DENZEL AND ME
There’s a trivia game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon played by theatre people, in which they prove that they can be connected to actor Kevin Bacon in six or less steps (their cousin cuts his hair; they were in a film with him, etc…). This game is a variation of the small world theory of Six Degrees of Separation, in which no one person is any further than six steps away from any one else. Far fetched in some cases perhaps, but certainly not so out of the question on a small island like Saint Barth where half the people are related to begin with, and it stands to reason that somebody you know will know just about anybody else that lives here. The stars that show up for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are another story, but this year I can safely say there is only one degree of separation between me and Denzel Washington (my friend Joanne was at a party with him last week; I know the bodyguards on the yacht where he had dinner on New Year’s Eve; etc.) But since his movements are reported in blogs and gossip columns, are mine are not, I thought maybe he’d like to know about a few of the things I did—but he didn’t do—over the holidays. Like making galettes. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my mother-in-law is one of the island’s champion galette makers (small round breads like Johnnycakes, made of flour, water, salt, and baking powder…). Should be easy. So when I realized that my mother-in-law wasn’t making any for the annual Gréaux family Christmas Eve dinner (my family had its Hanukah latkes earlier in the month!), I decided to take the matter into my own hands—literally—and make some myself. Off to the store to get Robin Hood white flour and new baking powder (how long does the rising action last in a can that’s been in the refrigerator for as long as I can remember?). After kneading the dough, which is rather gluey, for a very long time, I made flat circles and my daughter Rachel (who is the expert latke maker) dropped them into hot oil in a big frying pan. I forgot to poke holes in the dough, which may be why they were puffier than should be, but the taste was great and they disappeared rapidly at dinner, after my mother-in-law gave them her smell test and took a bite (they’re yummy with foie gras, butter, or smoked salmon). Once Christmas was out of the way we got ready for our big New Year’s Eve celebration. No mega-yacht parties for me! We organized a picnic at the lighthouse overlooking the Port of Gustavia and had front row seats for the fireworks display at midnight. Fortified with food from Maya’s to Go and The Rotisserie, some homemade goodies, and a cooler full of wine and champagne, we spent the evening with a group of friends, far from the madding crowds. So even though Denzel and I might have only one degree of separation, we weren’t actually in the same place at the same time. But there’s always next year… And he might really enjoy a homemade galette!
More to come,