It was a walking day again yesterday – Malcolm too this time – this time with the new hiking group at Laroque. The walk, again amongst vines, but in the more Spanish style garrigue around Esperaza, was relaxing and fun, but the highlight of the day was lunch. We sat by a vineyard, either in the sun, or shaded by a shapely and statuesque holm oak tree, and unpacked our rucksacks.
For a picnic on a walk, most people put together a chunk or two of cheese and sausage, a bit of fruit, and stop at the boulangerie on the way to pick up some bread. We all did that….but…. there was food to share too.
Phillippe, Sylvie and Jean-Charles opened wine.
Jean-Charles offered peanuts.
Michel produced home made charcuterie (dry cured sausage).
So did Phillippe and Sylvie (boudin blanc) – theirs was home made too.
They brought some of their daughter’s home made goats’ and sheeps’ milk cheese.
I made a drenched lemon cake.
Yvette made crisp chocolate biscuits.
Jean Charles brought an ‘artisanale’ fruit cake.
Then he came round with coffee.
And finally, Yvette offered plum eau de vie made by her grandfather in 1985. A little dripped onto a sugar lump and scrunched is the perfect end to a perfect picnic.
Then we all lay around in the sun for half an hour while we digested that little lot.
That’s the way to do it, eh? And as everyone said, as we finally decided we ought to have a go at walking off all those calories, “Vaut mieux le vin d’ici que l’eau de là” : it’s better to have a drink among friends than to be no more for this world.
As we ended our walk, we found an electricity substation, handy for the graveyard, that reminded us that death is an ever-present threat. Definitely a good thing to have shared that food and wine at lunchtime.