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post #806
bio: rich
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7/24/2011
20:54

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Hello France - Butter in Brittany

Oh, Butter
Oh the butter
I was in France for about two weeks and may have had too much butter.  I’m pretty sure my body is wondering what is going on with all the bread and butter.


Le Conquet
Brittany
It seems like ages ago, but we started our trip in the lovely area of Brittany on the western coast. It’s that little peninsula-type area that sticks out into the Atlantic and is apparently known as the “that place where all the butter comes from”. It’s a gorgeous region but is also known as being a bit cranky as far as weather - we had a bit of rain.

We met up with our traveling pals Serge & Irene. Serge’s father was born in Brittany and had lived in NYC and ran a successful French restaurant and then retired back in Brittany. We stayed with them in their awesomely attractive house.
They have a dog named Vick. He lives to chase tennis balls.

[CYCLING RELATED UPDATE FOR JASON: The Tour went through the town we were staying in (Langonnet) like 3 days before we got there]



Crepes
We had two crepe lunches. One was the place in town. And by town, I mean, very small town.
Lunch CiderOn Bastille Day, we had crepes and cider – as you do. My crepe ordering system was broken and each time I would order the wrong thing. The first was a ham and cheese. It was okay until I tried the bacon and cheese. Not sure what I was thinking there.
The other crepe place was a little bit outside of town and only open on Fridays. How’s that for creating demand?
Once I again I screwed up. I had a fine leeks and cheese crepe and, like I just said (a few words back) it was just fine. This time I should have gotten the ham and cheese as that was awesome.


Sweet Crepes
Sweet crepes, no matter what is in/on them, are awesome. Caramel. Sugar. As the kids on Yelp would say, “Yummy!!!!!!!!”.


Poached Salmon with Cucumbers from the Garden
Hospitality
Baby Serge at Cafe Des SportsI mentioned that Serge’s father owned a restaurant (Manhattan/Westside). His wife helped managed it and they took great care of us while we were there. Every morning, the table in their sun room was set for breakfast with coffee and fresh pastries and fruit. Dinners were stupendous. One night was a huge slab of beef cooked on the grill and sliced up. Veal and pasta on another night. Poached salmon. All of this was accompanied by vegetables from their garden. The dinners of course were long affairs. We’d start with some sort of fruit course (my favorite was melon and prosciutto) and then the main course. Then a salad. Then the always phenomenal cheese plate. Then dessert.
Often, and by “often” I mean “always” there would be something tasty as far as wine. 1981 Bordeaux. Quirky little Cheateauneuf de Pape.

[CYCLING RELATED UPDATE FOR JASON: Guess where Bernard Hinault had dinner with Greg Lemond to get him to sign with Renault-Elf? Cafe des Sports. Serge's father was there.]


Salted Butter
Then, there’s salted butter. The salted butter where you can see the actual salt and it has a crunch.
Christ.


Lady Soccer
Like the rest of you Johnny-come-latelys, we watched the Lady World Cup games – including US vs. France (awkward) and Sweden vs. France and the disappointing US vs. Japan. The morning after I had to share a car to the town of Epernay with a girl from Japan. Her English wasn’t that good (and my Japanese is pretty, um, not a thing) so I wasn’t really able to communicate my sport-riled up commentary to her.
The best thing about lady soccer? While watching Sweden vs. France, our hosts put out a large chunk of foie gras and stated, “help yourself to the foie gras!”

[CYCLING RELATED UPDATE FOR JASON: See, we'd come home from site-seeing/eating/drinking and his parents had already watched the Tour and would give us updates (adorable updates) and then I'd read about it all online.
Also, they all liked
my Laurent shirt
Oh, and
Hinault was born in Yffiniac, which is nearby]

Oh, What Else?
VickHiking. More eating. Throwing the ball for Vick the dog.
Good times.





Photographs!


I would like to set up house in that slab of butter.
»lisa ||  7/24/2011 ||  9:13:38 PM
hey ding dong, no pictures from the greatest Tour in 10 years? France in July equals bike racing. Butter and bread and Serge's folks food is great, but bike racing, not women's soccer. Sheesh.

»jason ||  7/25/2011 ||  6:57:06 AM
@Jason, yes, there was some ironic missing of the Tour. I watched almost every stage before we left, but once we got there I continually missed it because it starts at 2pm in the afternoon which is when we'd be doing stuff. The soccer was always later.

I did watch re-caps on the web and always read the Guardian's live-blog of it.
»:r ||  7/25/2011 ||  7:55:51 AM
Also, I agree that it was one of the best Tours in a long long time. I mean, the first week was pretty awesome and usually that first week is a snorefest.

Going into the last TT with three possible winners was pretty damn thrilling as well (and they all seem like such nice fellows).
»:r ||  7/25/2011 ||  7:57:34 AM
@Jason: Updated with notes for you.
»:r ||  7/25/2011 ||  8:01:26 AM
It's encouraging to see that when I throw my weight around (in places other than children's blow up bounce houses) I get results!

»jason ||  7/25/2011 ||  8:14:47 AM
Looooove that butter picture. Yum!
»j ||  7/25/2011 ||  2:15:38 PM



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