This post is especially for my lovely friend Lynn over at ‘Lynz real Cooking’, who I am sure needs no introduction from me for most of you, but those of you who may have missed her poignant, courageous blog about her life behind the veil in Saudi Arabia, where she raised 9 amazing children in often very difficult circumstances and tells her tale without self pity or sensationalism, but with humanity and wit – not to mention the smattering of Arabic/American delicious recipes along the way.
I was telling her about my lovely afternoon spent reading ‘Madame Bovary’ in the glorious Parisian sunshine in one of my favourite haunts – Le Cimetiere Montparnasse’.
Le Cimetiere Montparnasse is very close to the restaurant that I featured in an earlier post ‘Empty Chairs and Empty Tables’ posted just after the attacks of November 13th.
I am happy to report that the chairs and tables were no longer empty, but still a far cry from their former ‘elbow to elbow’ status – I am sure Paris will lick her wounds as she has done so many times throughout her chequered history.
And now tickle your literary taste buds with a quote from Madame Bovary and some photographs from my ‘spiritual home’, Montparnasse,
“Sometimes she would reflect that these were, after all, the most beautiful days of her life, the honeymoon, as it was called. Probably in order to savour the sweetness, you had to travel far away to those lands with legendary names, where the first days of marriage were filled with sweet indolence.
in the ‘post-chaise with its blinds of blue silk, you would slowly climb up the steep mountain roads, listening to the song of the postilion as it echoed over the mountain roads and mingled with the tinkling of goats bells and the muffled roar of the waterfall.
At sunset you would stand above a bay breathing in the scent of the lemon trees; then in the evening, you would sit alone together on the terrace of some villa, your fingers intertwined, gazing at the stars and making plans.
It seemed to her that certain places on earth must produce happiness.”
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
The view from where I was sitting reading in the lovely Parisian sunshine
I actually managed to achieve poor Emma Bovary’s dream and have lived in Paris for the past seven years.
I don’t know about you, but I think that she was a ‘soufflé’ kind of girl, a little bit top show and unsubstantial, aspiring to be greater than she really was, and collapsing when reality hit her.
My simple soufflés collapsed pretty quickly too and the moral of this story is always be sure that you have your SD card in your camera before photographing soufflé …….
They did taste divine though and were Oh so easy to make (as everything on here)
So without further ado let’s give it a try….
2 medium courgettes
1 small bag of rocket
3 eggs separated
1 tub of crème fraiche
2 handfuls of grated cheese (Gruyere or mild Cheddar)
A handful of Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season
A little butter to grease the ramekins
Cook the courgettes whole in boiling slightly salted water for 10 minutes then cut into manageable chunks and blitz in a food processor with the rocket and crème fraiche
Add the egg yolks and the cheese and season to taste
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon
Pour into the buttered ramekins, sprinkle with a little parmesan and bake in a ‘bain Marie’ (baking tray filled with hot water to prevent the outsides drying out while setting) in a moderate to hot oven for 10-15 until the centres have just set and the tops have risen and are slightly golden
This is delicious served with white fish or alone as an entrée
I think Emma would have loved sitting at the window of a majestic Parisian apartment eating this don’t you……….