Friday, October 20, 2006

Market Day in Lourmarin

This morning we were offered a smorgasbord of the finest offerings in Provence at the weekly Lourmarin market. Truthfully I have never seen such a market anywhere. There was every variety imaginable of cheese, salami, bread, olives, fruit, tablecloths, scarves, hats, leather, and so many other things. This was not a market where people bargain, but a lot of money was changing hands.

We bought small gifts and lots of food, even a rotisserie chicken that came with roasted potatoes and onions. We found whole grain bread that should cure David’s constipation. We found artichokes the size of a large fist.

Kris and I returned to La Maison des Iris (our house) to assemble a daube, one of the most famous dishes in Provence. It is a combination of meats and vegetables that marinate in red wine and olive oil anywhere from several hours to a couple of days and then get cooked for about 5 hours. We had fresh herbs from here and there to add to the daube. I’ll give you a report when we actually cook and eat it.

This afternoon we went our separate ways. Kris and Bill took the car to do a hike recommended by Anton, the South African owner of our house. David and I launched off on bicycles toward the next town of Lauris. We got slightly intimidated by the big trucks whizzing by us on a busier road that was still narrow with no shoulder. So we turned off onto a smaller road that proceeded to get steep fast. That’s the point when I threw a tantrum, complaining about having to work so hard to have fun. I must say that David is good when I fall apart like this. He just kindly suggested we retrace our steps and head back toward home, stopping when we needed to.

On the way back, I spied a sign off the main road in the opposite direction advertising a winery. We rode for a little ways with grapes growing as far as the eye could see. Sure enough the winery of Chateau Constantin-Chevalier appeared up a driveway off to the left. After tasting three recommended wines, we settled on a fruity white that will go well with the rotisserie chicken.

The winery. The archway is the tasting room.

By the time we got back, I was in a much better frame of mind, anticipating sitting down to write, looking at my pictures, and thinking of eating again. It’s a good thing I am having to pedal hard uphill with all the calories I am consuming every day!

This is Batshik, a 6-month-old adorable resident of Lourmarin. Isn't he adorable?


Blogger wharman said...

It looks and reads like you're having many memorable adventures. I feel jealous but am enjoying living vicariously.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I want a hat. A dog. A trip to France... What beautiful pictures and stories.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Had to chuckle at your "working hard to have fun" comment but glad a cup of wine smoothed the way. Food, good weather, wine, more food, and those delightful hats (I like the pink one with rose embellishment) make a perfect day. Thanks for sharing.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

The Vicarious unite!

I, too, am living the moments through your writing and fantastic illustrative pictures.

Luv ya,

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all having so much fun!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

No vacation is complete without at least one meltdown. You are definitely getting your money's worth of Provence. I salute you.

Hey is that purple thing a rattle? SO KEWL ... loving the pics and the stories. Thank you1

9:29 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

These colourful pics make me really want to be there at the market looking at all the other things you saw! I'd have loved all those hats! And the fresh produce. Looks like you are eating very healthy meals. Continue to enjoy and keep on biking!

(My internet has been down for a few days so I couldn't "see" you!)

9:34 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I'm glad you like the purple thing and it is not a rattle. It is very special and I will tell you all about it when I get home.

Everyone -- I'm so enjoying your comments. My daily post has now become part of the conversation of my traveling partners. We have fun deciding what I should write and which pics to use.

I have decided to send everyone who comments a little souvenir when I return. You will just need to send me your mailing address via e-mail.

4:28 PM  

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