Bon Appétit en France!

(Note: This story was originally published on April 24, 2016.)
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Early evening on the terrasse

When we’re in France, no matter how much we have on our daily schedule, there is never any question that taking time out to eat well is de rigueur. In fact, it is one of the things we love most about the French – they know how to relax over a good meal, and eating-on-the-run is not even in their vocabulary.

Most of the meals we’ve eaten on this trip have been at home because, hey, it’s OUR house!! We have breakfast every morning in our kitchen on the rez-de-chaussez (called the first floor in America) and lunch and dinner most days on our terrasse tropezienne, (open terrace on the top floor of the house – third floor in France; fourth floor in America). We have a summer kitchen on the terrasse, so other than carrying food up, there is no inconvenience. Outdoor kitchens are quite common here. The French love to eat out of doors whenever weather permits.

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An April sunset in Montagnac, at round 8:45 PM

The weather here has been fabulous. The sun stays up much later here than in Massachusetts, which I have never been able to figure out. It’s early Spring and still light out at 9:00 PM (21:00 European time). Our terrasse faces southwest, so we get afternoon sun, and by evening it is quite warm, with a gentle breeze keeping the air fresh.

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Jack grilling fresh sardines for lunch

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Lunch with freshly grilled sardines and green zebra tomatoes
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Bringing a bottle of pastis (anis-flavored liqueur) up to the terrasse, so Jack can use it to flambé the pork cheeks for dinner

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After the addition of Pastis

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Incredibly tender and divinely flavorful pork cheeks

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Chopping garlic for salad dressing

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So simple and absolutely delicious – fresh tomatoes and avocados, drizzled with a little walnut oil, salt & pepper – a perfect accompaniment for dried ham, sausage with walnuts and cheese

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