France: Sweet and Savory Memories

This afternoon we returned from the whirlwind of our Provencal and Parisian travels, but in even in my post-travel delirium, I could not wait to start sharing at least a few of the visceral reactions and memories from the trip.

I am glad to be back, but am also wistful because we easily took to the life of indolence, of daily hiking, Provencal market visits, and copious, fantastic FOOD and WINE. I will miss the fantastic raw milk (unpasteurized) goat cheeses so fresh you practically have to eat them with a spoon. I am sad that my pee will very soon stop smelling funny from all the early spring green and white asparagus I have eaten (which happens to be a Provencal specialty).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our experiences ranged from the defining food-porn moments at 2-Michelin star restaurants (Le Cinq in Paris, and L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles), to very humble, simple pleasures of a butter-drenched artisanal croissant dunked in café crème first thing in the morning,

 

to roasted potatoes basted in the drippings from the spit-roasted chickens at the marketplace, to a perfect Nicoise salad and a pitcher of white wine served on a sunlit terrace overlooking the mountains after a nice, long hike.

 

 

Among others, our hikes/walks included the incredible Colorado Provencal, with its surreal colors of ochre deposits and quarries, the beautiful landscapes that inspired Cezanne and other painters in Aix-en-Provence, “winelist” walks in Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and the joyous spring walk across the Luberon valley, from the picture-perfect village of Bonnieux to Lacoste, right up to the castle of Marquis de Sade…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the next month, I invite you to follow along a series of stories and pictures, in order to see that wonderful world through our eyes in more detail. Allons-y!

Bonjour, Paris! Bonjour, Provence!

…and Avignon, Bonnieux, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Sablet, Lourmarin, Bioux, Saignon, Gigondas, Lacoste, St. Remy, Gordes, Les Baux, Goult, Lioux, Silvergue, and L’isle sur la Sorgue.

 

 

Spring air

intoxicates one quickly

through the pastis.

 

Young artichoke

reminded us to seek joy

with open stomachs.

 

(this is my “Haiku Friday”, – a tribute to The Blissful Adventurer who is much more adept at poetry than I am:-))

Anyway, this is just to say The Two Pigs are giddy with anticipation, and are about to step into a fairy-tale that is Provence in April.

We cook and travel low-tech, so there will NOT be any updates on the road for the next two weeks. I won’t be bringing along IPhones, laptops, or IPads; only the appetite. After all, I am a pig, not a bird; pigs don’t tweet :-).

The hope is that the extra lag time will result in more thoughtful posts, as I will have had a chance to internalize our culinary experiences.

So, in just a few hours, we will be hopping on a plane to Paris, and our sidekick (The 3rd Pig) will stay at home and guard my blogging laptop:

À bientôt (Till later),

CDM