Excerpt From Making Lamb Navarin

The idea of making lamb navarin came to me from a meal I had during a trip to Paris last summer with my friend, Sylvie. Like me, she is still wishing for Mr. Right and like me plenty of Mr. Wrongs appear regularly at our doorsteps. We understand our plight. We empathize with each other.  While we spread Brillat-Savarin on slices of baguette in the Luxembourg Gardens we rated men like we were teenagers and giggled over them. At four in the afternoon we drank Puilly Fume that we bought at the corner grocer for insanely cheap prices. Shopped in out-of-the way boutiques in St Germain des Pres, the Marais and along the canal St Martin, forgetting that euros are not equivalent to dollars. And, we had navarin d’agneau at Andre’s, on their terrace off Les Champs Elysee. We both agreed, it was the best meal we’d had so far and does a bad meal exist in Paris? As we  swooned over the navarin we smiled at each other. Life was good.

Would Paris have been so much fun dragging a boyfriend around the boutiques? After polishing off another bottle of Pouilly would a boyfriend have been so willing to head down to Aux Printemps to take a look at umbrellas? Or to window shop along St Honore where we stopped to admire the pretty dress at Cloe’s or along Montaigne street where we dipped into the Chanel store to avoid a short rainfall. 

Would a boyfriend have endured Sylvie trying on dozens of glasses with the absolute knowledge that she had no interest in spending that much money. And what about all these French men who flirted at us? How could we have had the pleasure of flirting back with a boyfriend at our sides?

To be practical, I think, I should prepare the potatoes now for I will need its water as starch for the navarin sauce. As I begin peeling the potatoes I wonder if I shouldn’t be more practical in my choice of men.

Take M. for example. One of the reasons – no two actually – why I find myself closing the door on him is 1) he is too young for me and 2) he is too quiet and low key.

I’ve always been attracted to “bad boys”. Rebels have a way of making me forget that they don’t stick around. 

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