Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Little Celebration

Pages From Jan's Travel Journal: Thursday, May 26 2016

After our morning coffee and pastries, Darcy headed off to work. Craig, Mathieu, and I had decided to do some shopping to find a gift to celebrate Darcy's second Master's degree. I convinced the men that she would really appreciate some kitchen cabinets to add to what little she had. That would give her additional storage and prep space, which was desperately needed in her tiny kitchen. 

I just had to get a photo
of the variety of breads at our nearby bakery.
Mathieu drove us to a large hardware store, something I would compare to a home center back home. With measurements in hand, we looked over several different styles of cabinetry and eventually decided on a nice white set with pewter grey countertop and handles. It had drawers and cupboards, and we even added a pull-out spice rack. The guys drove me back to the apartment and then set out again to stuff the unassembled cabinets into the back of the car and bring them home. Just as they were lugging the heavy boxes up the stairs, Darcy returned home unexpectedly and we were busted! She was at first curious and then delighted when she found out what we had done.

We broke for lunch before tackling the assembly of the new cabinets. At a little cafe on Rue Jeanne D'arc, sitting in the open air, we enjoyed delicious crocque monsieur sandwiches and crisp fries along with a lovely view of the cathedral. Then, back we went to assemble the cabinets, while Darcy returned to the university. It was a much more lengthy and difficult task than we had anticipated, but we managed to put together everything except the spice rack before Darcy returned home again. 

Lunch at a sidewalk cafe always tastes better!
Darcy was very pleased with the gift we had chosen. We were in a celebratory mood, and it was made more festive with the addition of fresh, hot gougeres and kir royale. Mathieu had whipped up the savory gougeres as Craig and I finished the assembly of the cabinetry. By the time we had finished the wonderful apero, we were ready for the short drive to La Ferté de St Aubin.

Apero to toast Darcy's accomplishment!
We had originally planned to visit the Chateau de la Ferte St Aubin, also known as the castle of toys, and then have dinner at La Sauvagine. However, the cabinet assembly had taken a while, and we were too late to be admitted to the Chateau. Instead, we wandered the streets of the village and popped into a few of the shops there. 

Chateau de la Ferte St Aubin, a castle of games and toys.

The unassuming exterior of La Sauvagine. 
Dinner at La Sauvagine was everything we had hoped it would be. The menu is limited, but the food is delicious. We were seated at a table near the window, where we began our meal with ewe's milk cheese spread on slices of fresh baguette. I had chosen a rabbit terrine as my appetizer. It was served with more crusty bread, a dark red onion jam, and crunchy pickles. My main course was a dish of tender pork cheeks in a mushroom cream sauce, accompanied by thick-cut fries, pureed carrots, and tiny green beans. It was wonderful! I passed on the cheese tray and enjoyed a dessert of pear cake with caramel sauce and a scoop of caramel ice cream. We were all very happy with the delightful restaurant and went home feeling quite satisfied. 

I could have made a meal from just the appetizer!

A delightful main course at la Sauvagine.

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