Don’t ask how I’ve made it this far in life without having ever really discovered tarragon. I may have grown up with some sort of relative of tarragon in dried form, stored in a glass jar along side the other exotic herbs and spices in the rack, but I couldn’t have told you a few years ago what it tasted like. This summer, that’s all changed: its lightly-laced licorice sweetness has adorned the top of fish fillets, green and yellow beans, and potato salad all season long. Last summer, I was all about mint. The beast thought I went too far in fact, sometimes including it in every dish, sweet or savoury for days on end. He hasn’t beat his chest yet though over tarragon.
Tonight will be a good test. Feeling a bit blue and not wanting to cook anything, I decided to prepare my favourite meal: cheese, bread and something with tarragon. Once I got to the cheese store, my blues looked the other way. I picked up some gooey chevre, something called pepato secco , and one of my new all-time favourites, ossau irati. By the time I hit the green grocer and found that really big-leafed, almost-inedible-because-it’s-too-peppery arugola, and Ontario organic Yukon Gold potatoes, all I could think about was the salad I would make with them, some green bean, crispy bacon and…tarragon.
To ensure those blues kept walking in the opposite direction, I opened up a chilled bottle of rosé from Tavel, France because it can be stressful boiling potatoes and green beans. They have to be just right. And then I had the arranging of the cheeses yet to do, and the cutting of the $4.50 loaf of bread. I think my mother would think me crazy if she knew I paid $4.50 for a loaf of bread. Shit. She’s most likely the only person reading this, so she knows now. Listen Mom, it’s just really good, and it’s not like I’m buying fancy bread every day. No, no, no. Just when I lose all sense of reason.
Oh, thank God I still have some finocchiona toscana (Tuscan salami with fennel seeds) that one of my best buddies brought back for me recently from Florence where she lives: a meal without meat leaves the Beast in a sour mood.
Now I’m just waiting for the Beast to get home so I can show off my spread. The trick is not to drink too much of the rosé. My limit is usually half the bottle-enough to make my shoulders drop from under my ears (where they manage to stay hunched for most of the day), but not too much as to make the Beast worry that his pseudo-Foodie is actually a real-life Boozer.