Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Better With Butter.

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Sunday, March 5, 2011

We had gone to bed early on Saturday night, worn out from all the traveling. But after a good nights sleep, we were ready to explore. We were very glad that Darcy had brought along her electric kettle. It enabled us to wake up with a cup of coffee before going out to find some breakfast. After our pastries and more coffee, we began to walk in the direction of the beach. I enjoyed looking at the old stone houses along the way, many of them with the traditional bright blue shutters of Brittany. The boulder-strewn beach was beautiful with the morning sun glinting on the water. I would never have imagined that my first contact with the Atlantic ocean would be from "across the pond". 


Darcy and Craig on the beach at Carnac.

We began to meander back toward the center of Carnac, and found a cute little place in which to have lunch. It was decorated inside with a nautical theme, and as it was a bit early for lunch, it was uncrowded. We chose grillettes, which are tasty open-faced grilled sandwiches made with hearty, rustic bread. Craig ordered one with egg, cheese, and jambon cru, which is a bit like proscuitto. Darcy and I each selected a sandwich made with lardons, tomato, cheese, oregano, and olive oil. They were quite tasty. My lunch was accompanied by a Breton cola, which I really liked, while Craig and Darcy had a dry cider. 


The delightful grillette.

After lunch, we decided to walk down toward the site of the Alignments of Carnac. It was a long walk, but very pretty, with lots of old houses and beautiful gardens. Soon, we began to see some of the mysterious, standing stones. We also discovered a charming pathway through the woods that was walled on either side with rough, mossy stones. We followed the little lane until it became too muddy and we were forced to turn back. There was a brisk breeze blowing in, and the evening was drawing near, so we turned back toward the hotel once again.


A lovely, old stone wall on a pathway in Carnac.

Our first glimpse of the standing stones.

We rested in the hotel room for a while, watching a sitcom on the laptop. When we finally went out to look for a place to have  dinner, we found only a few restaurants open. We chose Chez Marie again, and did not regret our decision. Craig ordered the Tartiflette, which was what I had enjoyed so much the night before. Darcy had a gallette made with spinach, ham, egg, and cheese. My selection was ham, cheese, egg, and tomato. Yummy! This time, we ordered dessert crepes as well, or at least Darcy and I did. We both selected a delicious chocolate-orange crepe which was so good we almost licked the plate! As we were waiting for our crepes, we were having a discussion about Breton crepes and wondered just why they were so much better than the crepes in other parts of France. Is it the fresh, local ingredients? The buckwheat? The famed Brittany butter? Darcy was seated in such a way that she had a slight view into the kitchen. As we were talking, she said, "I think they are making our dessert now. No, wait, they just put down a block of cheese, so that can't be it." Then she got an incredulous look on her face and said, "That wasn't cheese. That was BUTTER! That IS our dessert!" So now at least part of the mystery was solved. Butter, and loads of it. The key to a true Breton crepe.


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