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Fin du Programme

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Joel is on his way home now, after 16 weeks abroad. We’re not sure when he’ll make it, thanks to the snowstorm on the east coast, but in an hour he should reach Boston. And his return weekend began just as his departure weekend did, with Friday lunch at Rover’s. Sixteen weeks ago, Joel joined us at the last of our roughly bi-weekly summer lunches there. The next day, he flew overnight to JFK and on to Boston, and a day later he flew overnight to London and on to Paris. We hadn’t been back to Rover’s since, but yesterday we went again with friends from Tacoma. Jett discovered my blog last month and thereby discovered Rover’s as well. She was eager to try it, so we went with her and John. As we went to sleep last night, Joel would have been starting his journey from Grenoble to Lyon, where he was to fly to London, wait 4 hours then fly to Boston. It’s amazing how little snow has fallen in Grenoble. Or maybe it isn’t amazing, but it’s been a surprise to us. Unfortunately, snow fell today, which perhaps is why his flight out of Lyon was 1 1/2 hours late. Still, he had plenty of time, and anyway, his flight out of Heathrow was delayed over 2 hours because of de-icing problems. The upshot is that he will land in Boston, according to British Air’s website, at 8:20 PM or so Boston time, or 2:20 AM back in Grenoble. The storm that shut down airports in DC earlier in the day and reached New York later in the day still hasn’t reached Boston, so I don’t anticipate any trouble tonight. Tomorrow’s a different story, with his flight out not leaving until dinnertime.

We’ve had a sheet of paper posted in the kitchen all fall with the various scheduled non-academic events that have been part of his program in Grenoble. It’s in French, but one doesn’t need a lot of French to interpret such items as Excursion à Paris, début des cours, Excursion à Annecy, Diner Thanksgiving, or Soirée cinéma. Today’s listing, the final one, is Fin du programme. It’s time to take the list down. But maybe we’ll leave it up until Joel returns, so he can see how we tracked him. And I never did ask if he went on the Visite les caves de la Grande Chartreuse à Voiron, which took place when we were in Rome without the list at hand, so I didn’t ask at the time. The caves are where monks produce chartreuse liqueur. They’re not far from Grenoble, between the Chartreuse and Vercors mountain ranges.

As for yesterday’s lunch, it was once again superb. I’ve written about our visits to Rover’s several times. I won’t say much more here. I started with a salad, frisée and poached egg with bacon, which just happens to be the very salad I had at one of our best meals of our recent trip, in Paris, a meal I have yet to write about. I followed up with the black cod accompanied by Brussels sprouts and bacon ragout. And dessert was chocolate orange mousse torte. I couldn’t have been happier. Well, except for that brief moment when I got my initial look at Gail’s plate, with leg of lamb and lamb sausage on cous cous. Boy, that looked amazing. I almost ordered it, but I hadn’t had Brussels sprouts in so long, so that tipped me over to the cod. I figured Chef Rautureau would have only the best, and I love good Brussels sprouts. No complaints. I think I missed something really special though.

And just this minute Joel called from Logan Airport’s taxiway. He has landed in Boston. It’s not snowing there yet. I think the storm may track more to the east from New York, over southern New England, so he may get lucky. I’ve seen predictions of 4-8 inches, which shouldn’t cause too much trouble for Logan, unlike down in DC today, where there was over a foot and almost every flight was cancelled.

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