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Saturday, March 11, 2006

cook my heart up, serve it well done

"Have you taken a class here before?"

"Yes, once."

"You have? I guess I wasn't the instructor..."

"Yes you were."

"That's just not possible..."

He's grinning, and everything from his freshly pressed uniform to his suggestive smile has me melting into my seat.

"Yes, it was a long time ago though..."

"Are you sure? It would have had to been a very long time ago..."

It really wasn't that long ago.

I don't know if I should be offended that he doesn't remember me, or flattered that he's so shocked that he doesn't.

I'm back on the 4th floor of Printemps, a Parisian department store, where I took my first cooking class in November. Teaching the class is the same chef who had me blushing like a tomato and sweating like onions the first time around.

It's hot in the kitchen today too.

At one point I back away from the stove, fanning my face.

He looks over at me: "Are you hot over there?"

"Yes..." I answer...holding myself back from making any dirty jokes.

"Good," he says, sly grin, "I thought I was the only one."

I was dreamy, and also starving, throughout the whole cooking process. I missed out on some of the tips as I stared deeply into the mangoes caramelizing in front of me.

The menu for the day was rack of lamb breaded in a lemon and herb crust, fried zuchinni, and pastry with caramelized mangoes for dessert.

It was a nice escape from the dark drizzly sky outside. Everyone had a good sense of humour and a love for food.

The rack of lamb was a little heavy, and cooked by French standards-they like their meat bleeding-but everything was rich and tongue teasingly tasty. I rejoiced most in the soft pastry, a small vanilla cake, crusty on the outside, warm and tender on the inside. The soft insides, when eaten with the mangoes, were better than foreplay.

I left with a full belly, satisfied taste buds, and no phone number. At least he should remember me next time.

I spent the rest of the day wandering under the dark sky. I fell upon Pere Lachaise cemetery and wandered amongst the dead and famous. It was too grey and windy to be in a cemetery. You could feel death all around you. It was the kind of weather that burries your dreams and sinks into your soul. Not a good day to be in a cemetery. So I said "Hey" to Jim Morrison and kept walking.

I kept walking to find that no matter how lost I let myself get, I will always find my way in Paris.

Eventually I walked enough to lift some clouds from over my head, and took a winding bus back to my arrondissement.

I got off early and walked some more. I walked across the bridge to find the Eiffel tower sparkling its lights at me.

I smiled back at it and took myself home, a dream unburied, shining right in front of me.

pere lachaise
blue light
to our dear little sister
looking around me
stained glass window
covered in moss
who said jim was death?
mourning a rock star
weeping willow
curious toy shop


Blogger Josh said...

you live a charmed life, blessed with this inquisitive nature you have. It takes you to rich places, and lets you leave us in bewilderment and awe after reading it. Your au pair piece is done, and sent back. good luck. I want lamb for dinner, now.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Georgia said...

I love your entries about food, Gill. They always remind me of a particular still life painting by de Heem. I haven't been able to find it online, so I'll have to scan it and show it to you. It always gets me incredibly excited about food.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Hi Gill,
Okay I scanned and uploaded that painting for you. "Still Life with Lobster." Looking at it just makes my mouth water.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Silvia Cassivi said...

Ive been reading ur blog for a while,as i think u know...well, if u didnt now u do.

I just have to say one thing:
I love cemeteries and im crazy to go to that one.....I also like cemeteries pix and just took urs to me,ok? ill link u on my blog,im not a 'robber' lol.

Hope all things r getting better and this teacher remember of u the next time.

All the best.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Georgia, that is one tempting fruit basket, especially the sexy fig split open. I'm flattered my words could remind you of such a beautiful still life. Anything that brings pleasure is worth getting excited about, right?

Silvia, go ahead, no problem.

12:36 AM  
Blogger maitresse said...

those are some shockingly beautiful shots of Pere Lachaise...

and as for the vanilla cake being better than... well, I suppose it depends who you're, um, eating, with ;)

4:52 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

such good writing here - images which paint such vivid pictures with fun, teasing interplay of words. i am always impressed with your talent and the richness of your life when i visit here. :)

10:46 PM  
Anonymous JAS said...

Oh to feast on a fine fig. Reminded me of chef Greg at the cordon bleu school. "Zere are no rules!". Good mantra. I like your style Ms. Young.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Haley said...

Dude, that is so intense that you were at Jim Morrison's grave... I am kind of in awe that you were standing above him..literally.. I can't even describe how.. that would feel to be standing there..knowing he is there and all that love him.. go there to praise him. Those were some gorgeous shots.


9:28 PM  

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