Sunday morning Tom, Jeanne, and I walked to Marché Blanqui so they could buy provisions for dinner. Tom had a vision, inspired by our copy of The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier. We stopped at la Gourmandaise d’Arago for bread and pâtisseries. Back home, Jeanne acted as sous-chef, prepping the vegetables while Tom took a nap, I read and wrote, and Gordon went for a bike “ride” and swim in the tower.
At 17h15 we walked across bd Arago to l’Église Protestante Unie de Port Royal-Quartier Latin for a concert performed by Paula Thomas (flute) and Marco Antonio San Nicolás (guitar). It was lovely: Mozart, Bach, Fauré, Debussy, Piazzolla, Torroba, Villa-Lobos, and Tadić played without amplification in the small and simple church. It was part of a free concert series called Les Moments Musicaux de Port-Royal and also of Paula’s “Flute Project.” A basket was passed during intermission, and the small audience was appropriately appreciative.
>> Skylight in the church.
>> Marco and Paula.
The program notes mentioned that Paula would be playing with the Eureka Symphony. A closer reading specified Californie du Nord. After the encore, Tom introduced himself, mentioning that he lives in Eureka. Holy smoke! Paula was born and raised there. She immediately suggested that we all go out for a drink. Tom invited her to dinner. Gordon went to the convenience store for wine. Mariki, who coordinates cultural activities at the church, joined us at le café; she is from South Africa. Both women married French men and have lived in Paris 20 or more years. We had a lively conversation before Mariki headed home to dinner with her family, and the rest of us went to our apartment; Paula’s husband was working until midnight.
Jeanne’s afternoon’s sous chef work facilitated dinner preparation, and soon we sat down to cauliflower gratin, eggplant with tomatoes, and a duo of haricots verts and cocoplats. The conversation never flagged: Eureka, music, divas, living in Paris, travel… Tom cut each of the four pâtisseries into five pieces. Paula left shortly before midnight, with an invitation to show me around her neighbourhood in the 19th. Paris is full of surprises. This one was especially pleasant.
>> Some pâtisseries we could have had.
Luckily I got stuck with a joker in the first round, so our nightly game of rummy-k did not last long. We needed sleep to prepare ourselves for another outing.