Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stress Relief

Lately, I've been on a kind of vegetable kick. If we eat out, I find myself ordering two or three "sides" rather than a meat entrée, and I'm enjoying all the different ways the chefs find to enhance their veggie offerings.

A case in point, these green beans that I ordered at The Left Bank in Larkspur. We had driven over to Marin to take Cora to the vet,  both a little worried about her symptoms. She is always good at the vet, taking his kindly offered treats gently and allowing him to commit his indignities without protest. Since she's a big, black dog with an impressive set of teeth, he always seems happy that  she's so easy to handle. 

Somewhat reassured, we all bundled back into the car and drove to Larkspur where they have a nice, long path for walking dogs or riding bikes. We all enjoyed 20 minutes of stress relief before seeking lunch. The Left Bank allows dogs on their outdoor patio and they even bring a little paper bowl of water, which Cora greatly appreciated after her nervous panting in the vet's office and our walk. 

With Cora happily settled next to my chair, we checked out the menu. I had to resist the temptations of a lamb sandwich and steak frîtes, but it was easy when I saw the list of side dishes. Specifically, these green beans with shallots. The French either grow a smaller variety of green bean or they pick them before the pods swell - these were tiny - perhaps three inches long - and very slender. Cooking them along with the shallot in some butter was simple genius; these two vegetables love each other.

This was so simple, I could easily make it at home. I tend just to steam vegetables and offer them plain. My New Year's resolution will be to dress up my veggies a little more to give them this kind of easy but happy synchrony.

As I was munching my way through the beans and My Beloved was enjoying his lamb sandwich, one of the waiters arrived at the table with a dog biscuit for Cora. We sat in the sun on a bright November day just before Thanksgiving, thinking how very fortunate we are and how grateful we were to be out of the vet's office and enjoying the sunshine.


Anonymous Jann said...

Is all well with the girl? Sounds like a lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Sounds like the pup is OK? Hope so. Good idea about the veggie sides...I should do that more often but I have such poor self-control.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013  
Blogger Namastenancy said...

I am sending healing light to your beloved furry child. Her behavior at the vet's is even more proof that she's a sweetheart. The green beans have been utterly irresistible; I have been eating a huge bowl every other day or so, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with almonds. Let us know if all is well.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Jann, we hope so - she seems better but I expect another round of blood work will confirm that all is well.

Hungry Dog, I'll report about Cora's health when we know for sure, but things are looking good just now.

Nancy, thanks for the healing thoughts - we are optimistic. Yes, to the irresistible green beans! We are loving them, too.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

What a great way to turn a scary trip into a lovely day. :)

Thursday, December 05, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, the Left Bank is like that - soothing and delicious and leisurely.

Thursday, December 05, 2013  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

Hope Cora is fine... It's always a worry when things are off. We don't take our girls to cafes - too rambunctious! But we did take the old dogs and they were always waited on before we humans....

Saturday, December 07, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Katie, France is much more tolerant of dogs in restaurants than the US is. In Versailles once, I watched a waiter dodge a loosely tied and active spaniel in the aisle several times during a meal, and the waiter never even looked impatient. This restaurant, however, really made us all feel welcome.

Sunday, December 08, 2013  

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