Thursday, August 27, 2015

Our Last Day in Orléans. For Now.

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: April 30, 2015

It was a cool, grey morning, just perfect for sleeping late. We listened to the soft sounds of jazz as we woke up over coffee and eclairs and began to plan our day. The four of us decided to walk over to CarreFour together. We had many items to purchase for the barbecue we were planning that evening. I also picked out a few little things to take home. As we left the market, a light, chilly rain began to fall.

Mmm, coffee eclairs!

We cleaned house a bit, and also prepared some of the food for the evening meal. At lunchtime, Darcy decided to make something special. It was a fabulous cheese fondue. Darcy had brought out her rectangular slates and placed attractive little heaps of bread, apples, ham, and vegetables upon them. It was a delicious meal. The piping hot cheese dish was perfect on that rainy day.

Ready for dipping into the cheese fondue.

The fondue was a special treat.

Soon, Mathieu had to leave for work. The rest of us had planned to meet some of Darcy's students, who were joining us for coffee to practice their English. We gathered at the cathedral, and then walked across to Lutece, where we sat inside, out of the rain, and ordered coffee and hot chocolate. Only two students had showed up, but we all had a very nice time chatting. The minutes flew by, and before we knew it, two hours had passed!

It was time to prepare for the barbecue. Craig and I were looking forward to seeing Muriel and Thierry again. I sliced and lightly sugared a big bowl of fresh strawberries. Darcy prepared a broccoli-raisin salad, which is always a surprising dish to French people. They simply don't eat raw cauliflower or broccoli. Then, my daughter and I prepared the beef patties by adding crushed, fried onions and a couple of tablespoons of catsup to the meat. Because it was still raining, we knew we would have to cook the hamburgers inside. It was hard to complain about the weather. Every day had been nearly perfect until then. Into each life a little rain must fall, right? We arranged little dishes of munchies on the table for apero. We had several flavors of tiny, soft cheeses, along with dry sausage, a hard cheese flavored with toasted cumin seeds, and some chips and dip. The dip was made from a mix that Darcy had brought from America. Chip dip is another thing the French aren't really familiar with.

After Mathieu's parents arrived, Darcy took orders for cocktails. Muriel, Thierry, and I had amaretto sours, Craig tried a gin fizz, Mathieu a kir, and Daryi enjoyed a bramble. Darcy is a great bartender - the drinks were wonderful. The meal was a hit, too. The juicy burgers topped with a slice of cumin cheese, served on brioche buns were delicious, as were the Toulose sausages and the salad. Muriel and Thierry had brought a couple of bottles of Vouvray to accompany the meal, and we also enjoyed the bottle of wine I had purchased in Sancerre. For dessert, we split open some golden madeleine cakes and topped them with the sliced strawberries and whipped cream. They were wonderful! 

That was such a fun evening with which to end our visit to Orléans. The next day, we would be heading back to Paris. 

A neighborhood cat on the rooftop in Orléans.

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