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Showing posts from December, 2017

FOIE MARKET, RIEUX-MINERVOIS WITH PICS

TRIGGER WARNING: A Foie Market is where a French family goes to buy their special holiday foods if they're looking for the good stuff fresh from the producers - the Christmas goose, the duck breasts, the foie gras. I've taken pictures of it all. That means that there will be pictures of dead animals and their body parts. Be warned.

As you can imagine, the French go all out for their holiday meals. Christmas and New Year bring out the best. There are any number of foods that might grace a French family's table at December's end. Smoked salmon. Caviar. Lobster. But you can be almost certain of three things. There will be oysters. Supermarkets feature displays of oysters packed in special little wooden crates for a couple of weeks leading up to the holidays. There will be a bird - goose, duck, capon, pintade (guinea-fowl), even turkey. And there will be foie gras. And if you want your bird and your foie gras to come fresh from the producer, you go to a foiemarché. 

Our fav…

WHO BELONGS IN MY POLITICAL PARTY?

My politically conservative friends are convinced that I'm a masked, rock-throwing Antifa at heart. 

Why?

I believe that the gun lobby has perverted common sense when it comes to the reasonable control of firearms in the same way that the fossil fuel industry is trying to pervert our understanding of climate change. And I believe that both lobbies will eventually be understood to have the same wanton disregard for human life as we now know that the tobacco lobby had.

I believe that what goes on of a sexual nature behind closed doors is nobody's business except for the intellectually capable, of age, freely consenting adults in the room. And I believe that if you choose to participate in commerce in the public marketplace, your opinion of that sexual activity is just as irrelevant to your business as is race, religion, or ethnicity.

I believe that men in blue suits, white shirts, and red ties in state capitals do not have the right to tell a woman, her doctor, and anyone…

HOTEL TRIAS & RESTAURANT, PALAMOS, SPAIN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

During our stop at the Grau wine and liquor store in Palafrugell, Spain, we asked one of the attendants to recommend a place for lunch. He suggested continuing on to the coast, to the town of Palamos, for lunch at the Hotel Trias.

After about a ten minute drive into the heart of Palamos, we parked in a public lot, walked to the Med, and scurried into the Hotel Trias just as it began to shower. The posted menu looked promising but the restaurant didn't open until 1pm, about a half hour after we arrived. I braved the sprinkles to take a few pictures of the promenade that followed the shore line across the street. Broad and tree-lined, I could imagine that, in season, vacationers and holiday-house owners would pack the walkways and the tents set up by the restaurants that faced the water along the way.

We waited in the hotel's small bar until the lights went on in the restaurant across the reception area and chose seating by windows with a view of the harbor. The dining room was …

VINS I LICORS GRAU: LARGEST WINE BOUTIQUE IN EUROPE

One of the regular sporting activities that those of us living in the south of France enjoy is the semi-annual Run to Spain. Most everybody takes part. It's not a track meet, though. It's a shopping run. We go because some items are cheaper in Spain, substantially so. (I buy Cathey's favorite perfume there because it sells for less than in the duty-free shops, much less than in the local French parfumerie. But don't tell Cathey that. It'll be our little secret.) Some items simply are not available locally - a reasonable selection of Spanish wines, a bottle of brandy to feed the Christmas cake. And so, off we go Spain.

Just across the border sits La Jonquera, a small Catalonian town whose name is now attached to a massive array of opportunities to spend euros - department stores and specialty shops, garden centers, liquor stores, tobacconists, groceries and butchers. You want it? You can buy it somewhere along the main drag heading south out of the old town.

We usua…