Friday, March 29, 2013

If I were in Paris... Friday, March 29, 2013

The weather in Paris today is 47 degrees and rainy... not the best weather for a flaneur or flaneuse, enjoying the streets or views of Paris.

In which case, let's consider indoor entertainments near each other.

Starting in the 4th arrondissement, there is an exhibition at th Hotel de Ville, Paris Haute Couture, celebrating Paris fashion and including key examples from the collection of the Musee Galliera. This free exhibition is open from 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday.

A short walk from there along Rue du Rivoli is the Louvre, which right now has some really interesting special exhibitions.

For example, through June the museum is celebrating the opening of its new exhibition rooms for Islamic Arts. In connection with this, through June 8, is an exhibition on Walid Raad, a Lebanese installation artist. Here is a video of the exhibition.

And of course, a rainy, chilly day might be the perfect day to fully explore the Louvre, on a week outside the tourist season. On a day like this, one could wander through the museum and really enjoy the paintings, sculptures and rooms full of decorative arts, precious items and history.

Another short walk down Rue du Rivoli is the Musee des Arts decoratifs, which has an exhibition on Fashioning Fashion: Two Centuries of Fashion 1700-1915. This show runs until April 14 and includes changing styles from France, Italy and England.

What else can you do in this area of the tightly-knit 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements?
  • You can wander the Tuileries Gardens.
  • You can have hot chocolate at Angelina.
  • You can eat and shop at the Louvre Carrousel.
  • You can visit the bookstores at the Louvre, the Musee des Arts decoratifs and the Comedie Francaise.
  • You can stroll the Palais Royal gardens.
  • You can stroll up to the Opera Garnier and tour that gorgeous building, as well as their current exhibition.
  • You

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What is the Value/Cost of a T-shirt?

Funny, true story: this past Sunday, I was relaxing at home when the plumber showed up.

I knew he was coming, and I had already been out, to breakfast and the grocery store, but when I arrived home after errands I changed into a worn t-shirt and flannel pj pants and socks to clean house, put away groceries, read the paper, and watch TV.

And by "worn," I mean shapeless and day-old, plus no support underneath. And by "flannel pj pants," I mean... you get it, same day-old.

The plumber showed up fifteen minutes early and caught me in that get-up... and I couldn't change out.

Then, I had to go out into the apartment courtyard to tell my neighbors on either side that the water was turned off--in pj flannels, sloppy old tshirt, and slippers--and chat with a third neighbor who wondered what was going on. Oh, and go back over to the neighbors once the water was turned back on. And I was embarrassed my neighbors saw me like that.

Much like this...

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Mostly, we think no one will notice. I think, I'll just run into the grocery store, grab the cheese and head back to the car. No one (I know) will see me.

The truth is lots of people see us, but more importantly we project how we feel about ourselves right out into public. It's okay if strangers see us like this... it's okay if people who know/like us see us like this... it's okay if we feel this way about ourselves. People will still like us/find us attractive/look beyond the surface because beauty is more than skin deep.

Part of my response to myself was simply a kind of slap upside the head: I knew he was coming and I knew I'd be embarrassed if anyone saw me in that sloppy outfit... but I put off changing. And I got caught. (Lazy.)

Part of my response to myself was to assess--for real--how embarrassed I was and how sloppy my at-home attire had become. I do tend to slip out of work gear to what I call "soft clothes," yoga pants or sweat pants, a t-shirt or chambray shirt, and barefeet with slippers at the ready. But, lately, it's been all about the flannel pjs and really worn t-shirt, more of a "nap/sleep" gear than a comfy "do work around the house" gear. And, after all, no one will see (judge) me.

Except myself.

While I don't want to wear formal clothes at home, I need to discard the shapeless, frayed, stained, torn and lifeless sweats, flannels, and t-shirts that have become a comfy staple. Why? Because they feel sloppy. They look sloppy. They project an attitude of carelessness and laziness I realize I take on when I wear them (see above). I have plenty of well-fitting, clean, attractive t-shirts: I am not against t-shirts as a category. I have good yoga pants and sweatpants: I can discard the pj bottoms that are five years old and feel so comfortable I do nothing in them but sleep or lounge or nap or procrastinate.

