It was a beautiful evening on the coast, but we would learn later that it was the calm before the storm. We journeyed 30 minutes South to check out the coastal town of Ste. Maxime.....explore a bit and have dinner. Here are a few photos.....
Then we come upon the truffle booth......can't get past without making a purchase. I bought a couple of jars of the truffle/mushroom spread that I will use on some blinis the next couple of weeks. We are having a great time discovering what we love best.....FOOD!
Time to move on to dinner. We head down the coast and this is where the Romans come in. You know they were everywhere here in the South of France. Julius Caesar came over from Italy (on the Aurelian Way) around 45-50 BC. Frejus was a big Roman enclave, but here, between Sainte Maxime and Frejus, is a small unique site. I guess you would say it was the first fish farm. Yes, way back then, the Romans had the idea to farm raise fish (a vivier).
Look very carefully in the center of the picture and you will see, underwater, the walls to contain the fish. They used the natural calanque on each side to construct the ponds between them. If you focus, you will see 2 connecting walls.
It is getting dark now so we turn our thoughts to dinner. Nous avons faim! A little further down, we stop at a restaurant on the water. Great setting....casual...and the food was exceptional.
Headed back home as raindrops started to fall. It was the night of the big storm. Made it into the garage as the deluge began! Perfect timing.
June 15, 2011
June 13, 2011
The French call this a gateau or cake. I call it a bread....a quick bread. It is perfect for cocktail hour or a picnic. The bones of the recipe began with Robert Brunel, a chef friend in Avignon. Of course, I have modified it on more than one occasion to make it work for us in the home kitchen. Give it a try. Enjoy!
GATEAU DE JAMBON, OLIVE, ET FROMAGE
A Provençql treat!
2 CUPS FLOUR
1 TBS. BAKING POWDER
2 TSP. SALT
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL
1/3 CUP ROSÉ WINE (can substitute white wine)
5 OUNCES COOKED HAM, diced ¼” cubes
1 ½ CUPS COMTE CHEESE, grated
7 OUNCES GREEN OLIVES, coarsely chopped
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, and rosé. Add to flour mixture and stir just to combine.
Toss together ham, cheese and olives. Add to batter and stir to combine. Pour batter into a well-greased oblong bread pan. Sprinkle top with gray salt. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour….internal temperature 190 degrees or skewer inserted comes out clean.
Turn out on rack to cook completely before slicing.
June 10, 2011
So this early bird, who is always up by 6, did not get the worm this morning. Can't believe I missed the photo op.....haven't slept in until 8AM for months and look what happened!....You would think the X after being with me so much would have grabbed the camera on the kitchen table to capture the moment! Oh well, here they are with the morning harvest of squash blossoms. Lunch today???? Of course, a truffle omelet and squash blossom beignets....Can't wait!
No way these are for sale but in the market, these summer truffles would fetch close to $300....
To see the making of the truffle omelet, click here
To see the making of the truffle omelet, click here
P.S. I have just read this to X and he corrected the fact that in my original post, I made the tree feminine. Of course, I know that in French it is masculine but, for me, this tree that is so giving just has to be feminine. I called her a she. Anyway, when you see it written in French, both the masculine and feminine are 'l'arbre' because arbre begins with a vowel and needs the link. THIS LANGUAGE!!!
June 9, 2011
It is mid April.
Xavier and I exit the autoroute as the sun is setting and head toward Chiroubles, one of the ten beaujolais cru villages.
In search of a gite for the night....
....Fleurie, and a great restaurant choice.
Note the vintage...2003. Beaujolais' are typically drunk young but then there is nothing typical about Xavier and myself. The owner kept telling us we should have a younger wine. We did not succumb to her wishes. AND this was absolutely delicious! And my frog legs...a local specialty....were perfectly executed...whoops that doesn't sound right!
Tasting room at our gite.....early morning wine tasting before departure...and, of course, our wine purchase.
Now on to a day of discovery.........The Hills of Beaujolais
Click here for a complete slideshow! Be sure to view in full screen. Enjoy and post your comments.
June 6, 2011
One of the men heard X and I speaking English and asked where I was from.....Caroline du Nord, Monsieur...."Oh, I love the USA. I have been there", he said! "But there was one thing I did not understand". Smiling, he proceeded to tell of his trip to Austin, Texas. While there, he always greeted friends and family the usual traditional French way.....a kiss on each cheek. A stranger approached and told him that this is not done in America. Surprised, he listened.
Did he misunderstand? Who knows what the stranger really meant.....were they just curious about the tradition or did they really mean that one should not greet someone in public with a kiss in America. That is the way he took it so from then on he said he and his family shared no more French greetings in America. C'est dommage
And, finally, we pass on a bottle of rosé acknowledging a job appreciated and well done. Somehow I don't see us handing a bottle of wine to the Duke Power guys. Do you?
P.S. There was a geiko that must have been very close when the box was struck. He is charred....absolutely black....but is still alive and well....must indeed have a suit of armor. Have not been able to catch a photo of him.
June 4, 2011