At 9 AM, they arrived. The Breizh plein campagne neighbors showed up with ATV’s, giant tractors, skimmers, and more. I asked my neighbor, local retired farmer, and head of the chasse (those of you in-the-know understand how vital this role is in a village) for help.
I tiptoed out to the lower gardens and asked Mr. D if I could provide water or coffee. While it was going to be 87 degrees / 30.5 Celcius today, it was still early. He shook his head no and asked instead, “Do you have beer?” Plein campagne. And I had already failed. I promised to finish making his “gâteau” and then go to the grocery store.
It has been a long-calculated decision to balance my country of origin with my country of choice. And one of the ways I express that is through food. Not everything translates. I LOVE heat, spices, hot sauces, and peppers. But that, for example, would not be welcomed here. My culinary répertoire is a carefully chosen mix of American recipes with flavors that the French love. Today, I made a crowd favorite – my lemon drizzle muffins. But even those take a lot of time and forethought as baking powder can be difficult to source here.
In the time it took for me to make the muffins, the crew had finished what would take some a week or more to accomplish. A quick swipe of lipstick, and out the door I went, a platter of muffins in hand, up to Mr. D’s house. There they all sit with their beers, talking about my property. The trees that were “pas propre” and what to do about the massive rock pile they had just unearthed. The electrician who could fix the conduit for a beer. It took them a while to talk through all the things they wanted to tackle.
I sat there listening to it all, struggling with the Breton accents and loving every moment. They had adopted me.
Time to get baking…
1. Swipe for a photo of the tractor narrowly missing my barn
2. and the lower gardens at sunset tonight.
Bisous and big hugs 🤗 from France,