The seasonal changeover is under way, big time. Our days in the Greater Daglan Area are sunny and bright, with temperatures reaching into the pleasantly warm 20s (Celsius, of course) in the afternoon. But the temperature drops sharply as night arrives, and by morning the weather is downright nippy.
Take yesterday morning, for instance. We had just left the village when my car’s dashboard started making a pinging noise. That was a warning that the temperature was just 4 degrees, which the German engineers obviously think is frightfully low and which could lead to frost on the road. To make the point even more strongly that Jack Frost is at hand, the dashboard display includes a little flashing snowflake. (Kind of cute, actually.)
Then last night, we made our first fire of the season, as the house was feeling cool. For the record, here it is, blazing away:
Again, this morning started out cool (although beautifully clear and sunny). My wife Jan went for a long walk up to Le Peyruzel, while I had a nice ride on my bike — but I was wearing long cycling pants, a long-sleeved cycling shirt, and an insulated jacket. By the time we returned home and got ready for our 1 p.m. lunch reservation, the day was back to pleasantly warm. In fact, it was warm enough that the terrace at Le Petit Paris, right on Daglan’s main square, was almost full by the time we arrived.
Naturally, we ate outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Here’s one of our views, looking north towards one of the hills surrounding Daglan (note how brown some of the trees have become — we think it’s partly the normal autumn colour-change, and partly the result of our dry conditions):
And here’s another view, right in front of our table. It’s the war memorial, topped by that symbol of France, the rooster:
And what did we eat for lunch? We began with a kir (made with cassis) as an apéritif, while we munched on the rillettes that are always offered at Le Petit Paris. For our plat principal, we each had a l’idée du moment special — beef cheeks slowly cooked in red wine from the Cahors region just south of us, on the outer edge of the GDA. (These wines are sometimes called “black wines” and are considered to be the darkest red wines in the world.) The end result was delicious, but decidedly unphotogenic. The day was so sunny we couldn’t resist having rosé wine instead of a heavier red wine, and the bottle of Tavel was just right.
And to finish, Jan had the moelleux au chocolat with ginger ice cream (a standard at Le Petit Paris) while I had the special dessert, a Gascony tart, made with apples and prunes, flavoured with Armagnac, and encased in flaky pastry. Like this:
To top it all off, on the (short) walk back to our house, we met up with good friends from Germany who have a holiday home in Daglan — and we’re invited for lunch on Thursday. It’s a busy life!