Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day

We had the cafe closed on Sunday and Monday this week so it was a special treat. I persuaded Henri  to take the city bus with me last night to hear our local Pops play on the bandstand at Cove beach. Better yet, it was free as due to lack of parking space , residents of Sothwold had only to show their id or license which waived the fee for the bus.

Cove Beach is our finest white sand beach surrounded by huge boulders and a set of caves set like a horseshoe. I have never followed the caves though they are said to be connected, but rumor has it that people have drowned in them at high tide, It was just getting dark when we arrived and he found us good seats where we could see the band. I was excited , just like a little kid, I like showing him off . I know the feeling is mutual, even if he is sometimes overprotective.

Vendors had done lobster boils and I could smell the quahog stew .  Hot links, popcorn and the aroma of hamburgers filled the air mixing with the smell of the surrounding humanity. There was so much input to be felt, heard and tasted, that I felt as if my head were on a swivel. I could smell the salt water as it dried off of the swimmers who joined the crowd and the heavy scent of sunscreen. Little boys playing on the bach gave off their own special scent as they ran by us. He put his arm around my shoulders and whispered that if got too much, we could leave. I shook my head and laughed saying I was fine and enjoyed the overload for now.

The program started with a colorguard of our local vets marching onto the beach, the captain asked us all to stand for the National Anthem . We stood, it played and the colorguard was dismissed to join their families on the beach. The tapping of the baton on the deis alerted the musical ensemble that it was time to begin the program. They started with a newer selection " An American Symphony" which had been featured in Mr Holland's Opus. From there , they went on to "The Billy the Kid Suite" , Cole Porter and later "Rhapsody in Blue" . I especially liked the Glenn Miller . They played " American Patrol " which was always played in my uncle's house after I came to live with him and before I married Henri. To look at my uncle, you would never guess that he was a World War Two vet. We Worths hold our age well but then so do the Copains, a lot of it due to good genes and diet.

Several couples stood and started dancing on the white sand . It was nice to see some of the younger people dancing in the old ways , it blended the generations nicely. I watch the conductor's face as he glanced at the crowd, this was the desired effect. When they played "Moonlight Serenade" Henri pulled me to my feet to dance. I loved the way he guided me , and felt he was the best dancer.It was nice to relax like this. I felt myself sway into him as we waltzed in the sand. I heard a woman say to her husband that it was nice, I smiled at her.

" You got one of the good ones" she whispered as I sat back down .

" I know " I smiled back at her. Henri pretended not to hear. Her husband tapped his shoulder, " Hang on to your pretty girl, she thinks you're something special. "

" I think that she is pretty great too," he replied. " How long have you and your wife been together ?"

"Sixty one years come August" he boasted . "She is still the prettiest girl on the beach."

 Maude punched him in the shoulder in jest. "Oh, you with your lies" she laughed.

" Maybe not a lie, maybe he sees you in a light that no one else does. He sees you for who you really are."

" Exactly " preened her husband.

" That is everything," my husband continued.

Maude had to agree . Her husband haltingly stood and held out his hand for her to swing dance with him to "Pennsylvania 650-0000." Maude beamed and they showed the younger generation how it was done.

" Summer people or are you residents?" Henri asked them.

" Leaving in a week," Maude said.

" I own Cafe Copain on Alcott and Hawthorne. I would like to invite you to be my guest for an early aniversary dinner before you go," he handed them his card and signed it so Katie would know if they came in too early for us.

 Maude leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. " Thank you, its getting late. Come ,
Warren." Her husband shook Henri's hand , asked him if he might kiss my cheek . Henri nodded.

" We would be honored." We watched them gather their things and shuffle off toward the parking lot through the sand.

" He has a bad heart problem, complicated by diabetes. He isn't going to make the 61st. They know
it. "I looked at Henri. He had been paying attention to their physical signs.

I looked after the departing couple who had loaded their car and were just pulling out of the parking lot. "She will be devastated."

"She won't be far behind him. They usually aren't.They are so breakable. "

 I snuggled in closer to him,"Well, I am glad that we are not. "

"Me too. "

"You're a Grand Old Flag" piped up.Henri looked at the crowd. " Let's beat the crowd out of here,okay?"


We dusted off our jeans and headed for the bus which was waiting under the street light at the corner of the parking lot. It would run every fifteen minutes until midnight when the program ended. The driver looked at our ids and waved us through. We took the first seat in front. There was no one else on the bus .

