Molasses time. That’s what I’m calling this moment post-confinment. Or as the French say, “déconfinement”. Someday someone will explain to the world in a precise and scientific way how Covid-19 made time thick, sluggish. I often think it’s because we’re all simply waiting to see what happens.
When I walk down rue Cherche-Midi and weave around all the little restaurant tables on the sidewalk or walk between those on the street where there were once parking spots, or stop at the my neighborhood café, the Bistrot des Amis, for a beer or coffee, I think all is well and the world is back to normal. There’s the background noise of glasses and silverware, cars and trucks, scooters and bicycles. Shoppers are about with large orange bags from Le Bon Marche, and the aroma of freshly baked bread is never far away. There are a few hiccups of course, like the lifeless windows of the Hotel Lutetia, closed until September, and the lack of American heard on the street, but mostly life feels pretty normal.
Time still feels like molasses, creeping along sometimes, hurtling through space at others. What?! It’s already time to make dinner, but didn’t I just turn off the morning alarm? That’s what I mean about molasses – you upturn the jar and it sits there, then suddenly plops into the bowl. Time is sluggish, and it speeds by.
As a little anecdote during this time of molasses, the French just held mid-term elections which resulted in an upturn of the government. Our wonderful Prime Minister left his post to become mayor of a small, thriving city. His replacement is said to be his “copie carbone” carbon copy. There are now more women than men in the government, more greens than non-greens, green being the label of ecology, and a famed lawyer who is now the administrator of justice. It bodes well as far as I can tell, though recently one of my neighbors reflected, “ The new government has been in place three days, and most of the French hate them all already,” she said, shaking her head. “That’s just how we are.”
That is related to time, because in no time, the new faces were announced; in no time they were reviled. So, the French mind at least isn’t in molasses time, but in normal time, call it water time. It flows, down its customary path.
I want to share with you a recipe that uses molasses in tribute to this time unlike any other . Handed down to me by my grandmother, it is an iconic cookie, one that takes no time to make and bake, that speaks of affection and history, that tastes so delicious eaten on its own or dunked into milk, coffee, tea. I hope you’ll enjoy them.