Indio, California: I ran several titles through my teeny mind as I was thinking about my column tonight. Since our evening meal was to have a French theme, I thought Evening in Paris would be clever. Or, since it is now April: April in Paris. There is always that wonderful Jimmy Buffett song, Frenchman for the Night. In the end, I am just going to keep the string of “date” titles going until I lose my teeny mind.
No April Fool joke today.
Before I went out to exercise, I started some bread dough. I walked around and around the resort, and finished with two loops around the now-closed-to-golfers golf course. On my walk I witnessed too many instances of not-social-distancing! I recently read an article stating we should all pretend we are COVID-19 positive, and conduct ourselves so we would not infect others. Done.
By the time I returned, the dough was ready to be turned-out and shaped into - what else! - a baguette. My efforts resulted in a short, fat, loaf of wonderful smelling bread, with a crispy crust:
DT went on a really long bike ride, up around The Cove in La Quinta and out to the lake - where he discovered the lake is now closed. Of course, a lake can’t be closed, but the access roads have been blocked. The fish, and water fowl are probably so happy.
While the bread baked (in the outside oven - is was 87 here today), I prepped hard boiled eggs, boiled potatoes and blanched green beans for our Salad Nicoise dinner.
Lunch was left over rice from last night, fried-up with scrambled eggs and spinach - topped with green onion cuttings from my green onion kitchen farm. The four green onions are still sprouting and the romaine now has enough foliage for Barbie AND Ken!
Talk about some nerve - we had a visitor today. Didn’t ask to come in, just strolled in like he owned the joint, and parked himself in front of the fireplace in our living area. Wasn’t wearing a face mask. Must be nice.
With just a few more vegetables to prep for tonight’s salad - tomatoes, olives, radishes, hearts of palm, capers - the only thing remaining was the dressing. I didn’t follow my own recipe, but whirled a few anchovy fillets in my mini-chopper with lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, olive oil, black pepper, tarragon and a glob of mayo. Basically a fishy-creamy vinaigrette. I let the sauce rest all afternoon in the refrigerator, while I needlepointed... and baked a fruit tart. We were going to France, after all.
I played the part of a Parisian woman. Wore a black dress. Wore my pearls (again). Wore Chanel No5. Red lipstick. When we FactTimed with Lisa, she told the kids: Look - Bubbe is wearing her pearls! Leo and Lucy came running to the screen like I was wearing a scuba suit riding an elephant!
Dressing for dinner in Quarantine felt good. We listened to French music and even went on a walk along the Seine to wave at passing boats... or was that Mary and Captain Jim cruising down our canal in their electric boat?
Promptly at five o’clock (cocktail hour used to be 6p... but these days...) I made a shaker of Rosemary Gimlets from Drinking French by David Lebovitz. One of my very favorite food writers, chefs, and bloggers, Mr. Lebovitz’s new book about what, and how, the French drink was just released. In his Paris lock-down, he has been doing a daily video featuring a different drink. Rest assured, the book is not only about cocktails. Coffees, teas, potions - and of course, chocolate - are featured, along with wonderful photographs. When I watched David, and his long-time partner, Romaine, make this cocktail in their Paris kitchen, I knew it would soon be in my martini glass (so sorry, my coupes are in storage) (insert sad face here). We have SO MUCH rosemary
and so much gin.
I only made a half-recipe of the rosemary syrup and it was more than enough for two cocktails. The Gimlet was really refreshing (remember that part about 87 degrees today?).
Appetizer tonight was the last of the Brie and the last of our fig jam, served with the baguette.
Salad Nicoise - very delicious and a great meal for a hot day... with plenty for lunch tomorrow. I still use tuna exclusively from Fisherman Direct in Gold Beach, Oregon.
Three tins remaining.
We never have dessert unless we are having a dinner party... but, tonight, we had a dinner party.
Back to normal tomorrow... but we really enjoyed our trip quick trip to Paris.
Jusqu'à ma prochaine mise à jour, je reste, votre correspondant rêveur.