Vita lays at my feet, head to one side and resting on her left paw, as I peel the charred and sticky skins off the roasted peppers. They'll be marinaded in lemon juice to mingle with the red oily sweet tasting juice.
She watches as I turn the sizzling aubergine in the hot oil. Coated with a dash of chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, balsamic vinegar and honey, the slices turn satisfyingly soft and translucent with a crisp outside.
The French beans (her favourite) steamed and lightly fried in butter and crushed garlic are ready and cooling on the window-ledge.
Tod has the finely shredded carrot and sliced mushrooms bubbling gently in something orange and alcoholic on the stove.
The pastry case has been blind baked, waiting on the kitchen table for its creamy contents of beaten eggs, butter, sugar, shredded coconut and pineapple, to be cooked to a golden brown and eaten this evening with crème anglaise.
In previous summers we would have been setting the table on the veranda for our dinner guests but this evening we will be indoors.
As another squall of cold rain tears across the garden from the north west, over the tops of Monsieur F's maize, battering plants in its wake, Tod reminds me of all the prayers for wet weather by gardeners throughout France and says: "Be careful what you wish for."
With all the wonderful smells above her head, Vita's wishing that something will fall earthwards.