(A French meal from May 2009, photo compliments of Mr. Pete Haddow)
It's hard to believe that a month ago I was in the middle of 72 hours of travel madness. I heading back to Luxembourg after visiting La Rochelle, packing up all my gear and heading to Brussels the next morning for my flight back to the United States.
Life in Cleveland is lovely, as always. It's a transition, going from Europe to the U.S., from living on your own to occupying your high school bedroom at your parents house, but after a few days, I always seem to find myself in the gentle rhythm of small town America. I swear, this town grips me and pulls me in like no other.
But this doesn't mean I don't find myself day dreaming about Luxembourg and my little European life. I guess it is my constant struggle - quietly yearning for one place whenever I'm in the other - but I'm content to fight this battle. It just makes me realize how lucky I am.
When I miss Luxembourg and France, I cook. I fell in love with Europe through food, the way they share meals, and the reverence that is given to each aspect of the experience. From the wine, to the bread, to each course, dinner is always a carefully planned out ritual.
Last week I conquered the markets of Cleveland, determined to find creme fraiche and lamb shoulder (mission successful!) for a French meal. We drank kir royal and red wine. We ate chicories with anchovy dressing, soft boiled eggs, roasted lamb shoulder, ratatouille, and charlotte au chocolat. And we sat at the table, talking, laughing, and savoring the time with each other.
It was the marriage of my two lives - a French meal in Cleveland.