I just moved permanently to Sens, France in July. Before that, since 1976, I had been living in underdeveloped countries; Burkina Faso, Niger, Haiti, Bangladesh, Mali, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal, “following to join” my husband, an international aid expert.
Several years ago we bought a townhouse in the Burgundy region of France and had been using it as a vacation home for the summers and Christmas. Feeling “too old to travel”, I decided to abandon my husband in Senegal, taking my 13 year old daughter, the dog, the cat, some paintings and all the “good” kitchen equipment. It didn’t hurt that our son is living in Paris about 55 minutes away 🙂
So anyway, I decided to redo the kitchen. Cute but, it was dark, it was cramped and the refrigerator was jammed at the entrance, seated half on and half off the steps. But most of all, it was impossible to cook with my husband standing in the kitchen, as he always does.
So, I called Nicolas. Nicolas, a polyvalent or multi-skilled worker, is a gifted craftsman with a twisted sense of humor and the social skills of a hermit; he works alone. I chose a kitchen from the company he is associated with and he began to trash, not only the kitchen, but the whole downstairs with enthusiasm.
“3 weeks” he said and made a makeshift island for me on top of the dishwasher, covered with a board from the old kitchen, composed of a coffee maker, a microwave and a 1 element induction hotplate and I’ve been “cooking ugly” ever since. I’ve made Chicken Seafood Gumbo, Potato Soup, Pork and Garbanzo Stew and a Muffuletta Sandwich. It’s too cold and inclement to grill and well into week 4, I’m bored, impatient and vaguely panicky. House guests will be arriving in the middle of December, the house is cobwebby, construction dust is everywhere, the kitchen equipment and Christmas decorations are in boxes in the garage and the little garden looks like a junkyard. I’ve exhausted my escapist literature ( Jane Austen, Shogun, Grandmaster, etc.), I’ve hit a brick wall in my genealogy research and I think it’s against the law to beat Nicolas. So…….I’m doing this blog.
This blog is dedicated to food, drink and the kitchen.