Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — More winds, more pasta in the mas

Just when we thought the winds had finally calmed down, they came back today with a vengeance.

We noticed the blustery gusts on our morning trip to the clinic in Salon. On the positive side, the winds resulted in a crystal clear day with brilliant sun. On the downside, the car was battered where the wind came directly from the side, AND – more importantly, the pollen count rose even higher. We were wheezing and sneezing, along with everyone else, and our eyes were itched and irritated.

We decided a casual lunch was in order, so stopped at the boulangerie at the roundabout in Orgon – the town next to Eygalières. The have an incredible array of pastries and baked goods, plus pizza slices, salads, and sandwiches for lunch. With the unfortunate decline of our boulangerie in the village, this has become the “go to” spot for many folks in the area, as the selection is awesome and the quality good. I picked out some pizza to take home for lunch, and my favorite breakfast pastry – sacristain. David got a fresh baked baguette so he could craft his own sandwich at home.

In no time (there were tail winds) we were back in the mas having lunch. I tossed the pizza in the oven to heat up, while David carved off a hunk of baguette and stuffed it with Amora mayo, jambon, and emmental cheese. I grabbed a bottle of Badoit sparkling water, David a bottle of Vittel (still), and we were ready for our authentic picnic lunch. We considered eating it outside on the terrace, but the winds made it unpleasant, so we ate at the kitchen table while David hooked the Jambox up to Jango radio so we could listen to Tomm Petty, and the like.

We had planned an excursion out, but the gusting winds continued, so we decided to make another batch of pasta. Having learned a bit from the last batch, I was confident that I could improve on the marinara.We had picked up some Rustichelli pasta in St. Remy, a new shape called casarecchia, like two tubes twisted together. I thought it would hold the sauce well.

I added garlic to some olive oil, while David diced up some San Daniele prosciutto we had gotten to give a little taste and body. When all looked good, in went two cans of Italian pelati tomatoes. These are similar to San Marazano, whole tomatoes which have been peeled and blanched. They make excellent sauce.

After simmering for a bit, I took the boat motor to blend everything, and then continued to simmer everything until it reduced more. The house had filled with aromas of garlic and tomato.

The pollen, even in the mas, had increased by consumption of muchoir (tissues) to a dangerous low, so we decided to let the sauce sit for a bit and go into town and pick up more. David popped into the local alimentation (general store) and returned with a 12-pack of mouchoirs, and two bottles of Terres Blanches rosé, one of our favorites. The buildings of the village gave some shelter from the winds, and the sun was shining, so we sat at Café du Centre for people (and doggie) watching – we miss our little Lucy. David raved about the fresh veggies that had just arrived at the store. The cepes were incredible – large, white, and virtually flawless. We toyed with adding them to the sauce, but decided not to.

I got some Euro from the ATM, but when David tried, he again had problems getting them from his checking account using his debit card. We need a pile of them to pay for dialysis, as I am not covered under any health plan here.

The wind shifted direction, blowing down the street with enough velocity to blow glasses off the table, so we cut short our visit, and headed back to the mas.

We turned the heat on under the marinara to finish it. David put up the water for the pasta and grated some parm, while I made a salad. In short order everything was ready, and we enjoyed the pasta and salad. We both liked the casareccia, as it held the sauce very well, and made a note to get some when we get home.

With the wind still blowing outside, we finished our meal and turned in. Tomorrow we are going to Potager du Mas to see Franck and have one of their superb meals.



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