Drum roll, please. It’s party time.
As the lyrics say, the celebration is happening tonight.
This week begins the fourth year of French Fridays with Dorie. We’ve been cooking her book since October 2010, and are halfway done. I know we can. I know we can. I know we can.
For our anniversary week Betsy Pollack who blogs at A Plateful of Happiness and I picked the recipe. We’re the week-to-week administrators of FFWD and the iconic Salade Niçoise seemed to jump out and say, “Choose me,” as we thumbed through the book.
With Dorie’s directions, which are here, we stick with authenticity, using canned tuna preserved in oil and stinky anchovies. I chose Tapenade Vinaigrette but use your own favorite to dress the salad. This was a perfect dinner. Leftovers, tomorrow.
I also baked Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake, a make-up recipe that most Doristas made in December 2012. Why did I wait so long? “This apple cake is more apple than cake, rather plain but very appealing in its simplicity,” Dorie explains.
Candle #6 perched upon this cake reminds me that I have now been back in Aspen for six months. Although it’s been a hectic and chaotic 15 months since Michael died, my motor running primarily on adrenalin, I’ve done what I needed to do to get where I wanted to be.
You see, I have a birthday this month. Did you peg me for a Libra? They say we need to stay on an even keel. We abhor conflict. It’s that scales of justice, striking the right balance thing. I also just read that “the Libra-born are keen strategists, organizing groups with poise and getting the job done.” (Hey, does that mean we’re bossy?)
Who believes that stuff anyway?
While I am 69 years old this year, I am actually embarking on my seventieth year………..and, that gives me pause. Because the past ten years have been so difficult for my family, I wanted to figure out how the next ten could be better. Giving it my best shot. And, I was determined to accomplish that by this upcoming birthday.
To that end I made lists, asked myself questions and pondered over ideas, plans and decisions. In the end my experiences guided my priorities. Since my kids had circled the wagons the past ten years to help me first care for Michael and then find my footing, I wanted to relieve them of me. I was determined that their life no longer revolve around my needs. Quite honestly, I also needed to flap my wings.
Returning to Aspen was the obvious choice but that presented, to my mind, insurmountable obstacles. My condo in Aspen, less than 1,000 square feet, was never meant for full-time living. What would I do with our belongings, years of memories, stuff? Do I sell our house in Nevada? The real estate market was in the tank. Most importantly, didn’t Thomas Wolfe remind us that you can’t go home again?
That was then and this is now. House sold. (Don’t ask. The answer is, “Alot.”) Our belongings are gone and my load is lighter. Make that, non existent. Surprisingly, I love everything about living here at The Gant. Aspen is just as I remember but better and without question, it’s where I belong.
Happy is sublime………especially when you’re turning sixty-nine.
If you’re interested in how my FFWD colleagues are celebrating our fourth year together, go here.