As Spring approaches and the sun shines a bit brighter, my thoughts often turn to vibrant memories of markets and preparations for elaborate feasts – in short, my eternal Parisian Sundays. Each weekend, I would wake early to shop at Place d’Aligre – inventing dishes on the fly, experimenting with new ingredients. Whether it was pancakes (by request), a pork roast or an indoor picnic, each and every Sunday was “family” dinner for twelve.
Since joining the full-time workforce in NYC, my Spring Sunday routine has become simpler – typically beginning and ending with a long bike ride, in which the market is only one of several points of interest. If food is purchased, it’s just a few interesting ingredients for the week, moreso than preparations for a celebratory weekend feast.
But on rare occasions – for a holiday or an out-of-the-ordinary reunion – I return to my elaborate Sunday kitchen. The weekends that I escape to my parents’ home in Connecticut, these culinary impulses are at their peak, inspired by spacious counter-tops and cupboards (filled with tools for which I lack space in my meager Upper West Side studio).
This Easter was no exception. We spent Saturday afternoon preparing a home-made batch of puff pastry. On Sunday, that pastry was adorned with gruyere, creme fraiche, bacon and eggs – a spectacular and indulgent Easter Sunday brunch.
My sister and I went for a spin before eating, as per our NYC custom. As the sunlight gleamed through the tall seaside grasses, we squinted, rounding the corner for home. Just then, our uncle arrived in a family heirloom – grandfather’s 1969 jaguar convertible – the cherry on top of our Sunday CT nostalgia.