Frankie and Grace and Flammkuchen

Sometimes, on a Monday night when the rain successfully (and between you and me, thankfully) has prevented progress on the exterior trim painting, and the seasons haven’t enthusiastically shifted from water-from-the-sky to crispy-yellow-sun, you might say to yourself, “I have no clue what to make for dinner.” Yep. I never thought I would reach this point, where a constant ticker-tape of information repeats the message, “I’m tired of thinking about what to make for dinner.” And I love dinner and I love cooking and planning and organizing, chopping and smelling. But with the good ol’ Northwest SAD, this is the time of year when I momentarily feel myself awaken and subsequently feel myself want to go back to sleep.

Which is why Trader Joe’s flatbread, Tarte d’Alesace, not only is a godsend, but also is a welcome memory. French flakiness on Monday night. Who would have known? I first enjoyed Flammkuchen–the German term for this tarte because it is, literally, fire cake–at a Parisienne restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany with our wonderful friends Alfred and Susanne. Our dinner party included other friends and their daughter. And it included dancing. With the owner. Amazing food, smells, smokiness, wine. It was one of those blissful moments that we all want to have in our arsenal when we are at a cocktail party and want to share with others, yes! yes! I agree! I smell. I taste. I drink. I love, too. 

Then there’s this really terrific show that is done so brilliantly it transcends the age… Frankie and Grace or Grace and Frankie, depending on which season you’re watching. These two substantial, funny, smart, sassy women act the greatest stories of all of our lives… Because life is not easy, or simple or sweet. It is messy. Even if someone makes it look flawless from the outside, and wonderful and peaceful and joyous and “I’m Maria from the Sound of Music! And the hills are alive! They are alive my friends! Nature and life are so wonderful!” Even if.

Bullshit. It’s gritty. Gri-t-ty.

And thank God Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are here to show us real life (ish, with quite a bit more money).

So it’s with great joy and peacefulness and love that I am SO HAPPY to have had a quiet evening with Trader Joe’s version of Flammkucken, or Tarte d’Alsace, and a bit of Frankie and Grace or Grace and Frankie. Depending on which season you’re watching.

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