Maurice and I try to walk just about every day. Here are some things I’ve seen since we got back to our beach place.

I love seeing red poppies in the Spring. I usee to see a lot more in Provence, fields of them, and maybe I will find a field full of poppies (coquelicot in French) here but, in the meantime, one or two brighten my day.

Friday is the big market day in our village. We bought some fish for lunch. I always like looking at all of the varieties and the lovely patterens you see.

Paella to go.

Roasted chicken for sale. I don’t buy it if it’s been sitting as it isn’t juicy enough for me.

 Maurice and I kept seeing hikers here and there in France doing the famous Camino de Santiago, also known as Saint James way. It is the name of pilgrimage routes to the shrine of James, the Apostle in northwestern Spain. Many follow the routes as a form of spiritual growth and the path goes through many towns with churches or cathedrals where pilgrims often spent the night. It is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages done and is now on the UNESCO list as a world heritage site. It is done by the religious or by those who love to hike or just for the challenge. All of this to inform you that Maurice and I are doing a small portion of it, the part seen on the map starting at Air-sur-l’Adour almost all the way to Spain at St-Jean-de-Port. If you have seen the movie, The Way, this is where the journey starts by a father whose son died on The Way.  It’s a pretty good movie and gives you an idea of what it is like. So, we are using a company that will take our suitcase to each stop so we don’t have to carry everything in a backpack. Some of the days will be really long and I hope we are in good enough shape to do it. I guess, if we are near a road or highway we can call for a taxi. We will see. I’m hoping our daily walks will make it easier. I will write about it of course when we return. You can follow me on Instagram at Linda Pennington-Mathieu or on Facebook at Linda Mathieu where it will be mostly in real time.

A Fun Experience

A friend and I were exploring the area around rue Montorgueil and she took me in to look at a restaurant, le Comptoir de la Gastronomie, which not only served food but also sold food items. They have ravioli stuffed with foie gras which draws a lot of people. It has a great interior as well.

One shot of the interior.

Another view.

This little place was right across the street. As we were exiting the restaurant, my friend saw a girl eating what looked like really good panna cotta and commented on it and then told them of another place that had even better. The couple, a father and daughter who turned out to be from Amsterdam, asked more questions and my friend had so much information-she’s a foodie-that they asked us to sit down and have a glass of wine so we did and had a really delightful conversation with them. They were so much fun that when they invited us to share a meal with them the next evening, we accepted. People who love food often make instant connections. I love food and trying new places but am no gourmet by any means but I’m game for new experiences.

We passed this interesting entrance as we walked to the bus stop with an Agnes B. shop behind.

What We Ate

As you might expect, the food is a bit different in the Alsace area with a bit of a German twist.

img_2404 This is choucroute which we can buy in Paris but I wanted to try it in the place of its origin. It’s all pork cuts. I am not a fan of fat so only eat the meaty parts but it is still very rich. I mostly enjoy the sausage which you can’t see on the other side. That is fried potato on the top but usually the potatoes are boiled and there is often carrot. It’s served on top of cabbage, sauerkraut really, but cooked in white wine. I only have this dish once a year because it is so rich and filling.

img_2428 Of course, there are pretzels (they are called bretzels here) for sale everywhere. This is a night shot so sort of dark. Sometimes they make them a dessert and dip them in chocolate or fill a softer version with eclair like fillings.

img_2446 Here are some with various fillings in the middle. I didn’t try any but they looked good to me.

img_2468 We had this dish several times, a sort of Alasian pizza called a Tarte Flambé on a very thin crust, white sauce, onions, lardons and cheese. It’s very good and not as filling as a pizza can be.

img_2443 There were lots of sweets made into the form of gingerbread men, and a lot of sweet spiced bread too.

An Easy Lunch

I was at a new to me street in Paris, Rue Daguerre, which is very similar to that street made famous by Rick Steves called Rue Cler, but without tourists everywhere. There were lots of places to eat and, especially, lots of places to buy food to take home-an easy lunch.

img_1608 Roasted chickens ready to go. I never buy them like this because they could have been sitting for a long time. I don’t like the taste or texture of chicken if it’s not hot off of the rotisserie.

img_1609 Potatoes roasted beneath the chickens.

img_1610 I saw that Mont d’Or cheese is now for sale. It’s wonderful baked in an oven and served with ham and bread but you can have it as is. Most French have cheese after a meal.

img_1611 Mushrooms have arrived with Autumn.

img_1612 Figs are everywhere.

img_1613 All of the sudden, there are plums too.

So there you have it-an easy lunch.


Night Shots

I am seldom out at night, especially in the summer when it gets dark so late but the other day I met a friend for a drink late enough that the sun had set and the lights of places came on. The always look better to me when they are lit up.

Inside a restaurant with a nicely lit bar.

Look at these wonderful cheeses for sale.

A place to eat looking tempting.

A little store selling especially good looking fruits and vegetables.

Seen one evening not too far from our place as I walked with Maurice.

Italian Food and Drink

I love Italian food. I try and make a few dishes of my own when I cook but they never taste as good. We had some great lasagne with about twelve layers of pasta, very thin, and not a lot of sauce as I tend to do. So good.

This is fritelle, a pastry that is only made during carnival. It is either plain or filled with cream or custard.

Here are two with bites taken. I ate quite a few while there.

We had a cocktail called a Spritz every day. It’s made with an orange liqueur, prosecco-an Italian champagne, and soda. It tastes like Italy to me.

Maurice had beer one time at a little place and it came out in this cute glass boot.

There is a boat on one canal selling fruit and vegetables.

Pretty pasta for sale in a window.