Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Poulet Roti

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Friday, February. 27, 2009

This morning, we slept late and took our time getting ready for the day. When Darcy and Mathieu arrived, it was around 11:15. We drove to Auchan to buy groceries for Darcy, but first stopped in Flunch for a quick breakfast. No shopping on an empty stomach, right? I enjoyed my tasty trio of beignets - plain, raspberry filled, and chocolate filled. Mathieu had the same thing, while Darcy chose a marbled chocolate and coconut tart. Craig ordered a triple fruit tart which was made with apple, raspberry, and rhubarb atop a layer of custard.  It was such a fun experience to walk around in a large French grocery store. The prices were interesting, with some items priced much higher than I though they would be. For example, a little plastic basket with suction cups for the shower: 11 Euros! Many other items were much less than I had expected, such as a baguette for 37 cents, a big bag of onions for 1 euro, and a large jar of jam for 50 cents. That same jam is imported to the U.S., where it sells for nearly $5 a jar! Anyway, it was fun. We went back to Darcy's apartment to put everything away, while Mathieu left for work.

We visited this park, which is built atop a movie theater.

We then wandered around Orléans  for a while, stopping to see a little park near Darcy's apartment. It is unique in that it is built atop a movie theater. We spent some time on the banks of the Loire, before finally heading back toward our hotel. We made a quick stop at a market, where we purchased a golden brown, crisp, rotisserie chicken and some chips and fruit to eat in our room. Now, let me tell you about that chicken! In France, you will often see the rotisserie chickens (poulet roti) in wheeled, glass ovens out on the sidewalk in front of a shop. The plump birds roasting on their slow-turning spits send enticing aromas wafting up and down the street. You will be tempted to buy one of those chickens even if you aren't hungry! Below the spits, you will often see a pan heaped with cubed potatoes which are being continually basted with the savory, fragrant drippings from the meat cooking above. I have never seen the potatoes offered on the menu and I wonder... who gets those panfuls of deliciousness? The proprietor? Some special customers, perhaps? One day I will discover the answer. In the hotel room, we tore into the juicy chicken with our bare hands, as not one of us had remembered that we would have need of utensils! It was a tasty and memorable meal, as we talked and laughed, using some of my precious washcloths as napkins. The chicken was amazingly delicious and tender. The chips were like a cross between Munchos and Chipsters and were shaped like little smiling ghosts or monsters. The grandkids would love them! In fact, they are called "Monster Chips". I had purchased a bottle of Coke - the first one I have had in France. I had forgotten that Darcy once told me how much better the soft drinks taste here, because they are made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. I could really taste the difference. When we finished our indoor picnic, we walked across the street to the train station to purchase our tickets to Paris. Our trip was beginning to draw to a close.

Craig and Darcy enjoy a quiet moment beside the Loire.

TRAVEL TIP: You may want to pack some of your own washcloths when traveling to France. They are not provided in many hotels. The French prefer to use bath mitts, but I have yet to find one in a hotel there.

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