Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Fantasy Octogenarian

The happy-er-couple
I read with some interest that 86-year-old Hugh Hefner recently married his 26-year-old girl friend.  I will confess that my first reaction was much like my children's whenever they catch me and my husband kissing.   But then I got to thinking--what's the big deal?  People marry for all kinds of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with love or attraction.  Jackie Kennedy's nuptials with Ari Onassis proved that in spades.  Indeed, it's only a recent historical phenomenon for love to even be part of the equation.  In times gone past marriage was for good useful stuff like bringing territory into the kingdom, bucking up a failing estate a la Downton Abbey, or for the more pedestrian folk--securing a good milking goat.

Still. 86?  I'm almost twice the age of the bride, which got me thinking again--what kind of octogenarian would do it for me?

For starters, definitely not Hugh Hefner.  I know he is filthy rich, and probably quite charming.  The man has about 50 years of partying experience under his bathrobe belt, so I'm sure he knows how to show a girl a good time.  But really.  How much champagne can you drink in a hot tub?

Joe Biden is kind of cute, but at 70, he's too young to qualify.

Tony Bennett is a possibility.

He looks mighty fine in a dinner jacket, and I would absolutely


never, ever

get tired of listening to that voice.

And then.  Then there is Jacques Pepin, French chef extraordinaire.  Jacques--my fantasy octogenarian, hosts PBS's Fast Food, My Way.  It's a show that takes on the likes of Stouffer's and McDonald's by demonstrating how to make amazing food with minimal effort.  Totally my kind of guy.  Now technically he is only 77, but if I was going to marry the guy, it would be nice to have him around for awhile.  (And yes, I'm fully aware that he's already happily married, but then, so am I.  This is a fantasy, remember?)  Aside from his guaranteed-to-make-you-swoon French accent, that man can cook.  And let's face it, as this stage of my life, with my sell-by-date close to expiring anyway, hanging out with a charming Frenchman who makes me amazing food, even if it makes me fat, would be an OK match.  Who knows--maybe we'll even invite the Hefner's over for dinner.

Apple or Pear Tart
By Jacques Pepin

1.  Take one large flour tortilla and lightly coat it on both sides with melted butter.  Place it on a cookie sheet.  

2.  Slice two apples or two pears or one of each as thin as thin as you possibly can.  This is as difficult as this recipe gets.

3.  Arrange them decoratively on the tortilla and sprinkle generously with about two tablespoons of granulated or brown sugar and about a teaspoon of cinnamon.  I have never exactly measured them out, because, you know, being a master chef and all, Jacques doesn't either.  Like all good T.V. chefs he just creates amazing food and fills air time in the process without giving you pesky details like exact measurements: "And zen you jus pooot on a leeetle suhgar and cinnamohn, like zees, and voila--your tart is ready for ze oven."  

4.  Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.   Or, as Jacques would say "Zees ees Faz Fuhd, MY WAY."  Oh Baby.

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