Today is the fortieth day after resurrection, claiming to be the day Jesus ascended to heaven. The day marks the end of his life on earth and is celebrated in many Christian communities around the world.
We enjoyed a busy day with our French friends.
11:30 lunch with Hughes (our hairdresser) and his lovely family of 9, we find ourself chatted over BBQ pork sausages and bacon wrapped sticks, homemade roasted red peppers and a fresh version of tuna salad. I am still dreaming about the red pepper salad! Alina made tiramisu flavoured mouse cups for dessert, and where normally we would pass we couldn’t say no to it.
We bathed in the sun on their terrace that was transformed into an oasis, with covered colourful sheets, trinkets hanging, and even two finches singing in a cage. It was a tiny piece of paradise they shared with us on a special holiday.
After a few hours, we took their youngest daughter home with us, and let her continue to play until her family followed. They joined us for coffee at our home, and to check out the progress we have made on our house renovation project.
On holidays, it is frowned upon to run heavy equipment so we were forced to have a day of rest. The men needed it after a week of straight work on the renovations.
Our lovely company left around 6:00 and I began making dinner when I realized we were supposed to be at Francoise home for an outdoor garden party. Looking outside at the torrential downpour, I decided to call to make sure we were on. The brave party-ers were on!
We sauntered over to Francoise garden party around 7:30, and met with two-dozen other adults and half dozen children in a large garden with a Koi pond. Around a big table displaying tomatoes on garlic toast, cherry tomatoes as sweet as grapes, olive spreads and cheeses, we stood and chatted with the Capestang community. The pink wine flowed freely and the glasses often clanked thanking our hosts for such a beautiful spread.
The weather turned sour and the party was reassembled inside Francoise’s apartment. It was a tight fit, but with such good company no one seemed to notice.
The sit down dinner was a Portuguese fish dish, layered with potatoes, sautéed onions and parsley. The Cod was salted and the unique flavour was unlike anything I had ever tasted. We ate it with fresh baguettes. (But of course.)
After the main dish came a specialty tray of Northern French cheeses arrived in front of us. Mostly goat cheese, a little too potent for my taste, we sampled them all, and got the explanation to how they were produced. By this point I was too wazooded from the endless wine to recall a thing about the cheese.
Then came three dessert dishes. A decadent chocolate cake, so moist in the middle it was simply heaven. Then came two light phyllo pastries one filled with apples and pears and the other with dates. So thin and flakey our host had to cut it with scissors to serve it to the guests.
I love how dinner gets served around 10:30. The kids eat before the adults and then play quietly in another room. 7 kids were at this soiree but you couldn’t hear any of them. They drew pictures, played and were absorbed by their video games. It seems very civilized to me that children are welcome in any home, to any party that their parents attend, requiring no babysitters. The French love children, end of story.
Angelina was very tired after a day of play and an evening of fun and food. She fell asleep on Alfonz’s lap and we knew it was time for our departure.
We are often the first to arrive and the first to leave parties in France. We haven’t quite caught on to the late evening meal but are trying to adapt. Also my liver must adjust to the amounts of wine we consume at such an event.
Funny I don’t remember pouring myself a single glass of wine. I think it was the guy directly across from us, our neighbour, which sneakily kept refilling my wine glass.
We thanked our hosts for such a lovely time together, said our goodbyes to the people we met and grabbed the kids are left.
No sooner did we stumble home and tuck the kids in to bed, did the skies explode with lightening and thunder. The power went out just after we turned off our lights. The street lights turned off just as we slipped into sleep.
It was a ‘parfait’ day, for our adventure family!