Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lazy Cat

Our cat is the laziest cat in the valley. She eats, she sleeps, she appropriates the best seats and purrs, and that’s about it.
This summer we have changed the regime. In French regime means diet, and that’s what we have done: made her diet by giving her very limited amounts of crunch.
It works! No longer the laziest cat in the valley. She is not wholly satisfied with the new regime, so she keeps begging for more crunch, but when it is clear she is not getting any, off she goes to where there is plenty of food. This will either be a family of field mice from the woods behind us, or a mole from the next field.
Contentedly licking her whiskers she will sit on the terrace, contemplating whether that morsel was enough, or whether she will go back for another portion.
She seems quite happy with this new life style, like all the other women on a successful diet. Besides, there is still ample time for sleeping, and appropriating the best seats, and purring.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Grilled Vegetable Salad

This recipe requires some time, but the result is scrumptiously delicious.

Grill lightly oiled (olive, of course!) and salted (coarse sea) slices of aubergine, courgette and tomato until browned and shrivelling. Layer in a dish and sprinkle with balsemic vinegar. Leave to soak up the juices for several hours or overnight.

VoilĂ !

A treat, of which there will never be enough!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Barn in the Valley

Our house lies in the nook of a valley. Not a grand valley, not vast and wide. Intimate, protective, the hillside embracing the back of the house like a bent arm.
The front has the view: the field with the cows and the apple trees; the hedge along the lane, that has become invisible by the bushes, but that you can visualize, because you know it is there. The farmer’s tractor passes along it, and our own car coming back from grocery shopping.
Blocking part of the view is an old barn. Looking out on the valley you want it gone, it is in the way: get lost, we don’t want you!
Not that we don’t know what is behind the barn. We do. We have seen it from other angles. What’s behind it is the brook, with the grasses and weeds growing in its bedding. Part of the total of the valley. And though we cannot see it from our terrace, we imagine it. It is a secret corner that is yet known to us. We guess the colour of the weeds, the curve of the stream, where the cows are on the slope.
We are talking about what it will be like when the barn is gone. How would it look? What would we see?
Could it ever equal our imagination?