Saturday, February 26, 2011

La Petite Boutique de Coin

Fruit or Vegetables anyone?

Today I chose beouf hache or as we say hamburger meat.

Winter flowers at the Floriste

The trees are laden with nuts

Haidresser in La Tour Blanche. Kaky is out for awhile having a baby.

Skye being embraced by the cafe owner. Where but lovely France would this ever happen?

Like the 1940's movie, The Little Shop Around the Corner, I have the luxury of never having to go to a supermarket as there are so many wonderful shops within 20 minutes of where I live in La Tour Blanche.

What makes these shops so special is that the owners are always present and are so friendly. Here you can get the freshest fruits and vegetables, incredibly well stocked pharmacies, beautiful meat in the showcases of the butcher shop, gorgeous patisserie in the boulangerie and the nicest, friendliest shop owners who know all their regular customers by name and we are always greeted with a kiss on each cheek. Bringing in your laundry you are warmly greeted and you always stop to have a little chat.

A typical day for me is to start at the Bar Du Midi in Riberac for a lovely coffee. The owner Christophe knows I love the freshly steamed milk so I am always served a pitcher of hot milk with a "chapeau" of soft cloudy foam to the envy of the others in the bar. Christophe makes everyone feel so welcome and his devilish sense of humor keeps us coming back for more. One man that sits at the bar on a regular basis speaks little but makes the sound of a neighing horse instead. He must live with the horses but I haven't gotten close enough to tell.

The regulars here often don't drink coffee but do drink beer the way only the French do with added syrup of grenade (pomegranate juice) mint or orange so the beer is always a lovely color. The red is beautiful. They call this drink a Perroquet or Parrot in English. It's a perfect name for this colorful drink. They also mix beer, lemonade and grenadene and call it a "Monaco".

Afterwards, I do my shopping for the day. I visit the fresh fruit and vegetable shop and choose my menu depending on what arrived that day. I always need something from the pharmacy, usually a favorite body lotion, beautifully wrapped, scented soap or shampoo but in the event I need a prescription filled I do that there as well. Many products we need a prescription for in the States, the French do not so I can get an over the counter little tiny pill to help me sleep or my migraine medication without a prescription.

The best butcher in the area is in my village and he not only sells me the meat but tells me how to cook it. Since my French oven thermostat is numbered 1 through 5, it's difficult to find our compatible U.S. oven temperature. After wrapping my purchase in lovely butcher's paper, Mr. Butcher always tells me which number to use on my oven's thermostat. Lovely.

A stop at the Boulangerie is usually next and besides the typical baguette we can now get lovely cereal bread, delicious soft musli bread and many others. Unless I am entertaining for tea, I usually pass the pastries and just look. Since I do entertain a lot though, it's not unusual for me to pick up an Opera chocolate cake or a fruit tart.

I'm off to shop.

A la prochaine...........

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