“For a few days now the wind has been blowing from the west, but the first leaf is already rising on the branch; I walk through the dry alleys with light shoes; “With the first cold I put on my padded coat.”
(“the storks” from “Chinese Lyrics”)
Autumn is the romantic season par excellence, when the pleasure of a good book in a comfortable armchair and a cup of tea is appreciated in all its sweetness, while outside, the contours of things blur in the somewhat vaporous air with a strange game of perspective between dream and fantasy.
And on an evening like this, on a festive evening, when rest calls for the absolute evasion of everyday customs, it may happen that we feel the desire to pick up an old book in our hands again, one of those that carry the label of "romantic." ”.
If we are no longer very young, this is a sure way to go back, to find many lost things again; If we are still young and we have never read these books, perhaps not even leafed through them, we can find real surprises in them.
The field is wide: Zola, Beaudelaire and why not? Alexander Dumas.
We may be interested in a novel by Dumas Jr., “Francillon”.
In Dumas's novel there is talk at a certain point about the extraordinary salad that in those times you could try in Paris, only in the “Brebant” it was possible to order things as strange as a chrysanthemum salad.
Boil half a kilo of potatoes (for three or four people) and peel them while they are still warm. Cut them into pieces and with oil, salt, pepper and dry white wine instead of vinegar. Add a little celery cut into very small cubes.
Take two large chrysanthemum flowers, white, yellow or pink (the white ones have the most delicate flavor) and delicately remove all the petals. Then put them in boiling water and take them out after a minute, no more, the time necessary to “warm them up.” Put them in the colander and let them drain for a few minutes, dry them on a sheet of absorbent paper and then season them with a little oil, lemon juice and ground pepper.
Finally, arrange the potatoes on a platter and complete with the petals arranged in a dome shape, without crushing them too much. In the center of the salad, place a small lilac, bright pink or dark yellow chrysanthemum flower.
Certainly, this is not a salad to prepare every day, but from time to time, precisely to surprise an important guest... the experience is worth trying.
“Flowers at home.”