Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm a cheese whore...

So, I went. Yeah, I got pushed over and I went to the Grand Celebration of the Autumn Birthdays at Sam's parents' house. But I didn't go purely out of being guilted or from begging. I didn't even go for the noble cause of letting my kids see their grandparents.

I went for the cheese.

We did a raclette... FINALLY... I took pictures, but didn't really zoom in on the cheese like I should have. So, pardon that. I concentrated more on the celebration of my daughter's first opportunity to tear in, full body, into a piece of cake. It was fun because she really went to work and the French were a little uneasy the entire time. They expressed their uneasiness as they do any other emotion--with ridicule. The whole time Lolo was smearing chocolate everywhere--the chocolate cupcakes I got up before the sun did to make... along with home-made chocolate frosting--they kept saying "Hey, so and so. On your next birthday, we're gonna let you get half naked and tear into a cake" and "what flavor of cake do YOU want?" etc. It was annoying but I felt it along with a sense of triumph. I didn't want to go to the Grand Celebration of the Autumn Birthdays and since I got finagled and cheesed into going, I figured it only fair that I throw a tantrum and celebrate the messiness that is the American tradition of a first birthday!!!


I'm sure most of you have guessed either through the grapevine, the voices on the wind or maybe just psychic energy... but things aren't great.

Most things are just fine. But there's a marriage a-teetering, I tell you. One day, we're done. I'm done. My bags are packed in my heart and mind and I'm already half way back across the Atlantic and it has NOTHING to do with France. Later the same day, I see a spark of hope and I wrangle and ride it like a rodeo cowboy. But then, later that night or the next day, I have to put the pony out of its misery and shoot it in the head. I have spent most days of this past week in a depressed stupor and that is why I've avoided writing. I try not to write while in the bog. I prefer to pull up out of it and look back (and only then do I drag y'all along). Depression isn't pretty in the moment but can be educational in hindsight.

We'll see.

It's mostly about this damned farm. A farm that I can SEE in my mind. I can hear the land calling me, begging me to come see and to prepare. But my helpmeet doesn't see and hear. He says, "Yeah, I want a house in the country and a little piece of land where we can have a garden." I say, that house must be cleaned and decorated by some other woman, because it's not MY house. MY house is on a farm. I'm not talking silos and combines. I'm talking organic, seasonal, local produce pollenated by our own bees. Wheat from our own fields, harvested by our own hands or machinery and then milled in our own mill into flour that I can then turn into bread and pasta and pastries and pies. I'm talking a green-built, ranch style house set at the end of a long gravel road. I'm talking a nice-sized tract of land completely surrounded by evergreens to keep out the pollen drift from other farms which may contain GMO (or OGMs as they say in France).

He says, "Yeah, that sounds like a nice thing for us to do in ten years."

Huh-uh. I am NOT going to wake up one morning ten years from now, roll up my sleeves, do a watch-check and say, "Alrighty, today's the day!"

Nope. I'm going to research now. I'm going to dream and plot and plan so that when I stumble onto the perfect piece of land, I'll recognize it by it's familiar face I've seen in my dreams a thousand times. I'm going to look at land and plot to buy it and then, I'm going to visit it and see what grows there all by itself and find out ways to channel that stuff. I'm going to spend the next 3-5 years preparing that land by planting fruit trees and aperagus fronds all over the place so that when I move in, I'll be able to harvest. I wanna live just like Barbara Kingsolver. I want to build a house using materials from other torn-down houses. With sinks, toilets, light fixtures, faucets all found on curbsides where peeps left 'em waiting for the trash man to come get them.

I'm dreaming it now so I'll be ready. And I want him to come with me. I love him, somehow, and I want him to be a part of this farm dream. But, he can't see it.

It would be different if he had his own projects or dreams. Then we could compromise. But he doesn't. And I'm not going to spend my whole life waiting around for him to write a thesis about simultaneous football watching and ball scratching. If I'd have wanted that, I'd have married a failed American jock. I thought I was pretty safe going abroad in search of my mate. EHHHHHH! Wrong answer.


Moving on. Ryan, A and I made a gratin de choux fleur (a cauliflower gratin) and I made a brioche. That was all yummy. Then, yesterday, I made organic basmati flavored with raisins and piled high with mixed organic veggies that I had blanched and frozen and drizzled with an organic plum sauce that I made (see pic below). It was an experiment. I wanted to try the veggies that I had "put up" earlier to see if I had done it right. To make sure I hadn't subjected my veggies to freezer burn. Turns out they were AWESOME and I passed the test. So, then, later in the evening, I got together with Ryan and A again and we made LOADS of fresh, organic pasta that is now taking up a spot in my freezer. I'll report back on the results of that when I cook it.

Well, I could write more, but I'd like to keep it light. When all this shade blows over--because it will, right?... forever the optimist--I'll get back to it and start the full reports back up. I just wanted to pop in and say hi and let you all know that I'm writing in my mind even if I'm not putting it on here until later.

Enjoy the pics...

Raclette:



Lolo still clean:

Lolo's mess:







Lily being supportive of her sister:



Lolo, all clean... and playing with a backhoe... That's my girl!!!


Lily loves dogs:


These kids want a dog SO bad *eye roll*



Making pasta with the kids:







Organic basmati:


Organic veggie mix, plum glaze and organic basmati in the background:


Ryan's hungry:


Taking advantage of the last leaves at the park... A family affair:





















The park's colors from the kids' window:


SOME big girl learning how to brush those new teeth... who's toothbrush is that anyway?


Nooooo, she's not a Papa's girl...



What we do on Wednesdays when there's no school:





And then we made gratin de choux fleur:





Brioche:



I think that'll probably tide you over for a bit, eh?

5 comments:

Rachel said...

Hon, you are still in my prayers. Your pics are great!! Miss ya!

Wordy T said...

The pictures are beautiful -- especially the children. Simply adorable.

Veggie said...

Love the pix, they are beautiful.

Hope the fog lifts soon.

HUGS

Erica said...

I truly believe that any life lived with passion has it's share of ups and downs. You have to endure the downs to enjoy the ups. Or live a life of mediocrity, but what fun would that be?

Me and my husband have the same dream problem. I'm a dreamer, he's not. I want to sell everything and move to a shack on a remote beach and eat coconuts. He wants to play golf. Sometimes frustrating, but together we go places and become better people than we would alone. Somehow. At least on a good day ;) Keep dreamin'...

This is an obscenely long comment...

Joelie said...

r... thanks for the prayers. I need 'em.

wt...thank you so much... I love me some perty young'uns.

j/v...Fog's-a-clearin'.

e...I absolutely LOVE obscenely long comments especially if they make me feel less alone and more validated. And yours did.