Saturday, February 16, 2019

Valentine’s recap

My late-night pal
Few things are more comforting than the company of a dog. Here’s Sophie, in one of her favorite places—she sleeps at the end of my desk when I am working late in the evening. She’s not a great cuddler—her leaps on my bed are short-lived. It’s as though she buries her face in mine and then becomes bored and jumps down. But she wants to be close. When I sleep, she’s often, but not always, at the foot of the bed—she has her favorite chairs in the living room. But when I stir the least little bit, she’s at the side of the bed, wanting to be petted and reassured about the day to come.

Sophie is always anxious to go into the main house. It was, for goodness’ sake, her residence for the first five years of her life. But after she checks things out and enjoys the company for a bit, she lies by the back door, ready to go back to the cottage. Last night, Jordan put her in her lap, an awkward move at best with a thirty-pound dog, and Sophie put her head on Jord’s shoulder briefly, but then she struggled to be down.

We had a split Valentines dinner last night. Christian was going to cook a special dinner but
Jacob and the croque monsieur

make it do double duty as a project for Jacob’s French class. I suggested croque monsieur—Jacob’s French teacher does not want to know how he pronounced it! Croque Monsieur is essentially a glorified ham and cheese sandwich, but oh so rich! It calls for thinly sliced boiled ham, good bread like sourdough or ciabatta, and a rich cheese sauce made with gruyere or Emmental. You toast the bread, make the ham-and-cheese sandwich with a bit of mustard, pour the cheese sauce over, and then bake or fry until it has a golden crust.  Not for the cook who is faint of heart, nor for the dieter.
Boys cooking

Jacob and Christian made one sandwich (I won’t say who did how much of the cooking, but you can guess). It was a work of art-. As Christian said, it looked like the picture.He cut it in fourths, so we could each have a bite. Jacob ate my bite. I guess I’ll have to go to La Madeleine for a croque monsieur.

But Christian wanted something else for dinner, so I gave him a recipe for chicken francese—French chicken, right? Only it turns out francese is Italian for French, and the recipe was not only Italian but American Italian. So he and Jacob cooked both. The chicken was delicious—in a delicate lemon sauce

Today was, I think a pivotal day in American history, when a president tried to usurp power and break the long tradition of checks and balances in a democracy, all over a crisis that does not exist. Once again, I feel as if we are living in suspended animation, waiting for the other shoe to drop. In this case, the other shoe will drop slowly, with long, drawn-out court cases. Pray to God that our democracy and our country may survive and triumph over the will of one man and the venial abdication of responsibility on the part of many. I have my own list of deplorables.

And as if to echo the national mood, the weather turns cold again tonight, after a day in the balmy seventies. Roller coaster weather is hard on all of us. Stay warn and safe,

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