French-Breasted in Provence
Normally, Thanksgiving Day is spent in Paris with me making the turkey and the stuffing and friends bringing the “accoutrements” — the cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and pumpkin or pecan pie. It’s a project having to special order the turkey from the butcher a week in advance, going to the African markets to find sweet potatoes and asking someone from the States to bring cans of cranberry sauce. Still, it is fun and in good American-style spirit.
For those who have never cooked a turkey in France before, be forewarned: they cook in half the time as an American turkey and are darker and juicier and tastier. While there is no certainty, I believe the reason is that the turkeys in France are not the same breed as the “Broad-breasted White” turkey which is the commercial turkey of choice and is the most consumed variety of the bird in the U.S. The meat is less dense and therefore takes much less time to cook.
This year, as a ‘repeat performance’ of last year, I chose to head south to Provence to spend Thanksgiving with American friend, Barb Westfield, who invites her closest friends to join her at her gorgeous home in Ansouis. It’s a small picturesque village at the base of the Luberon — the kind dreams and novels are made of, much like Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence.”
My traveling companion and old friend, Dale Novick Gaber, almost missed the train this morning, when the Métro she took to the Gare de Lyon failed her within minutes of our TGV’s departure. Within a minute of departure, she arrived breathless and we scurried on to our seats to breathe a sigh of relief as the train took off not without us. From Aix-en-Provence, we had a rental car booked to take us on our adventure in the heart of one of the nation’s most luscious regions.
Our plan is to take time to explore the region a bit, visiting the neighboring towns of Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Ménerbes, Roussillon, La Coste and Gourdes before heading to Nice on Friday. These are some of my favorite spots on the planet — these hilltowns that are breathtakingly monumental from below and from which there are breathtaking views of the countryside below.
The light in Provence is different than anywhere else in the world — evidenced by the many artists who chose to paint the landscapes there, such as Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cezanne whose love affair with the region inspired them to. Even just one hour on the TGV outside of Paris, the gray skies turned to sunny vistas and we knew we were on the road to a bright weekend.
In Nice we will have much to discover. There we are meeting with Americans who are considering investing in property in Nice and environs and I will be visiting properties in which we can film another House Hunter’s International (scheduled for the weekend of December 7th). For the moment, there is one spot unfilled, so if you know of anyone in Nice who has a one-bedroom apartment in which they would be willing to allow us to film, please let me know! (Email me at [email protected])
Monday I’ll report on our adventure in “Parler Nice,” but to all you readers of French Property Insider, don’t be surprised when there is no issue in your inbox tomorrow — as we’re taking a T-day break.
Gobble, gobble, gobble — have a great holiday no matter where you are or with whom you are.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(driving in the South)
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