This is where clothes can affect my attitude about myself and how I spend my time. When I want to focus, I don't really want to find myself in a tatty, stretched-out t-shirt and pants duo, because I want to get to work. Being "too comfy" is different from being casual. I don't want to feel as if I project a "giving up" about my age, shape, attractiveness--which is exactly what I think those kind of clothes say. If I wouldn't wear them in front of people, why wear them for myself?

I feel another Goodwill bundle coming on. Or more cleaning rags.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Simple and frugal: Lemony Chicken Scaloppine

This is another meal that is easy to plan and cook with only a few ingredients, most of which I keep in my pantry. It is a quick and delicious meal from the cookbook The Pleasure of Cooking for One by Judith Jones.

Originally, this is pork scaloppine, made with pork tenderloin. I changed this up to chicken, because it is simple to use boneless chicken breasts for this particular recipe. Substitute 1 breast for 1-2 people, or 2 breasts for 2-4 meals, depending on your appetite and whether you combine this with a salad, vegetable side dish and a light dessert. It is in fact a wonderful low carb/high protein meal with a fresh and delicious flavor.

Last night I cooked this is a slightly different way, again adjusting for in-house ingredients. I was out of fresh lemons, so substituted blood oranges for the sliced fruit and the juice. I added one orange for each breast (I'm looking at 3 meals). But I was also pointed in this direction by a bottle of blood orange infused olive oil I bought a little while ago, that I substituted for the plain olive oil. This added only another layer of the orange flavor, and mostly cooked off.

In addition, I sprinkled a 1/2 to 1 tsp. of cumin over the cooking chicken to off-set the sweeter flavor of the blood orange.

The final product was just as delicious as the original, but with a new flavor. I could also have used navel oranges and plain olive oil as a third choice. Tangy and bright, this left me with several options for this dish I have used several times to wow guests. So simple, so quick to make, this is a crowd-pleaser. Again, something you can quickly whip up from pantry ingredients, inexpensively.

This recipe alone is a reason for having a couple of shallots in-house.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Opportunity for Project 333

Starting April 1, 2013, you can take the Project 333 microcourse for only $15.

Here is the link.

Clean out your closet, define your personal style, make your life easier and more pleasant, save money, make money (by selling/donating your castoffs). Gain space and breathing room.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dench... Dame Judi Dench

Some days I picture Judi and myself sitting in an English garden full of roses, snapdragons and heather, drinking tea and chatting about girlfriend things. BFFs.

I ask her about Daniel and Pierce, she asks me about Jean-Baptiste and Louis, and we laugh and roll our eyes about the various men in our lives.

At five pm, we change to G&Ts. With slices of fresh lime. And a nice curry.

One of the reasons I think this could happen is because Dench has always been a smart, stylish woman who laughs a lot and thinks a lot. She chose a flattering and sophisticated hairstyle early on. As she aged and her body shape changed, she adopted a distinctive and elegant clothing style.

I love her in the role of M. Her style as the head of MI-5, as a woman in charge of her own world and in competition with belligerent and bellicose men (mostly politicians and military leaders), she is distinctive. A role model. A sexy Madeleine Albright with cleavage and the royal glare of Elizabeth I.

And, BTW, I do think she and James had a fling a while back. You could go with the Brosnan-Bond or the Craig-Bond, no matter: it happened.

Oh, yessssss.

Judi's style: She focuses on her eyes, which are remarkable, and adopted a striking hairstyle long ago. Kept it, through brunette to graying salt-and-pepper to white. Her sea-green eyes are indeed remarkable and she uses make-up to focus on those and her cheekbones (smile!).

In clothing, she is a winter-based palette, and -- again, early on, adopted a consistent use of white blouses with open collars, solid color dress-and-coat ensembles or jacket-and skirt ensembles (not suits), and dark, textured fabrics. Black, grays, and browns (see above). Whites and pale turquoises. Fantastic jewelry that includes chokers, collars and closely-fitting necklaces as well as small, well-shaped earrings. In real metals and diamonds.

She also focuses attention on her cleavage and throat, despite having the same aging of her skin in that area that most women have. Judi apparently doesn't care.

