Saturday, November 1, 2008

Au revoir, Provence

But I am only saying good-bye for three weeks. Tomorrow morning, November 2, I am taking the TGV and heading to northern France to visit my very good friend Ghislaine Mauduit in Montépilloy. Ghislaine and I have been friends for nearly 20 years. She teaches English in a Catholic middle school in Senlis. French schools are on vacation now due to Le Toussaint, All Saints' Day, today, November 1. Ghislaine is on break until next Friday and she has planned two days in the Champagne region in France for us. If you know me well, you know that I do love good champagne. I am sure we will have fun visiting a few cellars and tasting their sparkling "stars", as Dom Perignon reportedly said when he drank champagne for the first time. Bless him for discovering the process!
The photo above was taken on a recent outing to the Pont du Gard with clients. It was cold and windy that day. We had been to visit Véronique in Le Cailar to watch her make her beautiful pottery. We decided to take a detour on the way home, with Cindy, Jan and Susan in tow, to see this amazing Roman aqueduct.
I do not have much time for this posting since I haven't quite finished cramming too much into my suitcase so that I will be ready to go by 7:15 am tomorrow. When I am back and have time, I promise to write about the two cooking stages we just finished to end the 2008 season. I promise to fill you in on Jan, the most amazing woman who broke her arm upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport (and come to find out, 4 ribs were also broken in the fall), Cindy, her friend and taskmaster par excellence, Susan from Florida to whom I had the privilege of introducing the fabulous music of Moussu T and lei Jovents (sorry, Ken!), Jackie and Fred from LA (I promise to visit if only just to meet Toby the vegetable-eating dog) and the Helton family from British Columbia. Mom and Dad have taken 4 months off from work in order to make history come alive for their 12 year old twins. How awesome is that? The kids go to a French immersion school and are having a great time seeing real history. They ate dessert with us the past two nights. We ate like kings and queens this week, by the way. Wonderful comfort food, perfect for cold, rainy evenings. I have discovered that the sun does not shine ALL the time here. But fall here is beautiful, too. The B&B will now close at least through the end of December and maybe permanently. I hope not, though.
I will also be able to spend an entire week in Paris. I've booked a little hotel in the Rue Cler district and look forward to visiting a couple of museums I've never been to. There is a huge Picasso exhibit going on at the Grand Palais I hope to see. More news about the Paris trip in the next blog, too. It is going to be a great week in the City of Lights in more ways than one, I am quite sure! Rarely a dull moment with me here in France, that's for sure.
I also promise to post a list of books I have read about France, French life, French cooking, etc. Several people have asked and I will follow through, I promise!
But for now, au revoir et à bientôt!
Teresa, The Sabbatical Chef

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