12 June 2012

superior ratatouille

Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?*

To coming home from a work trip—overtired, overtalked, overpeopled, just over—and realizing you have everything necessary to make ratatouille, that French vegetable dish that tastes like Mediterranean sunshine, tiled roofs, and that joie de vivre Americans always envy in the French {even if they can't define joie de vivre}?

And that, in the several days you were away, nothing has gone bad?**

It was a lottery prize of joy and comfort food—the Mega Millions, I tell you, and when I started to pull out everything I needed—eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion—I thought: It will feel so good to chop and dice and sautee and eat.

Days of living in a hotel tend to make you excited about using a knife.

No, that came out wrong: days of living in an airport hotel {the runway just outside your window, reminding you every five minutes that someone is always leaving on an adventure} make you excited about being in your own space again.

And days of eating other people's food {and I had some of the best meals of my life on this trip: a wild sage martini and Berkshire pork chops and an asparagus bisque and Brussels sprouts ravioli and oh, the cheeseboard with a triple cream cheese from Normandy...!} will make you excited about eating your own food. Prepared by you in your kitchen with your knives and afterwards you can go to bed under your own sheets.

Tell me, truly: Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

* I'm sure Jane Austen would think there was a felicity superior to ratatouille, especially since she had one of her characters—Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility—say this. But I've never wanted to be much like Marianne {and who would when there's Elinor around?}, so I'm stealing her line and applying it to vegetables. I don't think she'd mind.

** You can chastise me now for my poor produce planning, but first an explanation: it wasn't much produce that I left in the fridge while I flew off to Philadelphia. It just so happened to be the perfect amount of ratatouille ingredients, and I'd like us to pretend now that I planned it that way. Thank you for indulging me.


  1. Ooooo, this makes me even happier about visiting this weekend! :-) Sounds delicious!

  2. As well you should be excited, Beth! See you soon!



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