" I need you and Katie to guinea pig for the cafe tomorrow, " he began. " I have been offered a good price for some sausage, but have not decided how to use it yet. I think that most of it is the sage stuff, and I was thinking maybe a waffle quiche , maybe some sandwiches. I know some good toppings for the Italian stuff . But I am not sure how those toppings will go with the sage sausage. So we're going to play with the sample in the afternoon. "

"That would be fine. Sausage can be heavy but might be alright. Are you thinking like grinders or the meatball sandwiches that you bought at the drive in on out first date?"

"Maybe" he thought a minute , then looked at me in surprise." You consider that a date?"

"Sure, it wasn't a normal date by common standards but you did dress like a date, so did I . You spent the evening teaching me things that I needed to know but it was a date. Much as I have tried to convince myself it wasn't , that it was only a training exercise , it was a date. "

"Damn, I thought that I had covered up better than that. I tried to keep it professional. "

Two young men got onto the bus and went to the back.

"One minute and we leave folks.,"pronounced the driver.

A heavy set woman with bottle red hair huffed her way onto the bus complete with beach chair, picnic basket , towels, blanket and two plastic totes . Henri and I continued to talk about the cafe and the menu for the upcoming week. She folded up the chair perpendicular to ours, announcing loudly that she needed our seat to hold onto her things. She put her dollar sixty fare into the box.

Henri looked around. The bus held 130 seats , there were four other people in the bus and the driver.
"Try across the aisle , its the same. " She glared at him.

" Look , Honey , Move your ass. Out of the seat.  "

"I don't think so ." He settled deeper into the seat. I looked shocked at him as he waved her off. He was raised with manners, and if the bus had been crowded , he would have moved. He had turned into a 155 lb lead weight,

" You move and the lady can stay , " she hissed at him .

" You have 126 other seats from which to choose. This one is occupied, I didn't see your name on it." She wound up as if to grab or slap him. I glared at her.

I rubbed his shoulder. " Buzz off Bozo" I chimed. at the intruder."Or I will call the sheriff and you can spend the night in jail. Nobody but you is moving."  The driver smiled at us but did not intervene.

" I'm telling God , " she shouted as she grabbed her things and slammed down into the seat opposite ours, plugging her earbuds into her ears.

Henri surpressed a laugh " Evil woman, now you're in for it," he whispered . "She's calling in the big guns."

I grabbed his hand , looked at him and said meaningfully,"I take care of what is mine."

I took great joy in her continued sulk like a spoiled child during the ride home. As we were leaving,
I stood in front of her , gestured broadly toward the vacated seat.She pulled an earbud from her ear.
"Knock yourself out , Bitch. You can have our leavings anyday." She looked as if I had slapped her.

"And you do this all the time when you ride the bus?"

"No, she's a nutbar." I smiled at him " You had a lot of control with her. "

" Actually, I like you when you're agggressive, " he replied.

"I see the whole package and like what I see, "

"Well done," he replied as he unlocked the door.

So that was our eventful Memorial Day. Do stop by and help with deciding how the sausage will be used- I am sure that Chef has more ideas than Katie or I could possibly stand.

Bon soir et bon apetit,
Arina Copain
Office Manager

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have figured out finally why Gordon Ramsey jumps up and down when he yells. Let me explain , Gordon , who we do not know, used to be a soccer player. He is waiting for someone to lob the ball in his direction . I don't think I have ever seen a relaxed chef. They are a little hyperactive.What causes that ? Maybe the time that it takes garlic to burn and turn bitter? I don't know. But they all are including my ever loving, who is wonderful when he is in control. Ask him to wait and see, and you have a mad man on your hands cooking enough to feed a small army .

Do you know what a farce is ? I thought that I did until this evening when Jean Paul called and asked that we postpone our evening plans because there was an urgent matter that he had to discuss with Henri. He had an errand to run but would call us before he came over.

The first hour went by okay , then Henri began to fidget, pacing between the door and the kitchen , I told him to call his father and tell him that tomorrow night would be better. But does he listen? Ha! No, he pulls his knives off the magnetic strip amd begins mincing shallots, carrots and thyme . He put some oil into a heavy saucepan and sweated these for 5-6 minutes. Then he took it off the heat for it to cool,

He pulled the halibut from the fridge and tortured some innocent scallops into slices. But was that enough ? Of course not. He drops the chopped up fish into a food processor adding the cooled mixture from the first pan ino the fish and processed it until smooth adding cayenne and white pepper. He put the processor bowl into the fridge and set the timer for an hour.

