Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Cooking: A Pleasant Lunch

I was going to post this last weekend but then I realised that four posts about one book in a week was probably a bit too much, so we have it this week instead!

In a feeble attempt at disguising my blue mood that morning, I was preparing a pleasant lunch, hoping to serve it on the table in the south-facing courtyard if the midday sun was warm enough.
I had made an artichoke-and-tapenade quiche, and Dom's favourite crushed potatoes with black olives and olive oil - which I intended to decorate with a sprig of olive branch.

Next I was trying to follow a magazine recipe for charlotte aux trois abricots - a moist cake made with three kinds of apricot: fresh; stewed with lavender; and a whole pot of apricot jam. Like so many French recipes, it seemed to assume that time was no object, that cooking was the point of life rather than a quick dash into the kitchen to sustain it. But that was fine. I was happy enough at this table, in this room where the sun streamed through tall windows, and at that point time was irrelevant (apart from precise cooking instructions, of course; there was a certain bossiness in this magazine cook's tone that insisted concentration was required).

And it smelled wonderfully already, an olfactory elegy to life in the French countryside. The fantasy life that had seemed within reach but which was even now slipping from my grasp.

I love it when I am able to indulge in that kind of time is no object cooking. It doesn't happen often though!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.


  1. Ah, I loved so many things abut the ambiance of this book. This is definitely one of them!

  2. That apricot cake has me drooling :)

    I love it when I can spend all afternoon in the kitchen baking...

  3. golly, I Googled "charlotte aux trois abricots" to see how to make it and almost all the entries are in French! That will not work! ;-)

  4. Lovely, lovely quote. So much about this book had me dreaming of moving to a French farmhouse where I could cook all day with no regard to time or life.

  5. I remember reading that passage and getting all drooly. Especially the bits about the crushed potatoes and olives. Great post today!

  6. What a lovely quote. I love what she said about some recipes assuming cooking was the point of life.

  7. I got this book at the BEA and can't wait to read it. Those potatoes sound heavenly to me.

  8. I have been wanting to read this book, I am going to go find it.

    Thank you.

  9. Sooo the Lantern is a foodie book? I didn't know! And I have seen plenty of reviews for this book.

    My weekend cooking post is here:

  10. Uniflame and Carol, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a foodie book. I just liked this scene. I would say that it is a book of sensousness (sp) - lots of descriptions of scents and taste and sights.

    Esme, I hope you like it.

    Alex, I must confess my mouth watered at the sound of the potatoes too.

    Margot, it's a good observation isn't it!

    Zibilee, as soon as I read it I knew it was going to be a weekend cooking type post.

    Beth and Pam, reading the book certainly fed my French obsession!

    Caite, I know! I had a quick look with the idea of including a recipe but quickly gave up on that idea!

    The Bookgirl, I can't remember the last time I did that!

  11. It's so nice to have all the time in the world when you're cooking! And you're so right, it doesn't happen enough!

  12. I've heard so much about this book...I need to add it to my WishList :)

  13. Love your blog header.

    Stopping by to take a look around.