Les Legumes d’Alice
At home in the U.S. my wonderful farmer is Rebecca, who has nourished my spirit and body with her jewel-like vegetables for the past five years. And now at home in France I have, through the magic of friendship, found Alice, whose vegetables you see here.
When someone spends her life growing the foods that sustain my body and spirit, I can’t help but take it personally. Of course she’s feeding many people, not just me, but every bite that finds its way from her dirt-covered hands to my plate feels like a gift meant only for me. See that little Charlotte potato shaped exactly like a heart? I don’t think that’s an accident!
And because it’s almost Thanksgiving, my first in France, this abundance of vegetables has gotten me thinking. Should that beautiful pumpkin become a soup, a pie, or both? What if I were to make a carrot cake with those incredible carrots, purple on the outside, orange within? The perfect little lettuces and the heap of broccoli won’t last until next week, but the baby fennel and the leeks will, and are destined for stuffing the turkey, or maybe a little vegetable marmalade. The petite cauliflowers might make it until then, but more likely I won’t be able to resist roasting them on one of the frigid days we’re having right now.
The truth is that it’s all almost too beautiful to eat, and Thanksgiving dinner can’t be entirely vegetables. I’ll just have to give thanks to Alice for all the meals that will come from this week’s bounty, starting tonight with a dish of blettes, a chard as long as your arm and twice as sweet.