Home alone, for now
This week I'm having dinner on a tray while I still can - January's greatest kindness. Plus an easy recipe for pork chops with capers and crème fraîche sauce.
In January, I hibernate.
I travelled quite a lot in December, had all of the seasonal houseguests over Christmas and New Year, then caught the cold everyone had which lingered for weeks. And in early January, I was in Manchester to do a cookery demonstration, followed by a trip to visit my parents in County Durham. The snow fell. The electricity went in and out. We sat side by side on sofas and watched cop shows and ate soup and toast, while continuing the conversation we’ve shared without pause for fifty years.
Now we’re back in the village and it’s quiet. Along the port, lots of the restaurants are closed. Their owners are busy washing windows, painting, putting up new awnings.
Soon, they will have visitors and so will we. I counted how many friends we had to stay last year in our perfectly imperfect old house, and the number came to forty-three: baker’s dozens and dozens and dozens of croissants, so many towels and linens, hundreds of oysters and wedges of lemon, bowls of olives, bottles of Picpoul, glasses of rosé with ice (à la piscine), Noilly Prat cocktails…
So before we get back on that delicious treadmill, I’m taking some quiet time for myself. I’m reading books and sleeping late. I am taking my dinner on a tray. Today’s menu is a just-us-at-home supper. You can eat it at the table, in front of the television, wherever you want. No one’s watching. There’s no starter, straight into the main event, then a cheese plate and a perfect apple tart from our local bakery. It’s exactly what I want.
There’ll be time for showing off soon enough.
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