Le dîner chez nous.

That's the bottle of wine, a wild boar saucisson, and the melty Mont d'or.  You can just see a bit of the Roquefort I used for the sauce as well.
That’s the bottle of wine, a wild boar saucisson, and the melty Mont d’or. You can just see a bit of the Roquefort I used for the sauce as well.

That’s French for dinner at home, in case you were wondering.  Which is what we do most nights- we don’t eat out that often- but last night’s dinner at home was special.  Eating well is part of the story of our time in France, a very important part of the story, and so I just want to write this little bit down so I can remember it.  And so, you get to know about it too.

We’ve been hanging on to this one particular bottle of wine for two months now, waiting for the right moment to open it.  Our time here is getting short, so we kind of decided it was now or never and made our own special occasion.  This bottle of wine is special for several reasons:  our Norwegian friends bought it for us while they were here, and spent WAY more money on it than we usually do.  And, this particular bottle was a grand cru, the best wine made from the best grapes of Burgundy.  It was a 2006 Echezeaux, from the Caves Réunies du Couvent des Cordoliers du 13eme Siecle, in case that means anything to you.  It does now to me.

We didn’t do much- who needs to, when you have a wine this good?  I simply warmed a round of Mont d’or cheese, sliced some baguette, cooked some of those skinny little French green beans, and sauteed a couple of steaks (the local charolais, of course) in a pan.  I did cave to the Pilot’s wishes and make a blue cheese sauce (and it turned out delicious!), but that was it.  As far as I’m concerned, we could have stopped at the Mont d’or and baguette.

I’ve often thought that the world of wine can seem a little pretentious.  I’m not a wine snob, and I really don’t know that much about it- I drink what I like, and think you can find a perfectly good wine for a reasonable cost.  But then, a wine like this comes along to show that you do get what you pay for.  There are no words to describe how delicious this was.

The French certainly do know how to live…

I feel the same way about this that I do about the Mont d’or cheese:  if you are a wine lover, then do yourself a favor, at least once, and try a Burgundy grand cru.  You won’t regret it.

Eating what I want- then taking a long walk.

I hope this habit sticks when I return to Atlanta…  the long walk part, that is.

Yes, I’m thoroughly enjoying the good food here in France, and pretty much denying myself nothing.  Denial is not really my style, you see.   I’m not concerned, though, because we balance it out with lots of exercise.  Happily, the scenery surrounding my house makes me look so forward to exercising that it doesn’t feel like work at all.  It’s just a pleasure.  No equipment or special clothing required, and the kids can and do trek right along with me.  And perhaps you already know how I feel about kids and exercise and fresh air.

The other day I took my camera along on our walk, and this is what I came away with- I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do.  It just seemed right to tell this story in pictures.

Walking on a sunny day, with our dachshund Annie.
Filled with accidental symbolism, I snapped this at the end of our road. The crossroad leads to an old, abandoned “prieure”, so perhaps this is marking the way.
To the old abbey- I’m drawn to it every time.
Many of the houses were where employees of the priory lived.
The priory itself.
Another view of the priory. Am I using the right word for this place? Does anyone know?
A few of our charming neighbors.

A favorite little side road of mine, due to the spectacular view.