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A Snowy Luncheon

I’m preparing lunch for friends. It’s 6 degrees, here’s what I imagine while I chop and stir… It’s 85 degrees. Friends come together for a meal. The meal is more than food, though… the gathering is a salon. A salon like the one Gertrude Stein was known for, around the turn of the last century, at her home at 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris.

Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Hemingway, and other friends in the literary and art world came together to talk about art, philosophy, creativity, things that moved them. At my salon the energy is artistic, spiritual, creative. Ideas fill the table with excitement and imagination.

A sense of joy and enthusiasm fills the hours an abundance of good food, tall goblets, of deep red wine, (goblets – what a tangible word.) Short runs out side to smoke a cigarette, or puff on a cigar. I’m not a smoker thats just part of the scene. The artists of long ago sat in smoke filled cafes.

In my salon atmosphere I have prepared decadent entries that make my mouth water and my belly gurgle. Traditional Italian menus twisted with local, coast of Maine fare.

I am wearing a silky cotton printed dress, low heeled red party shoes with a strap across the front, and pearls. Music is playing. My eyes are alive with excitement, I am filled with joy as I listen and observe the people around the long oak table top.

There are kids, playing with legos, outside jumping on pogo sticks or playing tag. They run through the kitchen to grab handfuls of grapes, pretzels, or slices of home-made pizza. They are (actually) excited by the home-brewed bottle of ginger beer which I bring out for such an occasion.

It is glorious summer time and there are no biting bugs. We could be dining out side on a rough-sawn pine-board picnic table set with yellow linen napkins, and deep bowls of red candles, out on the back porch or down by the pond, A small bonfire. The dusky sky.

I’m day-dreaming at the kitchen table. There is a fire going in the wood stove. My snowy luncheon is all about staying warm in the winter. Wild mushroom-spinach lasagna and chocolate raspberry cake. A heavy meal, perfect for an extremely cold snowy day in Maine. After lunch I will take a nap.

In my dreams it is always summertime. Fireflies, chirping crickets,wild flowers… the scent from the peach orchard mixes with the salty air and weaves through the evening air intoxicating everybody.

I look outside. The earth is frozen over with snow and ice. The temperature drops steadily. Fruitful peach trees stand quietly, under a thin layer of frost. The cat whines to go out and then to come back in.

I am filled up now, though not satisfied by one lunch with friends. I want a regular steady schedule of this. I have a lot in me. A lot I want to get to know. Perhaps like painting was for Matisse. Is food my art? Will I come to know myself better with the next pan of fried potatoes, the next pot of lentil soup? I’m full now, and I know I will get hungry again. Then I will create an edible painting, a new feast, at my salon in Maine.


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