Okay not Paris. Arkansas. Where I am surrounded by lovely things to eat when I go to town. Much more so than when I was in Dallas believe it or not. The Mexican food is not so good but I have not ventured out to find where the immigrants are. I did find a taqueria, but meat was the order of the day. There is a lovely bakery near the square that has some really incredible breads. Lots of taste, tooth and bubbles. If you are into bread, you know what I am talking about. I haven't had bread this good since I moved away from New York some thirty years ago. Not in Florida, certainly not in Texas. I don't know if they really know their own genius. Everyone seems to be nonchalant about it but they have boiled bagels. BOILED BAGELS in Arkansas!
The farmer's market starts this weekend and I look forward to foraging there.Still too early for tomatoes and other goodies but I bet they have some wonderful organic greens. I had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant on Sunday that was really wonderful. I asked the proprietress if she made Green Papaya Salad and she informed me that "Yes. We hope to franchise". It was a twenty minute conversation where both parties secretly knew that the other had absolutely no idea what the other was saying. At the end she put her hands together, bowed her head and welcomed me to Arkansas. It was really a very touching moment. I had some fried noodles with tofu and vegetables that was incredible. She was quite proud of it. She should be.
The thing I find unsettling the most about living in the country is not having readily available the things I usually take for granted. Lately this means sweets. Of course there are moon pies and ice cream sandwiches at Mikey's One Stop but for a really nice treat, I have to drive twenty miles to town. I don't usually eat sweets but there is something about knowing they are not there that makes you want them more. I usually have a piece of chocolate cake once ,maybe twice a year but in the last month I have craved chocolate cake almost every day.
Today I ran to town to do some grocery shopping after trying to sell some really incredible flowers over the Internet and telephone for about six hours. Nobody was biting. But I am persistent. And, I know good flowers. So I know I will sell good flowers. I know I will eek out a decent living and find those hidden treasures that are here. Those great tomatoes. That really nice hiking spot. That cosmic zucchini bread or meringue pie. I know I'll make some great vegan dishes on Tuesday.
Today wasn't the day though. I bought all the ingredients and "veganized" a rice pudding recipe from a book I bought in Paris a couple of years ago. It is not worth photographing and not worth eating. I am guessing that something about the egg substitute did not really perform the task. But, I'll figure it out. I'll make a vegan rice pudding that tastes great. I'll make a nice living selling these great flowers. I'll make a nice life here in Arkansas. I'll figure it out.