Friday, November 11, 2011


Its a rare day with all the attendant predictions and histories..  It's 11/11/11.

If my father were alive he would be 100 years old.  He was born on  Bastille Day so he would have been 5 months old in 1911 when this number came forward a hundred years ago.

We will only see this day once in our lifetimes ( unless you plan on reaching 100 + years)!

It is also Veterans Day or Armistice Day, a holiday in France, as in most allied countries, I presume.
The first World War known as "The Great War" was officially ended when President Wilson signed the treated of Versailles on June 28,1919 at the Palace of Versailles in the town of Versaille, just outside Paris.    The fighting had ended seven months earlier when a temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allies and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  And so the chosen day to celebrate the occasion is 11/11 each year. Unfortunately, this day was not the end of "the war to end all wars" as was supposed.

  But it is the excuse for Monsieur and I to open a bottle of champagne and consume a "poulet de grain" , a chicken raised only on proper grain not on fish meal, and other strange additives.  To us, this type of chicken is the best you can buy in France, much better than a Bresse chicken which is more expensive.

courtesy of Roger Marchese

 The western taste has eaten rubbish chickens for so long that the Bresse chicken with its clingy, dense meat is a bit of an odd texture for us.   The" Poulet de Grain" on the other hand is succulent , flavorful and has flesh that is less compact than the Bresse.

 Here is our lunch for this most auspicious of days.

   I have to admit that I don't often prepare sauces.  We always keep the least fat juices from the roast chicken as its own sauce.    So to us, this is a wonderful meal that I could eat every week of my life.   If you are feeling lean, you can add melted butter for the asparagus and rice but I daren't.

 Besides, this morning, I was in my studio and had to switch my mind over to cooking when it was really on other art forms.   Luckily I have made so many roast chickens in my life that I think I have a default position.  I always put a lemon or an onion into the cavity of the chicken to keep it moist from within.  I always let the red meat cook under done to remove the white meat before it is dried out.  If necessary, I give the legs 5 more minutes in the "four".

Today after that freaky storm last week, we were again eating on the terrace, with the periwinkle sky and a thousand starlings whirling and chattering in the overhead branches....and with the ringed doves (Tourterelles ) above us hoo, hooing  in garden " énergie centrale".

   The doves think this is our tree and come here, I think, to acknowledge solidarity because of the seeds that we offer.  There is no other reason that I can think of that they would get so close to us.  They do this even when there are seeds in sight they have left and not eaten.   Putting out seeds is a four generation tradition for us. ...four generations of doves, that is.

   It is so far, a sublime day.  However, some say that this day 11/11/11 marks the end of the world as we know it.    So if that is true we have a few more hours to celebrate before things get hot.  I intend to do just that and if you have any sense, so will you.   A vôtre santé.


  1. We get excellent, farm-grown birds at our local halal butcher on
    Rue D'Italie for under 7 Euros the kilo. Yummy.

  2. down the hatch as they say in Blighty!


  3. Loved your sharing your lunch with us. We were delighted to be able to have our first balcony lunch today and also shared a split of champagne to toast the day and the weather!"

  4. I have to admit that I first put Eisenhower instead of Wilson signed the treaty on this post. Bruce caught me out when I posted this on Facebook. I remember Eisenhower.. so it was a stupid mistake. Hmm. I need a fact checker before I hit print.

  5. I agree! It's a most auspicious day. Here's to new beginnings!