When I left the USA in October 2006, despite the (then) certainty of returning in a year--or maybe because of it--I got rid of a boatload of beloved items, particularly kitchen equipment and gadgets. Friends here are no doubt short of patience when I embark on one of my almost daily reminiscences--oh, man, I can't BELIEVE I got rid of ___! (a myriad number of items can fill the blanks; feel free to suggest as you see fit). I've moaned about citrus pressers, cake pans, baking sheets and cooling racks, gadgets and knives, strainers, silicone liners, dishes, glasses, cake decorating equipment, crystal, even my pepper grinder. (Well, at least I know where that ended up--I gave that to my mother and I'm delighted she's using it.)
My friend Innis is often gifting me things, no doubt because she, too, is fed up with listening to me reminisce (all right, moan) and cry impoverished author--all right, ALL RIGHT! WOULD-be author. She's given me a fabulous cheese grater--that she still lusts after--and a great ceramic tart pan that I've made numerous quiches in, and most recently she surprised me with a pepper grinder. She admitted she was tempted by a cheaper version but ended up splurging on the upscale option...no doubt because she eats here fairly often and figured she'd benefit from it, too.
I opened this, my birthday gift, to reveal a really lovely Lucite pepper grinder just hungering to be filled with the peppercorns which I, ever an optimist, had bought without any way of grinding.
"Wow, a Peugeot! I had no idea they even made pepper grinders!" She admitted she almost hadn't bought it for me.
"Gosh, this is, like...a better make than my car!" She gave me a sidelong glance.
"I've seen your car. Please tell me you'll take better care of this."
"Hey, this is France," I retorted. "And my car is secondhand from Paris. A car isn't a car unless it looks like a post-adolescent acne sufferer in desperate need of dermabrasion." (Okay, admittedly, post-adolescent acne sufferers don't sport scrapes the length of their faces, just dimples. My car has both.)
Having weathered a long winter followed by a spring toting gardening and seedling purchases for me as well as other folks, my car's in desperate need of rehab. It's my goal to get it washed, waxed, buffed and gleaming, right down to the dimples, before the end of May because that's when Innis and I leave, our sibling dogs in tow, for a month, stopping on Lake Annecy in the French Alps, then Cessole in Northern Italy, and finally Provence before returning home at the end of June.
If my friend climbs into my car to drive to Annecy in the state it's in now, she might think twice before buying me another Peugeot anything.