Gorgeous Gordes! Perched on top of a mountain in the Luberon in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is this commune with a population of just over 2,000 people. The ride on the country roads from Marseille was full of curves, often steep, and oh-so-very-pretty as that legendary light so beloved by artists bathed the landscape with its hazy touch. At this time of year, there were not many tourists around and some shops were closed. But this is exactly how hubby and I like it so it was all for the best. The lovely lunch of white fish beurre blanc on the small village square was simple and scrumptious, and that lovely delicate rosé from the area is just like Provence itself – light, refreshing, with a perfume of fern, lemon and a touch of fruits. 

This trip has been a gentle reminder of how beautiful this part of Europe is. It’s been years since we’ve been back. I don’t want to stay away so long.


Vanilla and Cream

DSC_0882Someone brought home a vanilla pod, a gentle request for me to make panna cotta for him. And since he is the love of my life, I made panna cotta with blueberry coulis.
He’s now eating one and is giving it the thumbs up with silence, and the enthusiastic clink of spoon against glass.


ImageFriday night proof of true integration into the Dutch culture: sitting under a retractable awning at a neighborhood restaurant terrace while gulping 8% La Chouffe, listening to the wind blowing, seeing the rain falling, and taking huge bites of cheese lumpias dipped into jelly-like sweet-sour sauce. The red haze was from a wall-mounted patio heater so I had a toasty neck. Proost!


ImageKäsekopf, that’s what the Germans call the Dutch. I’m a cheesehead too now, fully integrated into the Dutch culture, having devoured several cheese wheels in more than a decade. Lactose intolerance? What’s that? It was a matter of gaining immunity after several slabs of cheese. And now it’s easy-peasy-yellow-cheesy on bread, on pasta, on vegetables, in soup, on rice, on fish and beef and chicken and pork, on cake, or on its own, pure, unadulterated goodness. Yum!