What she hides: her ankles, her waist, her height.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Watson and her style

I have been watching Elementary this week. I bought the first season on iTunes and okay, I am obsessed with it.

Which actually surprises me.

I am a HUGE Sherlock Holmes fan: Conan Doyle's stories and novels and the Basil Rathbone films... all great memories. I dislike the Robert Downey Jr. films, but obsess over the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman BBC series.


I didn't think I'd like the Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu series, given my suspicion of network TV. But this is fresh, well-written, and well-acted. And I do love Liu as Watson: it's a great twist to have her staged as Holmes' sober companion. Her knowledge parallels his and even adds to it.

I also love her style. She is a character who is an ex-surgeon, someone who lives in with her addict charges, who lives (as she says) as a kind of nomad while her own aparment is let out and her belongings are in storage.

Watson has a kind of sophisticated street style, one that suits the show's relocation to New York and the shooting schedule in wintertime. It looks simple, in fact, but clean and urban, and I love it.

Basic elements:
  • t-shirts or tunic blouses in tissue-weight material
  • narrow dark pants or tights
  • short, flirty skirts
  • coats of hip- or knee-length in wrap styles
  • hats and scarves
  • high-heeled boots, ankle-height or, occasionally, knee-height
  • cross-over purses or briefcase
  • layers, layers, layers
  • solids, stripes and plaids; rarely geometrical patterns

Basic colors:
  • clean, pure white
  • wine, military blue, pale violet, gray (all shades), and bitter-rind orange

Here are some bloggers who also talk about Watson's style:
The last of these talks about the original, iconic style of Sherlock Holmes also translated to Miller and Cumberbatch -- interestingly, I presented a conference paper in 2012 on the "iconic" style of Holmes which was in fact created by the actor William Gillette, the most famous early stage version of S.H., which in fact initiated the famous deerstalker, caped coat and meerschaum pipe... not Conan Doyle.

Of course, Holmes as the centerpiece has usually been the "fashion" focus of illustrators, movie and theatre costumers and actors. In the BBC series, Watson as played by Freeman is a bland kind of guy, wearing fairly boring jumpers and anoraks compared to Holmes' curls and scarves. In the CBS series, however, Holmes is a bit clothing-retarded, wearing the fashion stylings of chess club/AV nerds of stereotypes... which is impressive considering Miller's marathon-ready, tattooed physique.

But it is Liu's casual yet eye-catching gear that lends style to the show.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Simple and frugal: Sardines

Sardines are a comic trope in Noises Off, one of my favorite comedies, but they are more than that.

They are an inexpensive and superior source of necessary omega-3 fatty acids. They are, in fact, even higher than salmon, which is what I usually eat to gain these necessary nutrients. They have low mercury content, high protein content, are about the same cost as a can of tuna, and they are REAL fish.

You can buy them canned in water or olive oil, both of which are good for you.

What can you do with them?
  • Chop them up and add them to Caesar salad or on pizza in place of anchovies (which most people dislike).
  • Chop them up and add them to a Greek salad or as a sidebar to a fairly bland steamed vegetable like asparagus or zucchni.
  • Combine with tomatoes, olives, capers a little Greek yogurt and/or cottage cheese and make a spread for toast, Wasa crackers (my favorite because of the whole grain/low carb.high fiber goodnesss) or on celery or red peppers.
  • Chop and cook them in a red pasta sauce for any kind of pasta or, as a non-carb alternative, on baked chicken.
  • Grill whole, fresh ones with lemon and serve with an arugala salad, quinoa-stuffed peppers, anbd a hearty flavored cheese.
They don't really come with eyes...

There's lots of receipes online for them. The point is that if you're tired of tuna, salmon, or all those bland white fishies that do not ever taste like fish... sardines might be your new best friend. And yes, they're cheap!

They do taste "fishy," so be aware of that. I love the stronger taste, especially in salads with less flavorful ingredients.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simple pleasures: Red tea or Rooibos tea

This is a delicious alternative to black tea (which I mostly don't care for) or green tea (which I do like). This red-colored tisane is also called red bush tea, comes from South Africa and first came to my attention in the mystery series by Alexander McCall, starting with The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

I love the stuff.

