Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pastis, Prawns and Produce

Today has been a day of delicious food with delightful friends. After a meeting with my supervisor I hooked up with the Buxom Wench at Varga Bar. Was too stroked by heat to eat very much, but a soy latte was joined by the most perfect brushetta. Good company, good coffee and slices of juicy tomato, fresh basil and olive oil on a crispy wholemeal baguette. Sometimes the simple things really are the best.

Later on I popped over to This Charming Man's place to return some stuff I had borrowed, and came out with silverbeet and lettuce fresh from his vegie patch. Inspired all over again to get out in the dirt and produce some produce, especially after recent chats with Freeq and The Littlest Leprechaun about the goodies from their gardens (did buy some herbs recently, but then I went away and forgot to leave watering instructions and they all perished). As I was leaving TCM's I ran into Les Filthy Frog, an dear friend and an amazing cook. Turns out he lives a few doors up from TCM, and as we both had no plans for the evening he invited me in for champagne and pastis. Pastis I drink even though I don't like it, because it takes me back to the time I was with LFF in Antibes. We were staying with his brother in a villa, and took a day trip to St Paul De Vance, a gorgeous artisan town in the French Riviera that is full of galleries and workshops and tiny little winding cobblestoned streets. We spent a very long time in a shop that specialised in oils and honeys and vinegars. After much tasting and deliberation a 60 year old balsamic was selected and purchased, which we proceeded to drizzle over a particularly good parmeson and consume by the pool with a bottle of pastis. Bliss! LFF introduced me to a lot of good food on my French tour, including snails and foie gras* and confit of duck and the peculiar delights of Kalimotxo (a bizarre Basque concotion of cola and red wine that is probably only tolerable if floating in the Meditterean in the middle of the night. Heaven knows it wasn't quite as appealing when I concocted it at my friend's place the other night). Back at LFF's place tonight, he asked if I wanted to stay for dinner. I was not going to say no to any meal prepared by the man first served me 14 course dinners full of sorbets and terrines and home baked breads, not to mention the infamous 'Cake Orgies'. He has four different kinds of truffle oil in his pantry, and salt that smells like 'violets by the sea', and waching him conjure up magic in his kitchen is truly inspiring. So I stayed, and a couple of hours later we sat down to a simple salad of prawns, bacon (vegie-what? I am SO naughty), capsicum, chilli, poached egg, and fresh herbs from the garden. And pastis. Delicious! After much reminiscing and catching up on old times and silliness I rolled out into the street and onto the bus for a quick visit to GC, before heading home to find LesBeanz hanging out watching DVDs. Finished the night with one of her famous chartreuse hot chocolates. Satisfied and sleepy now...

* The foie gras meal was the first time I fully comprehended the fact that 'food and sex' is totally different to 'food sex'. That dinner left me shaken and speechless in a post-culinary-induced-orgasmic state for hours. Swoon.


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