The Ceremonial Changing of the Tablecloth
Four consecutive days of 90+ degree F. heat and humidity and it's not even summer yet? Allow me to welcome you to May in the Ohio Valley.
On the bright side, at least it's got me thumbing through The Heart of France, my big coffeetable picturebook, again, drooling over the cool blue-trimmed stone houses with lace-curtained windows and admiring the bistro menus written on chalkboards in that mysterious, French cursive hand. Although I've only been to Provence vicariously in the company Peter Mayle ;-), I will do my part to transport myself there again today by making the ceremonial "changing of the french flowered kitchen tablecloth" from fall's olive green to summer's Provençal blue. (Mind you, this has more to do with altering my state of mind than it does with good housekeeping.)
Yogurt pot avec sucre!
I will adorn the table with a blue and white spongeware pitcher filled with dried mustard-colored yellow yarrow and fill the little brown pottery Yoplait Saveur d'Autrefois yogurt pot that my friend Mary brought me from Paris with those sugar bûchettes you find in French cafes.
And lunch will be a delightfully light crabmeat and veggie salad, served on a seafoam green plate, with a small bowl of fresh strawberries and a glass of iced tea. Please feel free to join me!
Crabmeat Salad (2-4 servings)
2 (6 oz.) cans crabmeat, drained and flaked
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium sweet red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into smallish squares
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup light mayonnaise + 2-3 T chili sauce, mixed together
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato per serving
Romaine lettuce leaves
Mix crabmeat, celery, sweet pepper, onion, mayo/chili sauce, salt and pepper. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Cut each tomato into 6 wedges, almost to stem end and fill with crabmeat mixture. Serve on lettuce-covered plates.