Sunday, May 17, 2015

paris in bend

Robert Preston and Benjamin Franklin may not sound like a natural match.  But one of my favorite Preston roles was his portrayal on Broadway in Ben Franklin in Paris.

At one point in the show, he advises a noble woman he is pursuing to forgo her life of luxury to marry him.

Look for small pleasures
That happen ev'ryday;
And not for fortune or fame.
Yesterday, I found myself humming the tune.  Not that it was a day of pleasures that happen every day.  In fact, even though the pleasures were small, it was their rarity that made them so enjoyable.

It all started with the weather.  Since I arrived, central Oregon has experienced overcast days.  Lots of high clouds, but only the occasional rain sprinkle.

That would be pleasurable enough for me.  But, better yet, the daytime temperatures have hovered in the mid-50s.  For me, that is about as good as weather gets.

That may be why Darrel and I decided to take a couple of hours to create one of those comfort meals I have not eaten in years -- grilled cheese sandwiches and chili con carne.  We had the time to do it right.

What you see at the top of the page is the first stage.  A cast iron skillet devoted to saut
éing the base for the chili.

And, with good chili, you need something in your grilled cheese other than Velveeta or Kraft American singles.  Instead, we used Tillamook extra sharp cheddar, a smoked cheddar, a bit of blue, and a couple of pieces of other artisan cheeses. 

Plus lots of butter for grilling.  It was a sandwich fit for the King of France.  Or at least, The Pretender.

What makes these days so rare is that I do not often get to spend much time with my mother, my brother, and my sister-in-law.  And I will see even less of them during the next two years unless they get down my way for visits -- and to eventually move in.

For now, though, I have less than a week to relish my small pleasures.  And, now that I think of it, while I am here, they will happen every day.


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