Red bush tea, rooibos tea or red tea, the result is a slightly sweet and nutty hot drink that is surprisingly good for you. The tea has LOTS of antioxidents while being low in caffeine and tannins found in black or green teas. It might also contain flavonoids known to be cancer-fighting elements.

Gorgeous color, right? Most of the time it is difficult to find rooibos without extensive flavoring, so it is difficult to find a red tea that really allows one to savor the taste.

Some of my favorites include Mariage Freres teas Marco Polo Rouge (rooibos with fruit and flowers from China and Tibet -- hence, Marco Polo) and Nil Rouge (citrus, spices and marigold flowers). Another source here in the states that is easy to find are the Republic of Tea choices: Good Hope Vanilla red tea, Safari Sunset red tea, Cinnamon Orange red tea (yum!), etc.

This is a great afternoon/early evening tea, because it has plenty of flavor but not so much caffeine. So you don't get a jump from it. It's a great tea with fruit and cheese, for example, but not really an after-dinner tea or a breakfast tea. Make a pot and enjoy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

La vie en rose: Edith Piaf in Paris

Piaf is now known globally to an entire new generation thanks to the 2007 French film La vie en rose, for which Marion Cotillard received the Oscar and the Golden Globe. It is a tremendous film and Cotillard's performance is magnificent. I highly recommend it.

Piaf herself is also magnificent. And confusing, and mysterious, and compelling.

Born in 1915, Piaf lived the first part of her life in Paris in the 20th arrondissment -- Belleville.She died in 1963 at the age of 47 having lived a passionate and troubling life.

This is a clip of Piaf singing "La vie en rose," considered by many to be her signature song:

As an alternative, here is Mirielle Mathieu singing the same song nearly 50 years later. Matthieu is also a fine French singer, with a completely different style.

From 1929 to 1935 Piaf sang in the streets of Paris as a street performer, at first with her biological father, who was a street acrobat. After she parted ways with him, Piaf performed in the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements as well as the suburbs of Paris. In 1935 she was discovered by the club owner and impresario Louis Leplee, who supposedly gave her the signature style of stage presence, costuming (the little black dress) and gestures she used for the rest of her life.

Piaf performed in clubs in Paris until World War II and began changing her street image. She met and made friends with influential people.

During the war, Piaf lived in Marseilles, but performed in Paris at Nazi-sponsored events. She also claimed to be a member of the Resistance and to have aided those targeted by the Nazis to escape in various ways.

After the war, Piaf was an international celebrity. She aided several actors and singers to fame, including Yves Montand and Charles Aznevour. Her love life was complicated: she had one child who died with an early lover, then later married after the war twice. The great love of her life was boxer Marcel Cerdan, who was killed in an airplane crash after little more than a year of their relationship.

Piaf is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetary.

One of the quirkiest museums in Paris is dedicated to her. This article in The Guardian reviews it clearly. This Time Out review gives another angle.

This article is a kind of virtual tour of Piaf's Paris. If one wanted to walk in the singer's shoes, these are great resources. The fact is, her voice was a treasure, and her life was the kind of messy, troubled voyage we've come to expect of great artists, espeically women artists perhaps... but it is also sad and ridiculous on some level.

From another direction, Piaf's story is the story of Paris in the first half of the 20th century. Her movement from abandoned child to street performer to singing star is also the story of Paris's own history and geography, even to her interment in the city's most famous cemetary, perhaps ironically located in the same arrondissement where she was born.

Her great legacy is the gorgeous recordings we have and, as in the clip, the sense of Piaf as a performer. It is clear that she loved performing and felt more alive while singing than at any other time.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The count today, so far...

Into the giveaway bin:
  • 3 silk scarves
  • 2 wrap scarves
  • 6 t-shirts
  • 3 lightweight turtlenecks
  • 1 raincoat+hat
  • 5 sweaters
  • miscellaneous dresses, skirts and blouses I'll never fit into again!
  • 1 red denim jacket
  • 3 baseball caps + rainhat
  • 1 pr. wooly gloves
  • 2 prs, boots
  • 1 glass vase
  • a handful of very nice plastic hangers (don't need them any longer!)
Most of these things are very nice quality, and quite a few of them were rarely ever worn. I probably bought them to "fill a gap" in my wardrobe (or life) that didn't really need a plug. Like "green scarves" or "high-heeled boots."

