This is what I made for dinner: Niv ua Qoc.
As I won't ask you to hold your computer
up to a mirror, I shall translate: (backwards) Coq au Vin.
Backwards because I had no intention to cook up
a classic French dish; in fact, I didn't really even want
any dinner. Thus:
Home late, chicken legs in fridge: saute in olive oil
with a little salt and pepper. Boring! Add chicken stock,
a little of the red wine I'm sipping. Needs something else --
bay leaves, thyme. Wait! Onions! Garlic! Simmer simmer.
WHAT ABOUT BACON? Okay okay. Added browned bacon.
Reduced sauce, threw in a dab of butter: Dinner.
Dipped thick bread in the lovely sauce: my own private gravy.
There is something about this dish that demands
it be eaten regularly, or at least something way back
in my cultural genetic memory that tells me
This Is Something Good. It's not a dish from my childhood,
but when I hunkered down at the table tonight
sopping up the bacon/onion/sauce with bread,
the feelings of comfort and completeness
inhabited every cell in my body. In fact, Coq au Vin
doesn't even date very far back in French cuisine:
Various legends trace coq au vin to ancient Gaul and
Julius Caesar, but the food is not documented until the early
20th century, though it no doubt existed as a rustic
country dish long before that. (Wikipedia.)
I'm fairly certain that someone, somewhere in the
land of my foremothers, long before the 20th century,
figured out the sublime pairing of chicken, red wine, bay leaves.....
Maybe this someone even began backwards, as I did, searching
the cupboard for yet something else to add to the sizzling poulet.
I raise my glass (and the little that's left in it!) to her.