Chocolat. Joanne Harris has a LOT to answer for. In her wonderful, lyrical novel about a self-described witch changing the lives of the people in a small French town, she never stops talking about food. The chocolate descriptions are bad enough - I doubled my hot chocolate intake during and after I finished it, visited See's Candy one day, had dark chocolate gelato another, and just didn't worry about the extra calories.
The meal in the book that stood out the most, however, was a simple supper of warm baguette, goat cheese, olives and fresh peaches, accompanied by a crisp Pinot Grigio. I mean...yum! Simple and delicious. I've been thinking about this meal for three days..and finally decided to recreate it with my own twists. We had a Pain Rustique in the freezer (leftover from our gumbo party), so I thawed it overnight, wrapped it in foil and put it in the oven for an hour on low heat. We got a small log of herb and garlic goat cheese at a local market, along with an avocado and Geneva cookies by Pepperidge Farms. I mixed some balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper in a small bowl of olive oil, pulled out some leftover smoked salmon, sliced a couple of fresh peaches, cracked a bottle of Kennedy zinfandel, put it all on the coffee table and had a lovely, simple dinner. Dessert was Geneva cookies and more wine. We still have most of the loaf of bread left, along with goat cheese, and a bunch more peaches, so I think a repeat of tonight's dinner will probably be on the menu for tomorrow.
My sister just brought me a copy of THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW, Joanne Harris's sequel to CHOCOLAT. I realize I'm doomed. Oh well. Denial isn't good for the soul and I really don't want to be on my death bed thinking of all the things I wish I'd done...and eaten.