I've put aside a small bin of things that are a size or two too small, but it has a time stamp on it: literally a label that gives today's date: if I can't wear them in a year, out they go. I've also got a pile of sweaters I need to try on and look at before I decide anything definitive.

Great start: I already feel ten pounds lighter!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Damn, I've got too many clothes!

One of my goals this week is to clean out my drawers, shelves, bins and closets in order to take a hefty load of discards to Goodwill.

My reaction after three days of work: OMG! I have a LOT of clothes.

Mostly clothes I don't wear -- that's the ironic part. Clothes I used to wear but haven't included in my regular rotation for at least 18 months. Why are they still taking up space in my house and psyche?

Here's what I found:
  • stockpiled white and blue button-downs, jeans, t-shirts and camisoles; all of these are doubles or triples I bought because I liked a particular style and planned ahead
  • two bins of scarves and wraps I hadn't worn in a while
  • two of every kind of coat or outerwear
  • bins of wool sweaters in red, blue, turquoise and purple, unworn
  • three pairs of boots, when I wear one
  • a bin of winter hats I haven't yet worn this year
Solution: cull through everything, compare and discard. I've already gathered one big bin, the contents of which needs to be photographed and noted for tax purposes, then dropped off at my favorite Goodwill. There is at least another big bin of discards in my future.

It's easy to become overwhelmed with this kind of task. While it might be easy to throw out torn, stained and worn-out clothing ("should be," I note), it is less easy to let go of perfectly usable clothing and accessories that you (I) still like or which have good memories or that might fit if you (I) lost ten pounds, of course. It feels like throwing out money or wasting money already spent.

But one must let go of things in order to let new, positive items or energy come in. This is the basis of Morris's statement.

Plan of attack:
  • Wear or toss: if I can't wear it somewhere in the next month, the piece of clothing goes.
  • Toss one of the doubles: if I have two, get rid of one.
  • Don't buy more: the t-shirts, the camisoles and the jeans are what I want... DON'T BUY MORE.
  • Think color: with a limited palette, those things outside, no matter how pretty, can go.
More, I'm coming to grips with my own need to re-think how and when I spend on clothing. I keep talking about 20 pieces in rotation, minimalizing my wardrobe, focusing on my style... now it's time to walk the walk.

How to do it? I could go about it drawer by drawer or bin by bin, but I think I want to try a different tack. By focusing on the kind of piece, choosing to keep a limited number of such pieces, and holding to those lines. I think this will be more profitable: if I look at all my red sweaters, for example, I can discard 50% of them. That's a good initial goal, I think.

And where will they go? To Goodwill, to the dust bin, to friends and students. Fly free, little goods.

In the end, I genuinely want to get my wardrobe down by half. A wearable half, one with style full of clothes I genuinely like wearing. And that leaves me open to looking for (a very few) new, stylish pieces that are distinctive with oomph.

What a great idea!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time and Drugstore Style

This is one of the busiest times of my year. We're coming up on Spring Break at My U but that only means a tremendous PUSH to make things happen, because when we get back there's about six weeks left of the entire semester/school year.

And when time gets short, certain habits fly out the window.

Like my morning make-up routine.

Recently, I've been hunting around for time-and money-saving products in the cosmetics aisle. Since I grew out of my 20s, I've been skeptical about the big claims made by expensive make-up companies about the miracles their products can provide. Especially when these companies use 20 yr old models as their representatives. Let's face it: we all want our skin to stay fresh-looking and smooth, and our makeup to enhance our natural attractiveness. Do we need to leverage a bank loan to do so?

Not at all.

I started following Beautypedia, Paula Begoun's website a few years back. I haven't bought many of Begoun's own products, but the website reviews products from high-end and drugstore companies--and what you discover are the many exaggerated claims, harmful or irritating ingredients and ridiculous products out there. As well as the beneficial, helpful and worthwhile products in many different lines.

I also read all over the 'net, looking at blogs that focus on cosmetics, hair care products and skin care.

