As we all are impatiently awaiting for spring to show us his first signs , starting to gently warm up our face and slowly bringing back smiles after the cold has pulled our skin so tight that not a wrinkle appears and thus keeping us as young as if time had suddenly stopped for the past six months now (Yes I know but the winter is rather long in the Uk) we all anticipate new menus , ideas and how this summer’s first barbecue should take place , which marinade , seasoning or zest will be added to the soaking rib eye, middle neck, or prawns…….did I say prawns? why not shrimps while I am at it……”let’s be extravagant and throw a few lobsters or langouste on the red hot charcoal”, lets dip our lips and surround them with a few tickling bubbles, the recession has hit us all very hard, and we are paying the hard price of it every time we go for our daily trip to the supermarket, at the pump or simply around the corner to our local pub for a moment of “detente” as we all deserve a little time for ourselves.
However, I will try to keep us out of the “rumble” as I would rather talk to you about France and the past few days events that I have come across or was involved with or simply stumbled into it on the streets of north London , that keeps me close to my “people” , my root , my love , as if they were following me without giving me away nor abandoning me for the unknown and unchartered territories , like protecting and keeping a close eye over me. Thinking this way allows me to feel the freedom and being much less vulnerable.
And that is when……….Tataaaaa….I am having a deja vu , right before my eyes, this legend as I have named him was there on the broadway of Muswell Hill, representing “La France” (dans toute sa splendeur) and like Monsieur Jean , who was at the time going from one restaurant of central London to another , riding through the streets of Mayfair, always on time with his seasonal Artichokes or Fresh Garlic hanging around his neck , his bicycle covered with bunches of the most flavoursome onions , he has never forgotten to take one for the road before heading and rolling through the Michelin Stars of the Capital. For those who have never seen him must have been at least told the great story once in their lifetime and thus not without a cracking joke or laughter to twist your intestine….this is his moment from me, like a dedicace, as he has always been and always will be with me, riding his bicycle alongside.
“Papa Blanc” was in the Observer Magazine last Sunday ,on the cover as well as inside of course and talking about , I let you guess ,see the clue above pictured… food and France or France and food, whatever order you prefer. Maman Blanc of course was mentioned as well his ex wives but never his mistresses, why? because his fidelity has always been his pride along with his roots and of course his great work ,as Raymond Blanc IS a pillard of nowadays catering industry in the Uk, along with only a few that would be holding in one hand and one hand only and not by the size of their ego that is nor their success . Le Manoir au Quatre Saison ,Oxfordshire has been Mr Blanc proud and joy for over 25 years now and still carrying the “Bleu, Blanc,Rouge” flag as if the days of running through the fields of “La Grande Dame” (France that is)had just gone past, still having left behind the delicious smell of the Tarte aux Pommes gently cooling down by the window, attracting the honey bees by its sweet odour of caramelised apples and flan. mmmmmmmm
This month , the first page of the Secours Mutuels was posted on the Association Culinaire Francaise de Londres website and thus for the very good of our members, giving the possibility or the “tool” as this would be called nowadays, to offer the ACF members the help needed in the case of invalidity or incapacity to work .
Feeling now satisfied that the matter has been put into place and in motion , although tweaking or alteration in order to offer a better help and service is continuously needed , I am now having an urge and cannot stop myself of thinking…
“What’s next” ?