Saturday, October 6, 2012 — We Move to the Mas

Off early to dialysis. The traffic, surprisingly, was heavier despite it being a weekend morning.

David headed back to Riboto to pack the car. He chatted with Christine and Philippe about getting together next week for a lunch or dinner at a new restaurant in Tarascon that – despite a less than desirable location – was getting rave reviews. Then it was off to get me and move on to Eygalieres and our home in the mas (farmhouse).

As we had some time to burn before meeting Guy to get the key, we decided to grab lunch at Bistro L’Aubergine, a local favorite. As we stepped through the front gate, Alex, the owner, greeted us with a “welcome back!” We chatted a bit, then took a table on the delightful shaded terrace. We perused the menu and wine list while Alex brought us up to date on all that was new in Eygalieres.

We started with two kir, to be followed by a bottle of Domaine Vallongue rose. The menu continues to be very appealing, especially with the addition of such dishes as osso buco which I opted for. It’s a difficult dish to do right, so I was sort of crossing my fingers it would be good. Alex presented a platter of crostini with Serrano ham, green-olive tapenade, and a crab spread. All of them were right on the mark, and took the edge off our appetite. David started with a marinated salmon with tagliatelle, which he said was excellent. He went with a couer du thon (heart of tuna) for his main dish. That, and my osso buco were terrific. All in all, a nice meal. With promises to return before our departure, we headed down the road to the mas.

Patrick, the delightful caretaker who has become a friend, greeted us and helped move our stuff into the house. We chatted a bit, then turned to unpacking for our short stay, promising to meet him later at the Cafe d Centre for a glass of wine. It was nice to be back in the mas. It’s like being home. We know where everything is and how everything works.

David set up the computer while I unpacked, then it was time to head into the tiny village to shop. We hit the epicerie (general store) to get paper goods, vegetables, ham, cheese, wine, water, juice, etc. Being full from lunch, we decided for dinner we would just have a baguette with ham and cheese (we got both Emmenthal and Comte) with some Amora mustard and mayo.

A second stop at the boulangerie (bakery) to get two baguettes and a sacrastain (wonderful breakfast pastry) filled the bill. We put everything in the trunk of the car and headed for the Cafe du Centre.

It was crowded, but we found two seats at a table on the sidewalk. Chrystelle, the cheerful waitress, arrived to welcome us back in both French and halting but charming English. I beamed when she said “The same – la meme” and headed off to get two glasses and a half liter of local white wine with a glass of ice on the side. Nice to be known.

Patrick showed up and joined us in finishing the carafe, and another. Lots of laughs as we traded stories and enjoyed the early evening. Then it was back to the mas and our baguettes.

Tomorrow will be a rain day – catch up on laundry and the like. Probably get a poulet fermier (farm chicken) to roast for dinner.

Nice to be back.

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