Since Pierre‘s commute to Albany is a little brutal this semester, I try to alleviate it by packing him lunch. I always loved packing food to take away, and when I worked in Manhattan I packed my lunch everyday.
I also have very vivid memories from the time when I was a child and we were packing picnics for the hotel residents going on day trips. The family hotel being a 4-star establishment, you can imagine how elaborate that was. Prepackaged item didn’t exist, so for salt, pepper, sugar, mustard & cornichons, we would make cute little pockets out of parchment paper. The beautiful cuts of salami, jambon de pays (prosciutto), jambon blanc (cooked ham), roast beef, chicken, cheeses — yeah! lots of proteins— were carefully wrapped in parchment paper attached with butcher string. Seasonal fruits were added on top, a bottle of wine, bottle of mineral water and a fresh baguette stuck to the side of the basket.
I also remember my grandfather Joseph packing my picnic for the end of the year elementary school field trip. I requested sandwiches & Coca-Cola. Bon-Papa Joseph went along with the sandwiches but absolutely vetoed the Coca-Cola telling me that that stuff was so efficient in cleaning metal surfaces that he didn’t want my stomach to be subjected to the same treatment. Instead, he filled an empty bottle with some wine, water and sugar. I was around 9 or 10 years old and I remember like if it was yesterday that after eating lunch, my friend Françoise Gerdessus and I took a pedal boat ride and I felt pretty funny and happy… I was drunk! I lost my wallet that day and I never forgot that Françoise shared her pocket money with me. Anyhow, Pierre’s lunch made me travel back to childhood and my unconscious might be thinking of that crew of school friends that are going to gather soon for a school reunion that I will not make this year!
Voilà! Pierre’s lunch is a little more balanced:
Cold oven roasted chicken
Cuke salad (with no rice)
Apple sauce (Pierre’s ultimate comfort food)
2 slices of Amy’s bread
All packed in this cute lunch box my daughter in law got for us in Korea, where packing lunch is a serious affair… but no room for the bottle of wine!