It never stops
Every time I start thinking I am making microscopic advances in my grasp of the language something happens to totally undermine my confidence.
Or to bring back the reality of my limitations, depending on your point of view.
Across from our house was an old sechoir or drying shed. The area we live in is dotted with them and, for the most part, they are an attractive or, at least, interesting part of the landscape.
They’re normally made of wood and fairly well-tended; often still in use for grain or tobacco.
But this one had been covered, willy-nilly, with corrugated aluminum and was an eyesore.
When we bought the house I commented on how ugly it was. They acknowledged that it was a derelict wreck and offered to remove it.
Friday a group of young men came to dismantle it. The normal arrangement is that the removal is free of charge because the removers want whatever material is salvageable. They’re not professionals but the current crop of hippies, recycling old buildings for use in building their own houses.
Late in the afternoon one of them came to the door.
He asked if he could ‘hide his ladder behind our house’.
Now, as the only ladder I saw was the one firmly attached to the top of his truck, I assumed I wasn’t understanding him.
Why would he want to take the ladder off of his truck, haul it down the hill and around to the back of our house?
And HIDE it???? Why did he want to hide it?
So I told him I didn’t understand and asked him to say it again.
What followed was 10 minutes of him hastily sketching pictures of ladders and houses, and me frantically looking up words in the dictionary.
In the end I reached the only possible conclusion: I had understood him the first time.
He, on the other hand, reached the only other possible conclusion: I am an incredibly dim-witted, stupid woman.
I doubt that he would have believed me had I told him I was a Mensan.
We agreed that he could hide his ladder behind our house.
I still don’t know why.
That night we went for a Holiday Apéro at our new neighbor’s. It was a mixture of French and English.
I was totally tongue-tied. I had lost the will to speak.
I retain the will to make easy, cheesy food, however.
We had this as a first course. It would be equally good for brunch.
Cheese and Shallot Pancake serves 2… maybe
3oz (90gr) full-flavored cheese, sliced
2 large shallots
1 tsp oil
Thinly slice shallots. Heat oil in nonstick 8″ (20cm) skillet. Add shallots and sauté until tender and starting to brown. Lay cheese on top and fry until bubbly and starting to form a brown crust along the edges. Lightly whisk egg and pour over cheese, tilting the skillet to cover all of the cheese and shallots. Let cook, undisturbed, until egg is dry on top. Flip it over onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve.
If you wanted to pretend this was healthy you could serve a Spinach Salad on the side….
Dressed with a Celery and Greek Olive Vinaigrette…