Today I find myself in Rome, at the midpoint between leading a tour in France and one in Italy. Tomorrow morning five ladies and I head off by train, and then rental cars, to begin our adventure through the wonderful hill towns of Tuscany.
As I look back on the past two weeks in France, besides the wonderful castle we stayed in and the great new friendships that were formed, my thoughts are all about savoring the food we enjoyed along the way. Fresh-that-morning bread and pastries straight from the bakery truck that comes to the village four times a week; huge chunks of savory cheeses; olives freshly picked from nearby groves, prepared using this year's crop. To export them they must be pasteurized, after which a little of the flavor is lost. You just can't get them like this at home, so I always take the opportunity to indulge whenever one presents itself.
And just like at home, much of the socializing was done over the food. One night we had a fabulous meal cooked for us ‘at home,’ to which we invited the owners of the chateau, and at which we learned all about their history and that of the castle. Turns out it has been in the wife's family since 1750!
Two local events were held on the castle grounds while we were there as well, both followed by a potluck, just as we would do it at home, but with slightly different dishes, such as quiche (of course), and pastries. Wanting to do something typically American, we prepared deviled eggs, which were gobbled up quickly - a little cross-country pollination.
More than ever before, this trip brought home to me the true meaning of ‘it's' all about the food,’ all over the world.
On a note closer to home, don't forget to sign up for the Chamber's Fun Bus outing to Cedar City.