Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quelle Surprise!,,,

Last night was sausage night at Maison Moulins and Mary and Hallie went all out, serving us seven different kinds of French sausage along with a green salad, the Fougasse we prepared in the afternoon, a flan made with last night's ratatouiille, and cornichons.

Everyone is now feeling pretty relaxed and truly having fun. For even those who only got to France on Sunday, the jet lag is gone and all are sleeping better and living on local time.

After we ate all the sausage that we could possibly eat, I was thinking about heading back to the hotel. It was almost 9 pm.

We'd cleared the table and Mary and Hallie were washing dishes, something I though a bit odd.

Then they brought out dessert, a chocolate tart they'd bought at a bakery.

Then, there was a loud knock at the door.

Hallie responded and then called me into the kitchen, looking like she needed me urgently.

And, there were my French friends who live in the Alps near Geneva, all four of them standing in the kitchen. They had driven 4 hours to come to see me.

I've known Veronique for 25 years. I met her when she was a high school student who had come to Ohio on an exchange program of two weeks. She and her classmates were on our flight to France and we got to talking.

This led to our long friendship. Just about every time I'm in France we arrange some kind of visit.

Now she is married to Cedric and has two charming daughters, Loanne and Noelyne.

I had hoped to visit with her during this trip, but decided that it would get complicated to try to get to her town. She told me she was too busy to come to Paris or Mollans.

And then, they all came to me for less than 24 hours...they had a party to go to back home this evening.

So they stayed at my hotel in Mollans and joined our group until after lunch.

We began the day in Buis les Baronnies where we shopped in shops for herb, fragrances, bread, pottery, wool, and other things that caught our fancy.

After stopping at a local maker of Eau de Vie for a tour of his facility, we made a breathtaking drive to Reilhanette to L'Oustau de la Font for lunch.

With a view of Mt. Ventoux across the gorge, or whatever the space way below might be called, we enjoyed a four-course lunch.

Some of the dishes we had included cold bean soup with shrimp, pâté, goat cheese in pastry, fish, veal, cheese, creme brûlée, melon soup and more, of course.

And then, it was time to say "au revoir.". But not until Cedric devoured his enormous Profiterole, called the "Ventoux" for the mountain in the distance. It's one of the restaurant's signature desserts and always on the menu.

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