All the while glaring at the telephone. I tried to draw his attention to the television in the living room instead of redirecting his anger toward some unfortunate shrimp and salmon which he cut up into pieces and added it to his farce which was the mixture in the bowl, He piped this mixture into presoaked sausage casing and tied it off.

For the next quarter of an hour , he poached these in boiling water. And it looked like the hapless phone might be next. He packaged these up after they had cooled and took them upstairs to serve for lunch tomorrow with a sauce made of butter, shallots, white pepper , vinegar and saffron. It smelled good enough but not what we had planned for the evening's meal.

The phone squeaked once when he was upstairs and he jumped from cafe level to flat level (about eight feet straight down) . Of course , it didn't make a sound once he was on the same level  as the phone. and the caller's number was blocked. This did nothing to improve his mood.

I settled in to watch tv , starting to change from the low cut black  dress that he had chosen for our evening out, into my Tinker Bell pajamas so that I could work on a baby blanket while watching RuPaul's Drag Race.

" No, No ,No " he shouted at me " Papa will call ,then we can go out . If you wash your make up off, we have to start again. " Half picking me up , he shuffled me back into the bathroom where he proceeded to stuff me back into my dress. In the midst of this, he got the baby yarn tangled around his left ankle and ripped out about a block and a half of crochet. If that weren't bad enough , he got his right sleeve stuck in the zipper of my dress and we struggled gymnastically to get him free without ripping my dress. He wasn't listening to anything that I was saying, until I reminded him that the dress fit so much better when not over Tinker Bell Pajamas. He unzipped the dress again, leaving me to dress myself for the second time that evening. I emerged better than ever.

Exhausted, he collasped into the overstuffed chair in the living room . He was hungry, angry and he hated the way that the evening had gone. There was a major sulk going on. I sympathized, neither Christopher Lee nor Frank Langella had ever had this problem .  I went over to him , pulled his head onto my shoulder. I whispered the words to him that I had wanted to say to him all evening.

" Henri, sweetie, lets just go out and get a bite. We can come right back. "

He glared at me as if I had betrayed everything that he believed in. " Papa said that he would call."

" You're right, " I agreed, " Your father always calls before he comes over ." My beloved husband gloated silently at his victory.

" But, Sweetheart, its a cell phone," I smiled " We can get the call wherever we are and he has a key."

Thunderstruck, my horrified husband regarded me " I hate you" he muttered.

I handed him his jacket. " The night awaits ," I smiled.

" Yeah, yeah, shut up" he said as he checked his pocket for his  keys.

So I hope that you all enjoy the Seafood Sausage with Saffron Beurre Blanc at lunch tomorrow.

Remember to turn your cell phones off before you order.

Bon Soir et Bon apetit,
Arina Copain
Office Manager

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Confounded Confederates, Cajun to Come and Covert Customers

Okay, I am going to have to slap Bill Compton or, at the very least, tell him, "Sir, you are no gentleman!" Henri laughed at me , telling me that I should have seen that Sookie was being played. That girl really does have problems because she keeps taking him back. I wonder why her good friend ,Tara , doesn't trot the little darling over to the Bon Temps Mental Health Center, which is probably run by pod people from outer space. Dump the Confederate vet, Honey, he's a louse and go with the Viking. You know his intentions aren't good but the rebound sex has possiblities. If she get  turned, will her fairy blood still work or will it be processed like any other? Drinking the last bottle of Vintage Rothschild wine is a honor, a delight but also a regret as there isn't anymore after that one. One could spend their life looking for another without success. And we don't need any more vampires with angst , not even on tv. Have a little pride. Ann Rice's Louis whined through "Interview" and no one could mope like Barnabas Collins.

So what does this mean to the Cafe? Well, Chef is thinking of a Cajun Specials menu for the weekend of the start of the new season. I asked him to think up a fairy blood beverage which should be sparkling, and offset the spice of the food. I doubt gater tail would sell on Cape Cod but we have quahogs and those do sell. He has a couple of months (we were slow watching the last episodes due to previous commitments at night) to come up with an idea.

Our black notebooked audience is back. They observe, they huddle, they hardly speak if one of us are near. They are way too polite. Now that is something that one rarely gets to say. Way too polite in the sense of a mother asking her child what they are doing. And the child answering " Nothng, I love you Mommy." Its fake, its phony and , at times, downright creepy. Jean Paul asked me the other day if I had heard about them being at other restaurants. Not so far, but we can't figure out what attracted them to us. I don't know why but its almost feels like someone visiting a zoo or one of those old episodes of "Wild Kingdom."

Bon Soir et bon apetit,
Arina Copain,
Office Manager