My guest blogger, Emily, continues
The town of Lourmarin, about 30 min. through the vineyards from us, is one of our favorites. There’s a lively outdoor market there on Fridays, which features produce, meats, cheeses, olives and all of the typical Provencal products: tablecloths in blue, yellow and red Provencal patterns, covered cheese baskets, soaps, herbs, olive oil and such. It’s very colorful. We like to sit outside for a coffee in the comfortable wicker chairs at the small Cafe Gabby – at the intersection of three narrow cobblestone streets – and listen to the musicians across the way playing “le jazz americain.” One day we stopped by on our way home and discovered a wonderful old cafe with a zinc covered bar with bunches of grapes carved into the metal.
The first time we spent the day in Lourmarin we went to a restaurant for lunch, eating on the terrace under the shade of huge, graceful plane trees. (they are magnificent, and line many roads leading into the villages) I describe our meal because it pertains to the rest of my story. We chose the menu: the plat du jour. We began with a soup of pureed red pepper, followed by a a main course of filets of white fish braised in white wine, and pureed sweet potatoes with Wasabi sauce. It was delicious. Shortly after we arrived, a young French family was seated across the way from us – the two little boys (I later asked) were ages 2 and 5. The adults ordered the same special as we did and the “child’s plate” for the boys. We were astonished to see that the child’s plate was not some version of chicken nuggets, fries, hot dogs or some such thing, but an exact replica of what we all were eating but in a small portion. It was a delight to see the little 2 year old with that gigantic French soup spoon, eating the red pepper soup ( all over his face as with any 2 year old) and relishing the potatoes with Wasabi! We got such a kick out of that. Now we know how the French develop such a sophisticated palate – they start young!