I have been helping my husband get ready for his trip abroad. While I am no longer in graduate school, he still toils away at his sisyphean task in the hopes of one day being rewarded a Ph.D. I commend him, but I do not like that he will be thousands of miles away from me, studying German and drinking really, really good beer for several months. My only hope is that I spend the time cooking and baking and reading about food.
We did celebrate his departure with a nice going-away dinner at Mon Ami Gabi. It’s technically a chain, but Chris and I had a fabulous time eating baguette with warm olives and brie, while sipping glasses of Bordeaux. I even caved and ordered the filet mignon. Oui. It marked the official end of my vegetarian era. It wasn’t entirely without conflict, for as the exquisitely tender flesh melted on my tongue, a single tear slid down my cheek. We finished with the silky crème brulee, a first for Chris, who I think is now officially a convert to French cuisine. We spent the evening gazing across the table at each other, because we knew we were standing on the precipice looking out over eight weeks of separation. I think I’ll always look back on that dinner as one of excitement mixed with envy mixed with sadness. Isn’t it amazing how the memory works? I find that I’m particularly attached to food, and I mark significant life experiences with food.
I didn’t really cook much in the past week because I was quite literally glued to my laptop following the continuing nuclear saga and the earthquake/tsunami aftermath in Japan. My heart goes out to all of the victims. I am still chewing my nails down to the quick with anxiety over the recovery efforts. In graduate school, I spent a considerable amount of time researching the history of Japan during the American occupation, focusing on the representation of social trauma in the films of Yasujiro Ozu. I have been deeply interested in the culture, cuisine, literature, films and art of Japan ever since. I truly hope for a quick recovery to all those affected.
So, on that note I will leave you with two things:
Here is a link to the Red Cross website where you can make a donation to help the relief efforts in Japan.
And here is a picture of one of the things I ate this week. Fruit tarts from Cafe Selmarie, another French inspired café near my home. This is my idea of fastfood:
And I would like to send out a special Bon Voyage to my Chris. I hope he enjoys eating in Europe!