We have a couple who live one floor below us who are very nice and friendly. The wife, I will call her Madam La, and Maurice have been having many meetings about the problems in our garage area and what to do to prevent that giant tent from reappearing ever again in front of our apartment building. Her husband and I are a bit more laid back and sort of follow in their wake. She’s one of those people who, no matter where they go, will bring back a gift for you filling me with anxiety because now I feel like I should do the same thing. They just returned from a wedding in Belgium and came back bearing gifts of Belgian chocolate and beer. When they arrived at our place for lunch, they had local Pineau and local cookies for us. They have had us over for dinner and Madam La prepared a feast with homemade hors d’ouvres, a very good fish and potato main dish, a big selection of expensive cheese and a fabulous apricot tart for dessert. So, of course, I wanted to make a meal for them. I am always nervous when cooking for the French. They have all of that tradition behind them and most women really know their way around the kitchen I’ve had a few disasters in my time here so I asked Maurice what he thought we should have. He loves my barbequed pork ribs and said we should serve them along with potato salad and beans. So that’s what I did. They told me they loved everything. Maybe they lied but I don’t think so.

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I thought guacamole with chips were a must for a Texas meal. They had never heard of it which surprised me but they liked it. Madam La even asked me what was in it which usually means they like it-if they don’t gasp and make a face and ask with horror.

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I made a little salad as the main course was going to be rather heavy. I served it on my little fish plates which were a gift from an American friend. I should have put shrimp on the salad with those plates but, oh well.

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This photo doesn’t show the ribs very well. I cut them into manageable pieces. They tasted good. We ordered them from a butcher in our little village to be sure there would be enough.

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I made a good ol American potato salad and, also, some beans that I doctored up with onions and bacon and a bit of brown sugar to make them taste like what I have in Texas when we eat at a barbeque place.

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We had three kinds of cheese all made in the region, two chevre, one cow.

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Dessert was a French one with poached peaches, vanilla ice cream and a raspberry sauce-easy and very good.

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We ate outside on our balcony and had on one side, the horrible view of the tent. Here are some of the chefs they had there taking a break. Maurice had me take all sorts of photos to present to various people he has come up with-Friends of Chatelaillon, the local newspaper and the leader of the party opposite of the mayor. Hopefully, we won’t have to have this in our view again. There were fireworks last night but, this being Sunday, no one worked to bring the tent down. Such is Beach Life.