French Gustatory Report

The weather in early October wuz so fair in France that in many places folk's is still servin' al fresco. Heah is a picture perfect mound of fresh salat greens hidin' a warm round of Chevre, sprinkled wif' walnut pieces--ain't it purty against this tree an the flowers?

The night a'fore that salat above, on a village patio in south central France I endured this plate of salmon after 9:30 pm--yes, endured: overcooked, an' not hot.

Ah, but soon thereafter, in monastery tucked in the hills of Provence, I'se too far out to go back into town to forage fer food....an' took mah chances wif' whatever the monks an' their cooks had up their capacious sleeves. It were worrisome 'cause the place seemed untended--olive groves unpruned, buildings wif (haint blue!) shutters beggin' fer a coat of paint...but, here is the shot into the kitchen/ dinin' area from the courtyard tables--lovely at dusk, under olive trees.

The tables is rustic, spare, but the wine crisp, the candlelight hinted at the pleasure ahead.

I ain't sure how this photo be such a disappointment --but it will do to show ya' the lovely presentation of braised pork served wif' a potato-parsnip puree, an a broiled tomato, delivered sizzilin' on a slab of slate! Sublime! The chef is the 20 somethin' kid of the lady that handles visitors to the monastery.

Lunch al fresco in Provence--a li'l town I will kindly not name-ugly, traffic choked, it's "market" nuthin' like what we come to imagine when ya conjor "market day in Provence." But above wuz a marvelous midday repast: chevre in a half of a small baked apple wif' raspberry couli an watercress, a jar of the BEST chicken salat I evah did eat--warm an' chickeny, not over fussed wif'.

Days later, in the French Alps, the host of this alpine farm B&B invited his guests to
walk in the kitchen garden.

Amazin' weather--even forbiddin'--misty, ever-changin'...but the veggies seemed to thrive...

real garden work done around this place...an' it shows!

more from France here
and here


fishy said...

B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l Aunty!

Did you encounter the " we are complete" problem too? Looks like youse got the knack for finding great food in unusual places. And those veggies .... really gorgeous photography ....crisp enough to bite.

moi said...

Okay, that's it. You need to write out every inch of your itinerary and send it to me so I can follow it to a T.

(Although I'll pass on the overcooked salmon after 9:30 . . . that musta hurt.)

Jenny said...

The French Alps.


Really beautiful garden shots and I'll second Moi - overcooked salmon is something to be endured. Or ignored.

pam said...

Yes, I need that itinerary also! And monastaries and markets highlighted in yellow, please! Gorgeous photos. And Uncle didn't go on this trip with you? Or do I have him confused with Blowfish?

LaDivaCucina said...

Aunty, you sure know how to travel! The photos are DIVINE! The salad looks so fresh, the setting in the monastery so peaceful, what a lovely time you shared, thank you so much. Unfortunately, the MOVE ate up my trip $$ to Paris for my 50th in 2013. *BOO* So it's Nawlin's for us instead....if nothing else needs repairs in the meantime, that is!

PS: Growing a salad garden this season.

Aunty Belle said...

Ha! Well, Fishy, yore own photos is exquisite--mayhap the subject matter is the star--nto the photography.
An' I shure 'nuff did encounter "complete! Desole, Madame,desole." But, it jes' meant an apple or pear then an aftgernoon cafe wif' a SABLE!! (type of cookie)


wif' no false modesty to cloud thangs, I can write ya' a to kill fer itinerary fer France/ Italy/ or Spain. AN--the plus? Woan bust the Trust Fund, an Rick Steves ain't swooped through bookin' discounts fer his readers. But...ya do need a car. GPS perhaps--the one I had --no lie--took the car down a DONKEY CART path fer a few miles to circumvent a bit of road mishap. It wuz reassurin' then, but now? ah, not so much--it means every donkey cart path in France is mapped--too big bro for moi.


Them Alps is intimidatin' to me! The thangs looked ready to fall over on ya'--very "close" somehow--eerie. Oddly, the sides of some of the mountains wuz terraced--like ya think of China.

