Stacked tea cups waited on the kitchen table as I prepared the tea.
Mariage and Freres "Trois Noix", black tea perfumed with almond, hazelnut and walnut.
Such a match for an apple cinnamon tart.
Yes, I live in France where matching wine with your meal is as common as using a fork when you eat. The meal thing, the French ritual of dining has rubbed off on me. Why not match ones tea with dessert? And Mo's teacups to antique saucers? Why not savor our daily moments with extra attention... for it is in these everyday moments that we nourish the soul.
How could I leave this silver and mother of pearl dessert forks and knives at the brocante? Well, I couldn't.
"A set of twelve, How much?" I asked the dealer nonchalantly. He nodded and gave me his price. I asked for less. And he took the forks and knives from my hands steaming, "You know that is a good price, but if you want to pretend that it is not, walk away."
Dang it bugs me when antique dealers get bent out of shape. "Okay, okay, okay..." I pleaded, "I'll buy them."
When I polished them at home, they smiled back with etched blades. The taste of apples did not water my mouth at that moment, no, it was the floral etched blade. I literally kissed them.
Sugar cubes on a tarnished silver tray, with a sugar tongs and souvenir crowned top teaspoons.
The brocante has put a curse on me, spoiling me for such sweet little things.
Oh the pleasure of using old things that have a connection to the past, yet speak in present tense.
Three golden delicious apples beckoned my attention,
"Enough already with the tabletop stuff, let's get cookin!"
Any grocery store in France, whether large or small, in a city or an out of the way country town has puff pastry dough. As my friend Annie says, "No need to make it when it is this good and inexpensive."
Pure butter puff pastry, one 15 inch pre rolled, including baking paper... cost a little more than a dollar.
Chop three golden delicious apples,
add them to the puff pastry.
Add a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar,
a handful of tri colored raisins,
a handful of walnuts (thank you Aunt Louie!)
some cinnamon, some nutmeg...
and a few chunkys of butter (about five tablespoons).
Mix everything on top of the puff pastry dough. Saves on washing a bowl. A small "green action" for the planet you might say.
Then fold the puff pastry dough on top of the apples. It should look like a plump nest.
Bake at 350° for twenty minutes (I use a convection oven.).
Turn the oven off, and open the oven door slightly. Let it breath for ten minutes before serving.
Tea, apples, cinnamon, brocante, baked for friendship...
Late Sunday afternoon tea under the roses with friends.