In which I let down my golden hair

The woman--the fairy-tale woman, anyway, for what I'm about to describe comes from the pages of the Brothers Grimm... and it occurs to me that I'm starting this incorrectly. A brief moment to collect my thoughts, please, and assemble the puppet theatre with the plum-velvet curtain between you and the magic.


Once upon a time, there lived a man and a woman. Behind their cottage was a wonderful garden, which they could not reach because the powerful sorceress who owned it had surrounded the garden with a high fence. I'm picturing chain link and accordion wire, but because this is Grimm Brothers, it's more likely bramble, or human thigh bones or something. Anyway, the woman was (because the plot of the story hinges upon her weakness) obsessed with the garden, in particular, the wonderful, wonderful rampion flourishing therein. Mmm, rampion. It is all she could think of, to her husband's irritation and her own detriment, healthwise. She practically wasted away, staring at this rampion, which was forbidden her.

Finally, distressed by his rapidly desiccating wife, the husband climbed over the (chain link/human bone/other) fence and stole a bunch of rampion. I like to picture him stealing it in a whirl of flying leaves and dirt, perhaps with a confused gopher nearby, pausing mid-chew on a turnip, to witness the frenzy. That differs from the account in the book.

The wife eats a salad made from the leaves and gets crazed with Rampion Fever and pesters her husband to get more. "Get more of this rampion!" I picture her screaming, hair standing on end, from her sickbed. That is how I would draw it, if I were a cartoonist.

So, the husband goes to get more rampion, gets caught by the powerful sorceress, and agrees, in exchange for more rampion for the crazywoman, to hand over their first-born child. That child goes on to be Rapunzel, about whose hair and fate we all know, but I'd like to get back to Rapunzel's mother, whose mania for rampion suddenly seems, in light of recent events, quite reasonable.

A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a little bag of caramels on a shelf of a cheese shop up the street. They were very fancy-looking, and I bought them to bring back to the office and share. Except that once I got them back and tasted one, I hoarded them like a miser and ate them all myself, without even telling anyone they existed. Obviously, these caramels are magic and cause insane greed, but I am totally OK with that because they are delicious.

The magic caramels are made by Béquet, and are the Celtic Sea Salt variety. They are silky and buttery and not too sweet, and in the midst of all that are crystals of sea salt, and I recommend that you get some today. And tomorrow, as well.

I may be a tad fixated on these caramels, but right now, if someone told me, "You can eat only these magic caramels for the REST OF YOUR LIFE" I would respond, "OK, but I do not have to share, right?"


Star of the day. . .Susan Jacks
posted @ 7:42 p.m. on December 29, 2008 before | after


She lay awake all night,