Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I am in Fontaine Fourches, France. About an hour from the Charles de Gaulle airport, past fields of winter and spring wheat, young sugar beets and miles of the yellow flowers of canola beans. I've spent the day with Kippy Hammond in her home and studio, resting from my trip overseas, and planning for the workshop which begins Sunday. Kippy and Jerome have friends staying over, two couples and two 10 year old twin boys; they'll be leaving by the time our class begins. We dined this afternoon on the patio on grilled pork kabobs, cucumber, tomato and green pepper salad (OK, those of you who know me know that I only ate the tomatos), fresh cheeses from the region and French wine. We spent the evening with a fire in the fireplace to take the chill out of the thunderstorm outside, a candle lit dinner and lots of wine. Some of the topics of conversation: French table manners--bread goes on the upper left side of the plate or on the table cloth next to the plate; wine and water glasses are side-by-side at the top of the plate, not at the upper right like ours; forks are placed face-side-down when setting the table. I learned how to fold a huge piece of lettuce in my salad with a fork and knife, and how to properly cut different kinds of cheese. And there seemed to be great confusion over the phrase 'petite chou,' an affectionate phrase which the Americans at the table could not understand. Chou is cabbage.
The surprise at dessert was petite chou, a sinful pastry filled with cream. I ate the entire thing.
Rhett Butler comes to mind tonight, when he said, "I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace." I found it, Rhett.