As ya' well know, salmon should be delicate--this coulda been a rubber dawg toy.

Pam OKC,

I will do up an itinerary fer ya--jes' say when! There are some gorgeous monasteries and convents wif modern (private) Italian bath fixtures, wifi, an some are like your grandma's house( chintz an' homemade quilts, ancient kitchen) some are true cells wif' shared bath--but at $35 dollars a night to be in lovely places an be safe, warm, dry? Not too shabby.
Doan git the wrong idea though--half this trip were in charmin' manor houses or 3-4 star hotels--not all monasteries.

Noooo...Uncle not along on this one--besides which, he doan do too well wif' convent accommodations--

wif' the one exception of The Villa San Giralamo in Fiesole Italy (village above Florence) whar' the nuns have now been bought out by Leading Hotels of the World folks. The villa is grand--an some of the rooms is Room with a View stuff. THAT convent he loved.

Pam, iffin' ya like the photos I'se much encouraged--I'se a lousy photographer.

La Diva C!!

Well, I reckon Big Easy ain't all that bad a substitute fer La Belle France--both have they charms,huh?

Ooooh Sugar, lemme tell ya'--the markets in most places would spin yore haid! An' that Alpine B&B wif' the garden? The food was "farm to table" but, the chef--uh, a tad ambitious. The food was high quality, but too many fancy dishes in one dinner is overkill, ain't it? Jes' cried out fer a simple course. The homemade brioche do take honors, though.

That purty salat were in a village I may post about next---stay tuned.

Aunty Belle said...

oops! PamOKC--blowfish is Fishy's pondmate. Uncle? he be in a tree stand somewhar' waitin' on Bambi's Daddy to wander through the woods.

Kymical Reactions said...

oh my. I need to go where ever you are. I'm sure my Caleb needs to be a world travler. For the culture. He must have more culture than the Okie life can provide. Next time you go off somewhere, let me know so we can book our tickets, too. :) x.

Aunty Belle said...


Honey, youse welcome to travel wif' Aunty any day, an' I'se partial to babies too.

How's thangs wif' our Caleb? Squeeze that wee babe fer his Aunty B. An' stay at home Mommy is a wunnerful idea. Hope ya can keep it up--know it be real hard in these tough times.

Sharon Rudd said...

Oh, Aunty, how I enjoy armchair travelin' with you. And armchair tastin' :)

I really needed this lift today. A certain buff-colored furry guy has been missin' long enough I'm a-feared I won't see him agin . . .

Aunty Belle said...

Aw, Eggy! Sorry sorry! I hope the fella turns up soon--enough to wrench yore heart, Honey. So so sorry.

chickory said...

Beee. yoooo. tiii.ful amazing. I love that salat plate in the first picture but I love the monks set up. I also liked how you described the good chicken salad: warm and chickeny not over fussed with. great and i totally understand how you mean it. wow. what a gorgeous trip. did you bring something back for all of us? smuggle out some chevre? one day - you'll get fresh chevre at Chickory. 2012 is all about the bees though.

fishy said...

Oh Aunty, it sure sounds like I shoulda hired your services. My trip was far pricier than expected so I'll be broke for a goodly distance into the future. Course, I coulda saved a smart amount by staying out of Hermes or living on pears and sables.

Aunty Belle said...

why thanky--ya know I'se struggled wif' the new camera. The salat were scrumptious, but I thought youse gonna go fer the garden veggie pictures.

Chevre at Chickory? Yum! Start workin' on the logo!

ya doan fool me none--yore own trip wuz to die fer--admit it--I seen yore photos. Thang is, France is gorgeous, delicious, historic, charmin'.

As fer Hermes? Why not? Why save money against a memorable-once-in a-rare while investment accessory? You'll have the Hermes forever, I suspect, but whatever ya saved would be gone down a rabbit whole in a month.

Anonymous said...

@ Fishy
On Hermes the purchase is a saving. Vintage Hermes pieces appreciate. Paper money devalues. You are better off with the Hermes.