Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Morning

I've shared here before about how I have had to adjust to the schedule of life in France. On Sundays, things may be open in the morning, but they will not be open in the afternoon when I have finished teaching. So, with Earl (my official shopper and chef) gone to the States, I've had to be more aware of running out of things -- like food, on a Sunday when the stores will be closed.
I got notice of the coming holiday earlier this week -- no, I'm not talking Easter, I'm talking Easter Monday.
So I checked with the local grocery and the local bakery. Would they be open on Sunday? I figured they would be closed Easter morning, but I was wrong.
The wisteria is in bloom here.
As I walked to the town center this morning during an hour break between classes, I found things surprisingly lively.
I stopped at the butcher who always greets everyone with a booming "bonjour!" I ordered 600 grams of steak haché (ground beef), planning to make meatloaf tomorrow when some friends come over. He told me three additional ways that I could say steak haché in French. We then had a conversation about how difficult French can be because there are so many different ways to say things. I declared that it was easier to make oneself understood, but harder to understand, and he agreed then complimented me on my French. This point, by the way, may be only true for me as someone who can say more than I can understand when others are speaking French.
Next I went to the Spar, the local grocery store across from the butcher. The produce was very sparse (this is the same store that only carries produce that's in season) but I found some potatoes to make garlic potatoes to go with my  meatloaf. I also scooped up a bottle of red wine and a bottle of blanquette (sparkling wine, allegedly a precursor to Champagne). The blanquette is a gift for some friends who are having me over today after I finish teaching. They had invited me for Easter lunch but I couldn't go, so they said to come for a drink.
When I scheduled classes a month ago, I forgot all about Easter, so my Sunday is booked up.
After finishing at the grocery, I went to the bakery. Again, I had checked with the bakers. Yes, they would be open on Sunday morning, and on Monday morning.
I think that a bakery has to be open in town, so they must negotiate among each other. My favorite bakery will close on Thursday instead.
As I was leaving the bakery, I noticed that a little bar/cafe that is rarely open had people sitting at outdoor tables. How strange that they would be open today, I thought as I made my way back to our rental apartment.
But for Sunday and Monday, my larder is stocked.
Well, I might go to the bakery again Monday morning to pick out a little dessert to serve my friends.
"Don't you Americans bake all the time?" my Irish friend Derrick asked.
Well, yes, we do. And at home, I was one of the baking-est Moms around. But does it make sense to bake in France when there are so many fabulous bakeries displaying their wares?

So far, not to me.
This Easter is a big contrast to last Easter when we were in Aix en Provence. Earl and I went to Mass where the incense set off the smoke alarms. Then we enjoyed a sunny lunch in the square. I was in a sleeveless dress and the sun drenched us. It was marvelous.

But my absent husband did make sure I'd have an Easter surprise. He had a friend deliver a chocolate rabbit to me. So thoughtful.

Maybe I should just break up the bunny for dessert tomorrow.
Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday.


Jackie McGuinness said...

Happy Easter to you!! I will be eating French pastries this time next week!

Unknown said...

Joyeuses Pâques Paulita !!

Paulita said...

Jackie, Enjoy!
Unknown, Joyeuses Pâques to you as well.

Sim Carter said...

Lovely! Our son was busy all day but we had plans for Easter dinner with him so Mark and I took our elderly English neighbor to lunch at The Grove. Another neighbor and his wife are here from France, managing a Laduree. We debated eating there but decided on another French bakery/cafe Dominique Ansel. It was a beautiful day and as you did last year, we sat outside in the sunshine. There were lots of people promenading as the Grove is that kind of place, lots of shops and restaurants where tourists and locals alike mix and enjoy the show. I'm not sure what I expected but several of the shops, including Nordstroms, were actually closed for Easter Sunday.

I'm not religious myself but I appreciate that they allow their employees to take the day off. The Apple store, of course, was open, and business was booming. Later we met Russell in Hollywood for dinner and so today, it's almonds and fruit and low carb veggies for me!

Paulita said...

Sim, So good to catch up with you. Your Easter sounds lovely.

NIKE said...

Aaj Pucha Hai Dil Ne Ek Sawal HumseDur Reh Kar Aapko Bhi Kya Humara Khyal Aata Hai play bazaar Dur Na Jaya Karo Dil Tadap satta king ata HaiAapke Hi Khyal Mein Din Guzar Jata Hai.


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