Here are a couple of products I've been using for at least 2-3 months that I like, from the low end of the cost scale:
  • Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation. This has an SPF15 included, a creamy texture and lasts all day. It is light enough to feel like nothing on my skin but heavy enough to minimize large pores and cover slight imperfections in tone/color. No perfume-y smell, no chalky feel and it comes off nicely in the evening. This is as good as (if not better than) the Lancome, MakeUpForEver and Laura Mercier Tinted Foundation I spent ten times the price on--each. Believe it! About $5 at CVS. Beautypedia: GOOD rating.
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer. Again with the SPF15, this creamy prep/primer for skin works as well as the more expensive silicone-based primers from Smashbox and MakeUpForEver I used to use. It is creamy, smooth, lasts all day and extends the wear of your foundation, blush, or bronzer; if you never used a primer, there are multiple reasons for doing so if you're over 35: smooths your skin, fills in pores and lines, extends the cosmetics you layer over it, and (here) adding another layer of SPF protection. About $14 at CVS. Beautypedia: BEST rating.
  • Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer. SPF15. A twist-up stick concealer that comes in several colors and works as a concealer for more than blemishes, especially when used under foundation. $8 at CVS. Beautypedia: AVERAGE rating. 
  • Nyx Slim Eye Pencil. This is a fantastic eyeliner pencil. I love all Nyx products, but this is a superior eye pencil: color glides on smoothly without pulling, gives a bold and consistent color. The color lasts all day, washes off easily and the pencils are easily portable for touch-ups. It come in a variety of sparkle and non-sparkle options, as well, enough to make everyone happy! At $3.50 at Ulta, you can splurge in a handful of these and not go broke. And Nyx Cosmetics are not tested on animals: beautiful and kind.
  • Nyx Single Eyeshadow/Nude Matte Shadow. Both of these are great alternatives to more expensive brands and, again, are cruelty-free. The colors are great and the texture of the shadow is fine-milled. Color lasts all day. About $4.50 per shadow at Ulta. Beautypedia: BEST rating.
These are a great start to finding effective alternatives to department-store or high-end brands of cosmetics. Again, anything that will be on your face all day needs to have some SPF and skin care benefits built in, but I'd rather spend my money on skin care and moisturizers than lipstick (although I do love lipsticks!). I have been very pleased with the look, feel and performance of these particular items, and I've been using each of them for over 2 months.

And they each save me time!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Simple & Delicious: Pears poached in red wine

This is a simple, elegant and nearly sugar-free dessert, perfect for a French-inspired meal. Also relatively inexpensive, so it can serve as an elegant and frugal end to a meal with friends.

Pears are a delicious alternative to apples and loaded with good-for-you food value. They contain lots of natural fiber, lots of vitamin C (10% RDA) and vitamin K (8%), and no fat or cholesterol. They are carbo-loaded, but complex carbs, which means they keep you feeling fuller longer. They are also low glycemic. All good news.

The recipe is very easy, as I said. This is usually served cold, so it can be made well ahead of time, chilled, and served with an anglais sauce, light whipped cream or creme fraiche, or a simpler cherry or berry coulis, as well as the cooking juice itself. Serve with high cocoa content chocolate squares.

Peel 4 ripe pears, leaving the stem intact.

In a saucepan, lay the pears on their sides so they fit without smooshing or too much extra space.

Add the following to the pan:
  • one packet vanilla sugar
  • one vanilla bean, split in half
  • one sprig fresh rosemary or thyme (use thyme with cinnamon)
  • four black peppercorns (or mixed colors)
  • four cloves or a cinnamon stick (or equivalent ground version)
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice (I usually just juice one lemon)
  • 1 bottle good red wine (not sweet!--choose a Beaujolais to Cabernet or mixed red)
Cover and raise to simmer. Once simmering, let cook for 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes or so; ready when the pears are tender to forks. After, let sit/cool, then set one pear in each bowl, add cooking juice, and chill.

Vanilla sugar can be bought in packets at specialty cooking shops, or places that sell international foods. Or you can use this simple recipe from Alton Brown (takes a couple weeks, however):

Cezanne's three pears, just as a treat, as simple and gorgeous as the poached kind.