What better way to be lost than walking the streets of Paris in September. Elaine Sciolino’s article in the New York Times – Paris, One Step At A Time – gave me a name for my wanderings this Fall – a flâneuse.
And yes, the title is respectable – a Parisian walker and sometime writer. George Sand and France’s Trollope may have been the first. But Sciolino used the term for ordinary mortals who enjoy walking and absorbing.
In honor of Julia Child’s birthday, I wanted to eat. Going off to Paris was not an option, and no French restaurants were open in the area – but Julia would want me to cook.
Channeling her joie de vivre and her courage to use whatever happened to be on the shelf, I found shallots, garlic, elbow macaroni, olive oil, fresh parsley and basil from the little pots I nurtured – and Romano Pecorino cheese.
After slicing the shallots and chopping the garlic, I heat the pan before pouring in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. First – the shallots sautéed to a shimmer; then the garlic – just soft, not burnt. In the meantime, the pasta boiled to al dente in 6 minutes.
I poured the shallots and garlic into a deep crockery bowl from my Grandmother’s era, and then remembered her cheese trick. I grated the cheese into the now empty shallot/garlic pan – mmm, melted cheese – browning and aromatic.
Only a cup of the macaroni went into the crock (I had used only one shallot and 2 cloves of garlic – lunch for one). Then, the chopped parsley and basil and, finally, the liquid cheese. I gently tossed all together, and sat down to eat right out of the bowl.
A moan of pleasure out of my mouth and a toast to Julia – happy birthday! No pictures – ate it all!