One of the joys of my life is cooking in the kitchens of friends, be it in New Delhi, North Carolina, or Marly le Roi. One day in late autumn Angela and I were staying in the home of my friends Xavier and Charlotte, in a village near Versailles. They were in Spain and we had the place – a sprawling beauty of a house with a wonderful garden – to ourselves. We had visited the market in Versailles that day and picked up some lamb and vegetables and cheeses, and chose to enjoy the peace of the Cassignol home with bottles of wine and a long and luxurious cooking session.
I met Xavier and Charlotte many years ago when they lived next door to me, and we have been close friends ever since. I miss them, and their three children, all the time. But on that evening, they were cooking with us, because I was in Charlotte’s kitchen, using her pots and pans and beautiful earthenware.
The lamb was seared, the vegetables roasted, and the bottles of wine were ideal. We toasted the Cassignols and planned our trip to Alsace. Xavier and Charlotte, we’ll see you soon.