Friday, August 14, 2015

This, that, and cheese

Do you what a difference six or eight degrees in temperature can make? Today we were in the upper 90s, lots better than the 106, 108 we’ve been having. And the humidity is low. This morning I put the top down on my car on the way to an early morning haircut appointment—about a 25-minute drive by my back roads route. What a glorious way to begin the day.

My funk is disappearing, although my uncertainty about walking is not. When I went into the salon, I asked a stranger to get me started—it’s that first step. I’ve found all kinds of people so willing to help me. Coming out, just because I’d been spooked, I asked Rosa, who does a terrific job with my hair, to walk me to the car. She is like a mother hen, worrying about me. She has a two-year-old who has been slow to walk, and this morning she said I walk just like him—awkwardly (not her word), like I’m looking for what I can hang on to next. At home, I walk just fine. It’s a matter of a comfort zone.

Had lunch with an old friend I haven’t seen in too long today. But he too worries about falling, takes my arm, declares I’m not going to fall on his watch. We had a great time catching up on kids and grandkids (he knows my kids, needs a refresher course every now and then) and I’ve met his, kept up with their doings through the years. But we ended up in a kind of morbid discussion of people who were ill and who had died—to the point that I told him so-and-so had died, he exclaimed, “She died?” And then we both laughed. It was like too much. I guess it’s age, though he’s a good fifteen years younger than I am.

Proud that tonight I finally finished edits, rewriting on my Murder at Peacock Mansion manuscript. And then I cleaned out the cheese drawer in my fridge. Central Market has the most amazing wall of cheeses from all over, mostly Europe and the US. I can't resist buying, often of course the one they have on display. I tend to end up with a hunk of this and a hunk of that, and I’m not sure what any of them are. So tonight I made fromage fort, a recipe that is all over the web now but I originally found through Jacques Pepin, who said his father used to make it.

Take about a pound of leftover cheeses, add three or four cloves garlic (the garlic gets really strong so go gentle), a tsp. of pepper, and a half cup dry white wine. Blend in food processor (I’m sure Pepin’s father did not have one, but it’s the easy way to do it). You end up with a spread that is different every time but earns its French name which means “strong cheese.” If you use leftover Roquefort or blue, it’s a whole different thing. Tonight I had cheddar, havarti, manchego, and a few I didn’t know what they were. Saving tasting it for tomorrow night’s dinner guests.

Yep, writing, cooking, entertaining—I’m getting my groove back. Now for my self-confidence.

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