We are coming to the end of day 3 of our French car saga without an end in sight. Tomorrow we are due to arrive at our house in Provence, but have no means to travel there. EuropCar cannot find us a car even as far away as Bordeaux, which would be no small journey to pick up a car. They offered to pay for train tickets to Provence, but with our art supplies and personal luggage that is impossible. Therefore, we are sitting in Montcabrier waiting for the magic call from EuropCar. If we wait until Monday or Tuesday our original car may be repaired.
It appears as if one of Sally’s artists who was due to arrive Sunday is not coming, so we can pay to stay here a few extra days if necessary. I can think of much worse places to wait for the transportation Gods to act. Sally has been helpful above and beyond reasonable expectations and continues to smile through all the phone calls.
Last night we took Sally to dinner (actually she drove since you might remember that we don’t have a car). She chose a lovely little restaurant in Castelfranc, a village that sits on a cliff above the River Lot. Restaurant du Pont has a fine menu of regional delicacies. I started with an apertif called Fenelon that was wonderful. It is a delicious blend of creme de cassis, walnut liqueur, and cahors red wine that drifts over your tongue and melts into your throat like ambrosia. Yes, I am smitten. (Today I found a Napa Valley vineyard that makes walnut liqueur!) My entree was a casoulet of duck gizards in a thick red wine and walnut sauce. The geziers were tender and the sauce was so rich it clung to the fork. I really stretched my eating habits for the main dish when I ordered a filet a beef in a red wine walnut sauce with a side of cooked cabbage in the local style. I can’t remember the last time I had rare beef, but I must say this was unbelievably tender and flavorful. It reminded me why I used to eat rare beef. The cheese course was a small round of cabecou, the very soft goat cheese popular in this region. It is traditionally served with cracked peppercorns and drizzled with honey! I never would have thought of that combination. The flavors blend beautifully in your mouth. For desert Sally convinced me to return to the flavor of walnut liqueur drizzled over ice cream. This feast was accompanied by a bottle of 2004 Chateau Cenec Eulalie, a Cahors red wine. This is their premium wine that is 100% malbec. The bottle was opened at the table and as the meal progressed the wine improved with exposure and the last glass with dessert was most impressive. Walnuts, Cahors wine, duck, and goat cheese…that’s about as regional as we could get. Jean and Sally had some other dishes, but I will refrain from commenting on them since I did not taste them. However, judging from the purring from my dinner companions I assume their meals were as wonderful as mine.
Okay, so we aren’t exactly suffering during our enforced extended time at Atelier de la Rose. Tonight Sally is making dinner. We have a hiker staying as well. Although I have packed my painting supplies, I may get out some watercolors and do a few sketches.
Life goes on.