I’ll post a very short observation each day about something that amazed, interrogated or affected me. This little corner of our big, beautiful planet is full of special moments that I want to share with you.
Tuesday, Aug. 10
Amazing how the light takes on a surreal glow before darkness falls.
Wednesday, Aug. 11
Do you ever wonder what’s inside people’s fridges? Are we really what we eat? I thought I would show you mine to get the ball rolling. From time to time I’ll profile other fridges of France and their owners and I will post the best fridge stories from you too.
If your tuning into my blog from America, you’ll find my fridge tiny. In France it’s a normal fridge. There are many much smaller and a few fancy “American fridges” for bigger budgets. Lots of fridges don’t even offer a freezer. What does all this tell me? That most Europeans have been locavores forever. Food is close at hand especially in the summer. I have 4 markets a week to choose from and when you get to know your way around, it can be much cheaper than heading to the supermarket. Big is not always better. What kind of meal could you make with the contents of my fridge? Love to hear your ideas.
Thursday August 12
I saw this on my way home from visiting family today. Have a good look.
Yeah, you guessed right. It ‘s a self-serve doggie wash station. Where do people get ideas like this?
This is what my lunch looked like before I prepared it. Tomorrow is market day so you can expect something on that in a week or so.
Tuesday August 17
Well, the post a day idea was in theory a good one. But life gets in the way of the best of intentions. Lets say I’ll post here as often as I can.
Producers market this morning. Almost missed it. The bloody huge trucks have arrived to install the rides for la fête votive, the yearly drunken free for all party that goes on a bit too long for my tastes. I’ll give you the low down next week when it’s over.
Back to the market. Luckily I ran into Nicole who pointed me in the right direction just down from the place du Marché. The ambiance is more relaxed and low-key on Tuesdays. These are farmers after all folks. They grow great produce, make amazing honey, pots and so on but are not big sales people.
Keep tuned for an upcoming story on the several local organic producers. To whet your appetite here are a few pics.
Monday, August 23
Good news on the job front. I’ve an interview this week for an English teaching job. That would be sweet – a part-time gig to keep my spinach buttered as the French say and leave me enough time to continue writing. While I’m on the subject, I’ll make a note to do a short piece on all the great expressions linked to food and wine and if possible, where they originate.
Over the weekend I got into my mail man’s red wine and I didn’t pinch it from his cellar. Serge is as far as I know, the only full-time mail man/wine maker in France and I can report that he makes a fine drop indeed. I’m preparing an interview with him next week and will post the whole scoop within a few weeks.
Sunday, September 12
Spent an amazing day amongst the rolling hills of parasol pine, deep blue sky and old, gnarly vines of the Côteaux du Languedoc. I had the pleasure of being invited to Domaine Clavel, near Montpellier, to experience first hand a typical day of grape harvesting. The day was organized by a young French company called mesvignes.com. They’re betting on the down to earth (literally) trend that brings together professionals from all walks of life to worship the golden grape. After a year of more of periodic workshops and lots of online updates, these web vignerons are rewarded with a couple of cases of “their” wine.
The participants, myself and 15 couples from all over the south of France are greeted by Stephen, Mes Vignes enologist/host for the day, Pierre Clavel and his wife Estelle. Over coffee and croissants we’re briefed on the day’s events. Before long, with shears in hand, it’s time to head out to the vineyard. The group is relaxed but excited at the same time. The steep, rocky vineyard is not the easiest of terrain but who cares when the senses are teased by the stunning views of nearby Pic Saint Loup and the intense scents of savoury herbs and parasol pine.
The “work” part of the day only lasts for an hour or so and then we’re off to learn about tanks, vats, barrels and all the other hardware that help turn those ripe, succulent grapes into great wine. The information is precise without being overly technical and the crowd laps it up.
By noon our hosts sense brains are full and in need of serious refreshment. The Domaine Clavel 2009 rosé is lovely, fresh and full of ripe, strawberry scented fruit. Soon we sit down to an excellent