. 99 for a story of this marvelous oil). The rest of the meal was nutless – Pistou, green salad with honey vinaigrette, Fontainbleau with late season peaches – and the balance was perfect.
Serving nuts at the beginning of the meal allows for total appreciation. The palate is ready to receive, the appetite stimulated, the stomach beginning to rumble with hunger. Nuts – enrobed in scented honey and cocoa or not – are the perfect opener, with a subtle, nutty first course the ideal follow up.
Cooking, eating, commiserating…everyone knows that into each life rain must fall, internet connections must break, people come and go. One hopes that every transition will be gentle, and often they are. When they aren’t, the kitchen and what it holds for us all is forever there, waiting to be filled with gorgeous aromas, solace, and good times!