Remember all of those money-raising schemes we endured as children?
Selling magazines that nobody wanted?
Peddling chocolate bars and 'white almond bark' during the already sugar-bloated holidays?
Passing off 'genuine bees-wax candles' that burned for 50 seconds and left puddles of wax everywhere?
Somehow, at least here in the back of beyond, the French have figured out the proper way to handle these fund-raising rights of passage.
I have actually been waiting for several weeks for the kids to come around for their annual sale.
They finally did: last week.
And, this morning, around 8:00, they delivered.
Oh not to the door, mind you.
This is France. The Sunday morning 'lie-in' is sacred. No one would dream of disturbing a French household on a Sunday morning anytime before 10… or, maybe 11.
The young lads asked where they should leave the delivery. Normally they would just put it on the window ledge (remember, we have 18" walls), but they know that would wake the dogs, so they left it tucked in the gate.
This morning, while the coffee was brewing, I walked the 20 feet to the garden gate and came back with these freshly baked, flaky croissants and pan au chocolate.
We may not be able to get a pizza delivered, or have anywhere to go for Chinese take-out, but I'll take 'croissants on the garden gate' any day.
Even if it's only once a year….
Speaking of gardens, my herb garden is coming back to life: the oregano and marjoram is big enough to start cutting; the thyme and lemon thyme are all showing signs of new growth; the chives and garlic chives are well up and getting ready for their first flowering.
And that year-round work horse, the rosemary is having a spring growth spurt.
Rosemary is widely used in Mediterranean cooking and is classically paired with lamb and pork.
It is thought to boost the immune system and stimulate memory.
When I lived in Minnesota, I planted it every summer (because it froze every winter) and used it sparingly.
I toss whole sprigs on the charcoals to impart a smoky, rosemary flavor to grilled meats, use the branches as skewers for kebabs, and put it into just about anything.
I (and the Greeks) particularly like it paired with olives.
I have another simple dish for this week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, started by Kalyn, of Kalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Margot of Coffee and Vanilla. Be sure to visit Margot on Monday for the round-up!
New Potatoes with Rosemary and Olives
10 – 15 new potatoes
1- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 – 10 olives any color or combination
1/3 cup white wine
Lightly wash potatoes but leave whole. Put everything into a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, gently for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for another 15 – 25 minutes, depending on size, until potatoes are done. Stir occasionally. When done, a knife should go in easily and the wine should have reduced to a thick syrup.
I can't take these complicated recipes and challenging breakfasts…. I'm going to go have a nap!