Sunday, May 9, 2010

Prettiest Table in Provence

We love Aix-en-Provence; a beautiful town, vibrant with activity, narrow streets with pretty squares all surrounded by cafés and lots of shops to explore.

We always go to La Victoire, a store for tissus, fabric, that has been in business since 1918. We have purchased typical material from Provence for curtains, place mats and had table cloths made to order for Bistro Des Copains.

On Monday, we headed to Aix-en-Provence for a visit to La Victoire with an interim stop for dejeuner, lunch with my first cousin, once-removed (I Googled to figure out the difference between a second cousin and a first cousin-once removed) Annick.

Annick lives northwest of Aix-en-Provence on the outskirts of a small village called Rognes. We decided to travel the tourist route through the Luberon to get to her house. On the way, we drove past Lacoste and through Bonnieux and Lourmarin before we got to Rognes.

We arrived at her beautiful country house and were happy to see not only Annick but my first cousin Ginette there too. They had set the table with flowers and sprigs of fresh thyme were at every place setting. It looked and smelled of Provence. It was the prettiest table I have ever seen.

Together, they had prepared a wonderful array of appetizers to spread on thin slices of baguette including Roquefort cream, anchovy cream, tomato tapenade, black olive tapenade and green olive tapenade. Really yummy!

For our main course, they had roasted potatoes with gigot d'agneau. The dripping fat of the lamb turned the potatoes golden brown. To accompany the lamb, we had mushrooms in a cream sauce and tasty cucumber salad.

To finish we had home-made fresh strawberry tart with a strawberry coulis sauce. I wrote down the recipes for the various appetizers and strawberry coulis the best I could.

In response to questions about how much of something, I got "au pif", use your best guess. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Afterwards, we headed to Aix-en-Provence for shopping and drinks in one of the many cafés. The highlight of the day was that pretty table.

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