Notwithstanding the promise of a magical transformation into handsome prince, I can understand why princesses were hesitant to do tongues with a frog. I feel the same, yet over the last few days I’ve been emotionally involved with one of the little chaps. I say little “chap” in the terms of a friendly diminutive as I can’t be sure of the gender. Maybe I’m seeing her masculine side or his feminine side…it’s like catching a glimpse of Annie Lennox as she pops her head up out of a dark pond and submerges nearly immediately. The relationship hasn’t turned physical yet, although I must admit that I’m the one making all the moves at the moment. There is a well like structure, that houses the pumps, at one end of the pool, intently staring down into which on bended knee, net in hand, I can be seen most mornings and evenings.The frog, the subject of my affection, is trapped in the depths, …Lennox le Grenouille sits on the flotation switch of the cave pump, cold and alone. How many times did he not listen to la mere Grenouille when she warned him against leaving the safety of the pond. Lennox disregarded her dire admonitions. As I open the trap door, Lennox looks up at me with a very appealing frog expression, which I am reading as “Get me out of here”. In reply to this cri de coeur I lower the net, Lennox panics, and disappears into the dark waters. On two occasions, I have netted Lennox and brought him/her nearly to safety, only for frog fickleness to intervene. With one bound Lennox was free…wrong….Lennox was back in the oubliette. I shall persevere and let you all know if I become a princess…or hopefully a prince.
The green of frogdom has brought to mind the wonderful pile of artichokes that were in the shops yesterday which reminded me that I hadn’t cooked one since last year. Preparing and cooking an artichoke is very undemanding and the ritual of eating one is comforting in its familiarity. Hopefully, if the artichoke has been chosen well, each leaf will be blessed with a plump, fleshy base which has conveniently grown into the form of a spoon to carry a gob of well flavoured vinaigrette.
Artichokes need conversation. They are not a dish to eat without company. The slow ritual of removing each leaf needs to be interspersed with words and sips of wine….a young red such as a Chinon, from the Loire, is very good to my mind. There is something atavistic and carnal about eating an artichoke, which is unusual in the consumption of a vegetable, as each leaf that is removed and eaten brings us closer to the heart which is, after all, why we started in the first place. Now I must see about the toad in the hole.