There was quite a bit of lazing around today, especially to rest B’s ankle from a minor mishap yesterday. Finally, around 4pm, we managed to set out to accomplish our one great task for the day – grocery shopping!
B and I have discovered that the amount of groceries we can carry on our backs will sustain us for a few days, but not a whole week. After all the cooking and creping and snacking and salami sandwiches, we were in need of some additional provisions. We decided to head back to the Super-U in Bedarieux, but by bike this time!
There are three bikes in the basement/laundry room of our charming house in Villemagne. All three had flat tires, and there is only one helmet, but we found the tire pump and B had us ready to go in no time. The helmet fit him better (and really, I’m more accustomed to cycling anyway), so we got it fitted and set off!
Set off in circles, that is. Neither B nor I has been on a bike in some time, so we had a leisurely meander around the town square feeling our balance – and testing our brakes! – before setting off for serious.
Dear reader, I wish I had pictures for you!! Unfortunately, it is tremendously difficult to snap pictures while simultaneously balancing and steering and staying aware of traffic, so I can only tell you that the ride was lovely and charming and completely worth the trouble of pumping the tires. Also much faster than walking over the small mountain between Villemagne and Bedarieux, and while there are no bike lanes, we found the vast majority of drivers to be exceedingly polite and generous in sharing the shoulder.
We returned laden with all we shall need for a lamb stew, but too tired to attempt one this evening, and so we strolled again to our favorite village haunt, the Villemagnaise, where we interrupted our favorite restauranteur family in the middle of their supper. They were very gracious and got us started soon enough on our own victuals. After having tasted everything on the 12 euro prix fixe menu, I decided to order a la carte, and helped myself to “Pavé de Beouf” with mushrooms.
There is a reason why I style myself a “reluctant” vegetarian.” (The vegetarian part of which I utterly abandoned for this trip). This was my plate:
This was my reaction to it:
I haven’t had a steak in…….I don’t remember. A. Very. Long. Time. This one blew them all away. I couldn’t help making nearly obscene noises with every bite. B laughed as I carefully rationed my mushrooms to make sure that I had a mushroom to accompany every single savory, tender morsel of perfectly cooked cow (note to American travelers – ordering “medium” in France gets you what ordering “rare” gets you in the States – all the better for me!). I sopped up nearly all the juices with spare bits of bread, and when I ran out of bread, dear reader, I licked my fingers without shame. Or with only a tiny bit of shame.
Then, to be truly decadent, I ordered the chocolate lava cake. (I think she called it “fondant du chocolat” – which, when typed into Google translator, comes up as “melting chocolate,” which is extremely accurate). And – voila! – it came with ice cream this time!
I continued making obscene noises, but I did manage to resist licking either the plate or my fingers this time.
And then, just when we were going to ask for the check, they brought out cocktails, on the house. Rum and Blue Curaçao – “Lagon Blue.” Crystal (the waitress and part-owner) says it is a Villemagnaise speciality, and they sometimes have different colors – “Lagon Orange, Pink, Green….”
It was very strong. And we had already finished 2/3 of a bottle of red. B and I sipped our cocktails very slowly, and even so, I was feeling enthusiastic about demonstrating my drunken ballet technique by the time we said “Merci beaucoup – bonsoir!”