Here, on the island, life is simple.
There is no McDonald’s or Cheese Cake Factory. No Home Depot or Costco. No Four Seasons or four star restaurants. No gyms with flat screen TVs, or without. No Starbucks, Applebee’s, department stores, or shopping malls. No traffic jams or traffic lights.
But there is a library with chess board tables outside. And places to rent bikes or mopeds. A Farmers Market full of local tomatoes, squashes and freshly baked bread. Two pizzerias, a couple of seafood restaurants, and an ice cream shop. A photo gallery, a cozy theater, and a ferry.
Here, on the island, you don’t use a clock. You wake up to the sounds of the island. You fall asleep, sun-drenched, when the Milky Way lights up the sky. You walk or bike to the store to get groceries. You buy whatever fish was caught that day.
You dry your clothes on a clothesline. You carry your garbage to the dumpster – on your bike. You realize, while washing dishes by hand, that dishwashers don’t really save you time.
By day, you spend a good number of hours on the beach. There are no lawn chairs with matching umbrellas and free drinks — you simply lay on a towel and drink your own water. No one sells you jet skis, para-sailing, or deep-tissue massages. You entertain yourself: you swim, you run, you walk. You read, you stretch, you nap. Your kids build castles, roll in sand, and collect sea shells. They play with tiny crabs, seaweed, and jellyfish. They find giant straw sticks and use them as brooms, and spears, and stick horse toys.
By night, you talk, you have some wine. You look at the stars, seeing some for the first time. You walk to the beach and touch the water in complete darkness.
You meet your land lady and learn about her past. She brings you basil from her garden when she sees you cutting Farmers Market tomatoes for your lunch. You watch your kids teach her parakeet to say “hello,” in a foreign language, while you are making bread from scratch.
Yes, here on the island, life is very simple.
Adapted from rom The Sweet Life in Paris
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- Freshly-ground black pepper, plus additional sea salt and olive oil for serving
- Mix together the flour, water, salt, cumin, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let batter rest at least 2 hours, covered, at room temperature
- To cook, heat the broiler in your oven. Use Olive Oil spray bottle to coat a 9- or 10-inch pan with oil and heat the pan in the oven
- Once the pan and the oven are blazing-hot, pour enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom, swirl it around, then pop it back in the oven
- Bake until the socca is firm and beginning to blister and burn. The exact time will depend on your broiler
- Slide the socca out of the pan onto a cutting board, slice into pieces, then shower it with coarse salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil (I did not use any salt, pepper or additional oil)
- Cook the remaining socca batter the same way, adding a touch more oil to the pan between each one
Freshly made Socca goes well with any wine, on and off the island. My husband and I are red-wine-drinkers, and we found Murphy-Goode Liars Dice Zinfandel 2008 to be a perfect compliment to the crispy flat bread, and the dinner that went with it.