Saturday-Wednesday, September 16-20, 2017 – At the Mas

Awoke bright and early on Saturday morning and headed to Salon de Provence for Bev’s dialysis. Traffic was light, so we got there right on time. Only hang up was that exit from Hospital wasn’t functional. No way to open security gate unless you have special card – which we don’t. Finally, an ambulance driver behind me hopped out and swiped his card.

Stopped at the Boulangerie in Orgon to get Bev some treat treats – almond sacristain, pain au chocolate, chocolate mini beignets, and a couple of baguettes. The smell from the bakery was wonderful. Out the door and back to the mas.

Picked up Bev around 11: 30 and headed home. We had a light lunch at the Mas and then headed out locally to do some sightseeing. For dinner, one of our favorite spots beckoned, Bistrot l’Aubergine, run by good friends Alex and Christine. Bev had moules and frites, while David followed the salmon sashimi with Alex’s ‘mile-high’ Provencal burger with truffles, multiple cheeses, poivron rouge, etc. Both were great. We downed a bottle of Estoublon Rose with no problem, then sat and chatted with Alex and Christina for a bit. We’ll go back next Saturday at the latest, when Anne and Jay arrive, as it is a favorite with them.

Sunday we slept in late, trying to shake off our jet lag. Breakfast was the remnants of David’s foray to the boulangerie. We went into town for a last minute shopping session, getting some Bresse chicken, Jambon a los, cheeses, and salad stuff. We drove to St. Remy for lunch, but found that the entire population of the EU was there eating and drinking. The closest parking spot was in Boston, via the air ferry. So, it was on to Maussane, one of our favorite small villages. The entire population of Spain had apparently made the trek there to dine and browse through the booths at market day, which is every Sunday, and there was nowhere to eat except for the Café du Centre, which doesn’t serve food, but refers you to the pizzeria next door for sandwiches and/or pizza. David got us a sandwich with ham, cheese, and butter, and we downed a carafe of rose. We always enjoy our time on the square in Maussane, next to the Church. For dinner, I cooked the chicken thighs together with potatoes and bacon. On the side, we had a salad of Bibb lettuce, Comte cheese, and incredible local mushrooms, with dressing made from local olive oil and vinegar. What more could you want?

Monday is a ‘dead’ day in Provence. Almost everything is closed. We went to Paulette, the delightful new bistrot on the main street, but they were full, so instead we ambled down to the Café Progress which is virtually always open. I had a plate of (excellent) frites for lunch, while David had a tomato salad with Buratta. After getting some ‘moving in’ chores done, we had a light snack, then turned in. Tomorrow is a dialysis day.

After dialysis, we decided to drop in at Mas du Capoun in nearby Molleges, one of our favorite lunch spots, run by friends who moved to Provence to Belgium. Although they were full (they always are), they found a table for two for us and we enjoyed catching up on local news, news of their family (their son is now studying at a University in Miami), and feasting on their wonderful food. David had a tuna carpaccio to start, and I had butternut ravioli, followed by a roast Daurade (Sea Bream) for both of us. We promised to come back with Anne and Jay when they arrive, and waddled down the road. For dinner, we decided to have the rest of the Bresse chicken we had bought on the weekend. David trimmed it, and I pounded it thin. I sautéed it in butter, olive oil, lemon and wine, then finished it in the oven. It was terrific, and, in due course, all of it was consumed.

Wednesday we decided to head to St. Remy to try our luck again at one of the bistrots. It was market day, so we couldn’t find a parking spot. We decided to continue on to Fontvielle and eat at Bistrot Mogador, which is at the Estoublon vineyard. David called ahead and got a table for two. The weather was gorgeous, not a cloud in sight, with light breezes. The countryside here is mostly olive groves and vines, with a few fruit orchards. Very pretty. We pulled into Estoublon and found that there were only two other diners, a sign of things to come. The vineyard is owned by the owner of Breitling, and his wife runs the dining establishment. She is hard to get along with, so that the culinary team generally lasts only a year or two at the most. For the past few change overs, the food has remained good, but not with the most recent switch. We sat for about 30 minutes while four servers meandered around with nobody to wait on. Finally, they took our order, and then it was a 45 minute wait while they prepared our food.  We didn’t mind too much, as it as a gorgeous day, and we enjoyed a chilled Estoublon rose. Finally, David’s starter of St. Marcellin cheese with hazelnuts appeared. Not bad, but not exceptional. Another 30 minutes passed until my Tomato Stuffed Aubergine showed up, along with David’s Cabillaud (cod). The Aubergine was bitter, and David’s cod was over seasoned and over cooked.  Really a shame, as this has always been a great spot – wonderful setting under the Plane (Sycamore) trees.

After lunch, we would wind our way back to St. Remy, which was now empty. One of the major draws of St. Remy is that they have multiple ATMs, allowing us to fill up with Euros. Eygalieres only has one. We got some Euros and then popped into Chai 21, a local wine bar that we enjoy. They have a great selection, along with sides of charcuterie and cheeses. We pulled up a table, and relaxed with two glasses of Terres Blanches, one of our favorite local wines from a vineyard that adjoins Eygalieres. After people and dog watching for an hour or so we hopped in our trusty Audi A4 wagon and drove to the Mas.

David put a few loads of laundry in the works while I tried to decide what to have for dinner. As all we had on hand was salad and sandwich stuff, that’s what we went with, which was perfect.

 

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