We’ve reconnected recently with an dear friend from our Air Force days – facebook is good for more than wasting time online after all. Ed and Bill were students together in their F-4 training, and immediately following that we were stationed together in Spain. I have such fond memories of our time together; it’s hard to believe that until last week, we’d only seen each other once in 30 years. It was on that visit that we got to meet his wife, Anne.
Bill and Anne are in the process of restoring a home in the Loire Valley. It’s a beautiful limestone structure built on a hill at the edge of a small village. Their architect has dated the oldest part of the home at 400 years with the most recent addition being 100 years old. The property is complete with a cave built into the side of the hill. There seem to be caves built into the side of every hill. We saw them as we drove into town lining the road, door after door opening into the base of the hills.
We speculated about the reason for all of these caves, shelter, aging cheese? No, that’s where everyone stores their wine! Caves are also becoming the stylish place for summer entertaining, it’s like having air conditioning outdoors.
We toured l’Islette, one of the many châteaux in the area. This stately home was a popular rendezvous in the late 1800s for the artists/lovers Camille Claudel and Rodin. I’ve just order the 1988 DVD, Camille Claudel, from amazon.co.uk to learn more about this love story.
Bill put together a wonderful picnic for us: sandwiches made with rilette on baguette as well as Camembert sandwiches, fresh peaches and tomatoes, a fine Chinon wine, and a bottle of water. We enjoyed this meal at a picnic table along the water on the l’Isette grounds, and it will become the standard by which all future picnic lunches are judged.
|In case you’re wondering 2005 was a very good year in Chinon|
|The perfect place for coffee after our lunch|
Catching on quickly to the fact that we are foodies, Bill suggested dinner at Auberge de Port Vallieres, a Michelin recommended, 1-fork restaurant. The meal was perfect, something I’ll want to review on my food blog. It was also a source of inspiration, giving me new ideas about recipes and presentation.
|Strawberries and rhubarb on cake with strawberry ice cream|
Careful readers will have noticed that Bill did this, Bill did that. I’m sorry to say our visit in France didn’t coincide with Anne’s time there. Hopefully, we will get a chance to know her better and it won’t take another 30 years. We visited Paris last year, but I have to say we both enjoyed this trip so much more. In addition to catching up with an old friend, meeting Bill and Anne’s neighbors, seeing their gardens, and visiting the local shops, it seemed like we had a much better grasp of France.
The next stop in our French adventure, Versailles!
An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.