Les Vacances

France 2014-25-22



Move along, move along.  Nothing to see here, except vacation pics.  (Oh noooooooooo, vacation pictures?!)  This is a self-serve post–you can jump ship now, or you can take a gander at our trip.  I’ve put together three different galleries, to help with a bit of context.  St. Cirq Lapopie and the Sud-Ouest.  Meursalt and the Rando -Gourmande.  And last of all, Paris. Next week we return with something to eat.

The Ant and the Grasshopper… come for dinner.

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Eating a cricket involves a leap of faith.  I made that leap, along with a hundred and fifty other intrepid eaters at the Little Herds Future Food Salon event at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas last Wednesday night.  Crickets, it turns out, don’t taste too bad.  In fact, crickets and mealworms, in one form or another, are downright tasty.  Think crunch.  Think hazelnuts.  I’m serious.

Bike. Cook. Eat. Sleep. Provence.

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Every year Jody participates in a cooking-cycling tour.  People like traveling with what Jody jokingly refers to as a “GCC,” that is, a “genuine celebrity chef.”  Over the course of 5 – 7 days people bike, visit local restaurants, vineyards and artisan producers of local products, and help prepare a multi-course meal based on the local cuisine with lots of instruction and guidance from Jody.  Accommodations are typically cushy.  The biking ability of participants ranges from novice to expert and everybody has a great time.  People abandon any inclination to count calories (and why would you?) after they experience a day of pedaling about the countryside.  Most people return to the US with at least one new discovery–a technique or taste sensation.  The top contenders on this trip were peeled tomatoes and rabbit.   My own favorite was rouget, small red fish from the Mediterranean, undoubtedly delicious in lots of ways, but I can personally vouch for them sautéed in butter with a little lemon and parsley.  Runner up was smoked cod roe, which I’d never even heard of before this trip–creamy, rich, unbelievably good when spread on a fresh baguette.

Bicycle Spring Rolls

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There comes a time when every cyclist reaches into a jersey back pocket, extracts a pro-biotic hyper-nutrient choco-green exfoliant chia protein bar and instead of ripping away the wrapping like the savage carbo-craving road shark she is, she freezes.  Tongue, stomach and heart revolt.  A chilly voice in her head announces the rebel demands: We don’t want to eat an energy bar.  Ever.  Again.  Last year, reflecting on the long PanMass Challenge ride she’d just finished, Jody said to me, “I am sick of f_______ energy bars!  I can’t stand it!  Next year I’m going to make my own.”  Fortunately, she reconsidered.  And that’s why you’re being treated to Bicycling Spring Rolls this week.


[caption id="attachment_5422" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Cange woman. Cange woman.[/caption]

In February Jody and I and our two children Roxanne and Oliver, along with an old friend and great travelling companion, Bette Ann Harris, spent five days in Haiti.  Jody, who visited last year, wanted to check out Partners in Health’s new hospital at Mirebalais as well as see a bit of Haiti beyond the medical facilities.  BA, professor emerita of physical therapy at Massachusetts General Hospitals’s Institute of Health Professions, wanted to see the physical therapy program in action she designed with Andree LeRoy, PIH’s director of physical rehabilitation in Haiti.  Oliver, Roxanne and I were along to have our eyes opened.