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I will sound like a broken record but what in the world is going on with the Wednesday Shopping Fever? Unless you have a Batmobile, don’t even bother looking for a spot at the parking lot in front of our local grocery store. Not on Wednesday at least. Instead, I propose you leave that stinky car in the garage, arm your pockets with shopping bags, and march ahead to the store. You’ll thank me later when you’ll have come back with a healthy blush on your face licked by the sun and with the Lance Armstrong’s heart rate when he’s asleep. That man is a power horse, and we have got to start somewhere.

Speaking of eco-friendly commute, have you ever dreamed of time traveling? My accountant has afforded me such trip the other day and I wasn’t sure if I were dreaming or we really went back to 1954. I met the guy last year when doing my taxes. Jason has been a client for a number of years and swore by him. This time we went together. When Jason’s finances of 2009 were sorted, the CPA reached out to my pile to organize that pathetic proof of my income. To call it an INCOME is a solid exaggeration. Nevertheless, he put the numbers into his columns and I peppered him with questions regarding starting my own business. Since, as you all know, I recently began working as a personal chef, I wanted to learn about the expected proper behavior of a responsible taxpayer when self-employed.

And that’s when I heard this deafening squeak as if a giant wheel was turned. Lightening cut through the skies, a sinister horn sounded off in the distance, the ground shook beneath our feet, lights in the room went off and icy wind swirled around me causing my nipples to stand up in full alert. I didn’t fully comprehend we were back in the early 50’s until I realized the CPA completely ignored me and began to answer all MY questions regarding MY business directly to Jason, all the while referring to me (yes, I was acknowledged) as a SHE.

“She should open a separate account, and she should use it for all business related transactions”…

I sat there dumbfounded with my eyebrows slowly rising and pushing my hairline dangerously close to the tip of my head, while my nipples completely deflated.

“I’m here. And I CAN hear you.”

I uttered at last throwing the accountant completely off track. He looked at me confused and then with a bleak smile he turned his attention back to Jason as if he were asking his fellow penis:

“What does she mean, mate?”

It’s been 48 hours since the incident. I am still trying to shake that off. The crazy part is that the dude is MAYBE ten years older than me, if that. Who are his parents? Where has he come from? Was he an Amish offspring that had escaped the regime too late to recover and absorb the rules of the Western culture? At least he didn’t have a knee-long beard. Ok, I’m done.

That same night we set off the clock once more with the movie of my youth based on the books I read back in my days of innocence – “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I was all in tears within the first five minutes of the film, the sentiment being stronger than any reason.

“You know it’s a three hour long movie. Are you going to cry the whole time?”

Jason was quickly learning that night about the role Anne has played in my life. It is a series of books about a redhead orphan child that I had devoured one after another, multiple times (the books, and NOT orphans). My mother was the one who introduced me to Anne Shirley, and we would read those stories together alternating the tomes.

The movie is as girly as they come, and yet Anne is such a delightful and amusing character that even Jason was quickly engaged in the story and sat through the entire 3 hours and 15 minutes of the film with me, enjoying every minute of it.

If I were to complement the charm and charisma of Anne of Green Gables with food, I would choose something fresh and bright, and yet complex in flavor and texture. Something oozing with comfort and yet elegant and authentic. One thing comes to mind – SALADE NICOISE.

The salad is a beautiful arrangement of tuna, cherry tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs, green beans, new potatoes, olives and often times anchovies on a bed of butter lettuce. All the vegetables are drizzled with vinaigrette and thus complement the lightly seared tuna steak on a plate. It truly is a painting and you are the artist. Salad Nicoise is a French classic you can make your own by adding your own twist through the presentation, a choice of vinaigrette, or the method of serving tuna.

Here’s mine:

Be inventive, be creative, and let your own personality shine through any dish you prepare. You are the cook. Your knife is a paintbrush, the plate is your canvas. You are the artist.

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