celery. and couscous. you remember it because it is a vegetable you never buy – you will eat it, but you will never choose it.
and during your five week stint at île de ré, you never had much choice because your vegetables were donated by the nice vendeur at the marché – whatever fruit and veggies couldn’t be sold because they were slightly abimés (damanged) went straight to hungry tummies of about twelve volunteers.
happily, you love being forced out of your normal cooking box.
home became a tent. neighbors quickly became friends.
friends around a table. this is france. and perhaps one of the reasons why you love france so much – because all of your closest friendships are not very far from food.
anybody from the may 2011 group of volunteers will never, ever, forget la terrine de maman de sylvain. what would normally take two months to eat was gone in about three days.
your new home is only two minutes away by bike to your favorite backyard. a little eglise perhaps? no.
a poppy field? yes and no because the poppy field is more of a twenty-five minute bike ride away. here, two minutes away, you see one or two poppies sporadically.
la plage. the beach. the ocean. that is what is two minutes away. never in your life have you lived so close to the ocean before. and for an entire five weeks, you will profiter and spend as much time as you can here.
you’re happy to share the beach with some certain feathered friends who like to come out and eat during marée basse. low tide. with your binoculars as well as some distance, you enjoy a spectacle of their dinner time.
the sun is setting. time to go back to your new home.
qui veut jouer aux fléchettes? becomes a question asked every night. a pre-dinner staple. [who wants to play a game of darts?]
the night ends one way. and one way only. autour un table, of course. for five weeks, you dined outside with your new friends until the sun was long long gone. [around a table]