La Belle France

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Is every single thing in France beautiful?  Mais non!  But an astounding number of things are. This bar of soap is so lovely I hate to even get it wet, except that there are half a dozen more just like it thoughtfully provided under the kitchen sink. Possibly I’ll suffer some disillusionment at a later date, but it does seem for now that there are many things that are more beautiful or more delicious that is strictly necessary.

Regard, for example, this little bit of our lunch. 

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These crisp green olives marinated with fresh ginger are so good that I want to eat them every day of my life.  The black olives with a wham! pow! of garlic are a close second.  And these mini sausages are the essence of a meat bonbon, poppable and irresistable.  And amazingly, in order to find these, we didn’t have to go through any huge search.  It’s just a quick walk to the center of town where the olives were for sale in the weekly local producers market and the sausages at the nearby artisan butcher. 

In the butcher shop all of the meat costs between 20 and 28 Euros a kilo, which is more or less $15 to $21 a pound.  It seems killingly expensive, but it looks like jewelry in the case.  We haven’t bought any yet, but if we can befriend Madame at the shop I’ll show you her gorgeous wares.  She had the best paté I’ve ever tasted, made with porcinis and chanterelles from the nearby Cévennes mountains.  I think it’s ruined me for any other paté, and it didn’t last long enough for the camera to get anywhere near it.

So now the plumbing is fixed, the mistral is possibly on the verge of blowing itself out for a while, and the kind propriétaire of our house, whom we met for the first time today, has been here to make a few repairs and show us how various things work, and to reassure us that contrary to what we were told yesterday, scorpions have never been seen in our house.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?

As for questions, those are oleander blossoms in front of the house, we’re still without DSL and one of our suitcases, and rascasse is usually translated as scorpion fish, while I think loup de mer is a pike or a perch.  French fish not only have different names but they’re different fish.  And speaking of fish, try Babelfish for translations, just don’t use them for a business letter.  Oh yeah, and putain, while it technically means prostitute, is really used about the same way we use “f***”  Now see why you should be using Babelfish?  So I don’t have to shock any English-only Gentle Readers that may be with us!

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4 Comments on “La Belle France”

  1. Jan Says:

    Sausage bonbon’s, ooh la la!

    Now that you have rascasse, you can make a true bouillabaisse, right?

    Glad you’re getting more settled in. Hopefully by your next post, all suitcases will be in your possession.

  2. Michel Says:

    Wait until the Mistral starts blowing 24/7, it might drive you mad…! If you’ve ever felt that unending pressure for more than a few hours you can start to understand why it drives people insane.
    BTW, loup de mer in your area (the Med) is usually used to refer to sea bass.
    Keep your spirits up, DSL and your bags will arrive soon. If not, go shopping on Air France’s dime (it’s what I did).

  3. Jan Says:

    Sausage bonbons, ooh la la!! Now that you have rascasse available, you can make a real boullabaisse, right?

    **PS: I thought I posted this comment yesterday, but for some reason it didn’t show up.

  4. Lorna Says:

    The porcini and chantrelle pate description is making me want to hop on a plane and get over there RIGHT NOW!


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