takings from.. Simone de Beauvoir, The Prime of Life

IMG_2632“I spotted a hut in the middle of a field, near the Château de Rosay, its windows glinting in the sun, and the word café painted in giant letters on the roof. I went in for a drink, and asked the proprietor if he had rooms to let . He offered me a little cottage some fifty yards off, with a thatched roof on which iris was in bloom. The following week I spent five days there. There were red tiles on the floor of my room, and i slept in a farmhouse bed under a plumped-out blue eiderdown: at five in the morning I awoke to the sound of cocks crowing. Eyes still shut, I let myself drift between sleeping and waking, between mornings long past and the light now welling up behind my shutters. When i opened the cottage door, there was green grass, and trees all in blossom. I would go and have coffee, and put a table up under an apple tree, and become once more that little girl doing her holiday task under the catalpa tree at Meyrignac. It was to her that i was now offering what, in various forms, she had so often dreamed of: a little house to herself. ”

 

-Simone be Beauvoir, The Prime of Life

I have lots of things to teach you now..

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I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night.

It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever.

Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all.

It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity.It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die.

It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended.

There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”

-Jack Kerouac

Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes green beans and veloutè sauce

 

we ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other

Earnest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

 

IMG_2962Restaurant Polidor 41 rue monsieur Le prince 75006 ParisIMG_2961Polidor restaurant featured in Woody Allen’s, Midnight in Paris 2011IMG_2876

We dined here three time during our four night stay, at this wonderfully humble restruant famous for Hemingway. I ordered the same meal twice not for any other reason than to simply indulge my senses once more in the simplicity of this succulent dish, suprême de poulet veloutè de morilles,purèe. ‘superbe’

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 Slow roasted chicken with silky potatoes and green beans with veloutè sauce

Ingredients for the chicken: 4 large pieces of free-range Maryland chicken,1 litre chicken stock, 3 continental parsley stalks, 2 cloves of garlic, cracked pepper

Method: place all the chicken into a deep baking dish, they can rest on top of each other. lay the parsley over the chicken, add the garlic whole to the baking dish, lightly season with the cracked pepper and then pour in the stock. Cover tightly with foil the entire top of the baking dish to keep all the steam contained. Set the oven at 180°C and slow roast for 2 hours. Check the chicken after approximately an hour and ladle the stock over the chicken sitting out of the stock, recover with the foil and continue roasting. Meanwhile prepare the veloutè.

 

ingredients for the veloutè sauce: 100grams butter,100grams flour,1litre chicken stock

Method:In a saucepan gently melt the butter without letting it colour. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once and stir to combine. Place the pan back on the heat and cook over a gentle heat to a lightly fawn colour. Allow to cool. Bring the stock to the boil. Add the stock to the roux (flour mix) slowly over the heat, beating in well and allow to thicken before adding the next ladle. Bring to the boil, adjust heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

ingredients for the potatoes: 6 large desiree potatoes peeled and chopped,50grams butter, 250mls cream, salt to taste

method: In a pot of boiling water add the peeled and chopped potatos, boil on a rapid heat until cooked through then strain and return to the pot, mash well until there are no lumps . In another saucepan gently heat the butter until melted and add the cream cook until warmed through then add the mix to the potatoes. With a cake spatula and over a gentle heat work the cream through the potatoes until silky smooth.

Next, boil the string beans for a few minutes, ladle the veloutè into wide bowls add a large scoop of the potato and place a piece of the chicken on top finally drain the beans lightly drizzle in olive oil and season then place a few onto the chicken. Serve.