Friday, August 29, 2008

A Picnic? No Two!

Those who live in Southern France know how to enjoy people and foods. The place--- Lauzettes, one of the La Gramiere vineyards that overlooks the village of Castillon du Gard, the evening, warm with gentle breezes, the people, friends and soon to be friends of Amy and Matt's, our daughter and son-in-law, the occasion, a summer's picnic. All who were invited brought a dish to share and something to put on the grill.

We arrived about an hour before to help set up tables, grills, and wine glasses, of course. The grapes are a deep purple hidden amongst the leaves just waiting for the perfect moment to be picked. Friends began to arrive, some we knew and others that we would know before the evening ended. I had made a tomato tart with ingredients from the Saturday market. As the sun set in the crimson sky we feasted upon all the wonderful foods.

The following evening, our neighborhood had a picnic outside our front door. We placed candles in all of our windows, set up tables, two wonderful paintings hung on the walls of our neighbors home, and of course, the gleaming Christmas tree lights. Michele, the artist, created this creature on the temporary light pole that should be moved in about 20 years. The people, fascinating. The lady who had been mayor of the village for 35 years, Albert and Pierre who presented a delicious sangria, Nicole who was going to Alexandria to head schools, Nana who is on the village council, Odette who we wave to each morning as she walks to get her bread. Wine flowed, food was shared, new friends were made. It was midnight as we cleaned up. Albert and Pierre enticed us to join them for a drink at their home. Of course, we couldn't refuse---or didn't want to. The drink? A choice of Verveine or a Thyme liquor both from plants they had collected from the garrigue, the dense low growing forests at the edge of the vineyards. At 1:30 we wondered home---glad we didn't have to drive!

Enjoy a wonderful summer weekend with friends. We will think of you.

À bientôt,

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