Early this morning we headed for Salon-de-Provence to the clinic. David swung back around and picked me up at 11:15. As we had nothing planned, we stopped at a roadside stand selling fruits and vegetables. The one thing we couldn’t resist were the fresh cherries. We bought one kilo which is about 2.2 lbs. After deciding there was nothing else we needed at the moment, we headed to St. Remy, as the farmhouse was lacking a few items like a good vegetable peeler and a cruet for vinaigrette, and we needed some good tomatoes and parsley to make pasta.
Our first stop was at Art & Cook, a shop equivalent to a Sur La Table or Williams & Sonoma. We discovered a treasure trove of wonderful kitchen gear – Le Creuset, Emile Henry, Wusthof knives, Oxo utensils, and much more. I picked up a cruet, and an Oxo peeler, then we added a serrated Wusthof knife – sort of a combination that can be used for anything from vegetables to bread slicing. Prices were lower than at home, which was a plus.
Then, it was 50 metres down the street to the vegetable store. This spot is one of two in St. Remy with terrific produce, but this one has become a favorite, as parking is easier, and they have a great selection of additional items such as sausages, specialty cheeses like Burrata, condiments of all types, great pastas, and much more. David picked out some green asparagus and garlic, while I picked out the parsley, pasta, fantastic looking strawberries, and a few other items.
Our final stop was the Intermarché. The one in St. Remy caters to a broader, more upscale clientele, so has more choices, especially in cheeses and meats. David headed to the meat counter to get some jambon Delices des Papes, which is one of the best hams you can buy. Four slices were added to our larder for sandwiches. At the cheese counter, some St. Marcellin from la Mere Richard caught my eye. This is an incredibly good cheese, and – unlike some other selections – I don’t have to be convinced to buy it. Two small disks were quickly joined by some 30-month-old Comté (similar to Parmesan) and a hunk of Grand Cru Emmenthal for sandwiches.
David found our main objective, cans of San Marzano tomatoes, and I added a few more items like tomato paste, Italian bread, and cookies. We picked up a couple of bottles of Mas de la Dame rosé wine, in case of guests, and headed to the checkout. As always, we forgot to bring our shopping bags, so had to buy them. By the time we leave, I’m sure we will have 20-30. Usually we bring some home as they are larger and stronger than US bags and a real help in shopping.
We meandered home, where David made me a sandwich for lunch – a baguette with jambon and cheese and Amora mustard, and some of our fresh fruit.
As the afternoon was quickly slipping away, I started on making sauce. Some olive oil and garlic for starters, then the San Marzanos. I was pleased that these broke down fairly quickly, releasing their flavor. Some of the ones at home are very firm and do not break down easily. A few more secret ingredients (David cooked and added some San Daniele prosciutto for flavor), the “boatmotor” to blend things, and then we let everything simmer for an hour or so while we enjoyed some music.
With everything in good order, we went into Eygalières for a glass of wine and some people watching at Café du Centre. David grabbed a baguette and a sacrastain (think a small baguette made from puff pastry with almond paste and powdered sugar) and joined me at the table. Sarah, a local woman who we have met before strolled up with her dog, a magnificent Rhodesian Ridgeback. The woman is English, but lived in Australia and California before settling in Eygalières. The dog, named Jungle, always seems sad. We petted him and he seemed to respond to us. It is strange interacting with a dog whose head is bigger than Lucy, but is so much quieter.
A carafe of rosé later, and we headed back to the mas.
I heated the marinara while David got the pasta water to a boil. I put together a simple salad dressing for our fresh greens and avocado, which were wonderful – crisp and tasty, with the dressing a perfect blend of sour and sweet. David ate it all. I cooked some fresh tagliatellle, and dressed it with the sauce, while David grated some fresh parm. The marinara turned out very well, a simple meal, but wonderful.
David did the dishes while I caught up on posting some photos, a glass of rosé, and to bed.