Hope you’ve had a good week. Ours has been fairly quiet and relaxing – continued house/dog-sitting for Tony and Dee (they arrived home yesterday) and had a couple of short trips to nearby towns. We were made very welcome at art class on Tuesday afternoon – were told that that class is full but we can join an evening class which begins this week so we’ll go to that. French lessons on Wednesday afternoon went well and we enjoyed our second Country Dance lesson that evening. It’s surprising how popular Country Dance is here – there were 35 people at our lesson and there are classes available everywhere, even in the very small towns. Anyway, it’s great exercise and good fun.
We thought we’d whet your appetite for the tasty things of France so below are photos of some of the yummy items we’ve had the pleasure of eating (now you know why we need our weekly boot-scoot – will otherwise be up for excess baggage on our return flight!). You might notice that there are many more sweet things than savoury! Included in the list of moorish treats is one we were a bit hesitant to try – a ‘Gland’! Who would have known a gland could be so tasty – made of choux pastry (like the eclair), iced and filled with custard. Also pictured is a ‘Religieuse’ which David has indulged in – I think they are so named either because you need a lot of prayer after eating one or you need to go to confession for the sin of gluttony! My personal favourite is the Tartelette aux framboises. The local speciality is a savoury ‘Pate de Pomme de terre’ which is a creamy, sliced potato pie – delicious! Rotisserie chickens are popular – every market has a chicken van, with the chickens roasting in special ovens fitted into the back of the van. Olives are available in an amazing array of colours and flavours as is cheese, which, in mind-boggling variety, can take up a full aisle in a supermarket and a dozen stalls at a farmers’ market. Well, this is just a sample of French culinary expertise – we’ll continue our research in the coming weeks!
(An aside…we had lunch today at a place called Flunch which is a family bistro place, a sort of cross between Sizzlers and the old Coles Cafeteria – there’s a process you have to follow (we had to have it explained to us- if you’re French, you just instinctively know) which is to collect a tray, choose what you want from an entree, fruit, bread, salad plate, cheese platter and drink, pay for that and hot food (chosen from the menu at the cash register), receive a ticket for the hot food, take that to the hot food counter, be given that then help yourself (though we haven’t worked out if you have to pay for it as well) from the buffet of side dishes. When we went to the hot food counter, we were told ‘Eat you entree first then come and get your hot food’ !! This was to make sure our hot food could be eaten while hot. I diplomatically (or weakly?) decided not to buck the system but David was quite irritated at being told how to eat his meal!
Later this week, we’re off for a few days in the south – Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nimes, Arles etc. to see the coast and the many Roman ruins in this area. So we’ll tell you about that in our blog next week.
Hope you enjoy your week. We look forward to hearing from you
Chris and David