This week I’m enjoying:
Books. Books. Books. Word up!
I’m reading everything Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written. She’s such a great storyteller: she writes about urgent things but her narratives flow like oral tales. If you’re curious about Nigeria or just curious, check her out:
- My name is not Sah. Call me Odenigbo
- Yes, sah.
- Odenigbo will always be my name. Sir is arbitrary. You could be the sir tomorrow.” - conversation between university professor and his house-boy
I love this conversation between the boss and the employee. Sometimes I see people talk to the service staff as if they are somewhat less than their superiors simply because their work involves bending down. It makes me sad because I know people who have done these kinds of jobs. I want to remember that tomorrow it might be me in the lower chair because fortune is a precarious friend. I hope that I always remember that being fortunate today does not give me the right to cut down other people’s dignity.
The very idea of Squid with almonds makes my tastebuds happy
Sandwiches >> Check out my omelette on ciabatta in Gourmande or read more fun recipes for sandwiches in Saveur’s Sandwich Issue
little pleaures: dulce de leche gelato with dark coffee is a treat, white bean soup with shrimp >>> so thin it was almost like gumb
Mexican food >> rice, chicken and beans + chicken
My new Italian cookbook, La Cucina
Art Inspring Art
I’m seeing lots of articles on the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. It is a dream of mine to be at the festival one day. But until then, I shall watch all the films on my little laptop-tv.
One of the Cannes Competition categories is called Un Certain Regard and whenever I hear that phrase I always think of The Red Balloon (Le Balon Rouge). This 1956 film had what I would call un certain regard, a curious look that pulls you in without being forceful. It’s enthralling in the way that fog-covered hills are. It invites contemplation and welcomes languor. The film has since been remade. Its 2008 version features Juliette Binoche in the role of a frazzled mother with a dreamy-eyed distracted kid who befriends a certain balloon.
Kids feel a special kind of kinship to things and people that’s pretty magical. Their attachment is electric and irrefutable. Like when they have an invisible friend or a special teddy bear or a pet. In the original film the balloon seems to attract other balloons and then all of them pull strength and lift the boy off away…
Dior did an colorful ad inspired by the final scene of the boy flying away on his balloons for a perfume. The Red Balloon features prominently at the top of the girl’s bouquet of pops. In the original film, the first Red balloon is huge – almost half the size of the boy’s body.
I’ve always loved the movie and then one night I caught this woman chasing some balloons and voilà. My take on the Red Balloon flight: