Spurts of growth, bursts of colour

After our soggy spring, the Greater Daglan Area has jumped straight into summer, with a pretty toasty heat wave going on right now. The combination of lots of spring rain followed by lots of summer sun has made for some real growth spurts among the GDA’s plants, shrubs and trees, as well as bursts of colour from all the flowers that surround us.

Here, for example, is a flowering plant beside the road as you enter Daglan from the direction of Bouzic:

Along the road, as you enter Daglan.

Along the road, as you enter Daglan.

And these yellow flowers are on a plant that — somehow — manages to grow in virtually a crack between a neighbour’s stone house and the paved road that runs in front of our house, in central Daglan:

Bright yellow flowers on the edge of our street.

Bright yellow flowers on the edge of our street.

With all the summer sun, my wife Jan and I are trying to minimize the heat in our kitchen, either by preparing simple meals at home or else by going out for lunch. Today (Saturday) we did the former; yesterday we did the latter.

Our destination on Friday was Castelnaud, for lunch at one of our old stand-bys, the Basque restaurant called Le Tournepique. It was surprisingly quiet for a sunny Friday in tourist season — I counted a total of 10 adult customers (including us), one child, and two handsome dogs. (Yes, dogs are generally quite welcome in most French restaurants, and are amazingly well behaved.)

In any case, there was a nice breeze blowing through the rear section of the restaurant, the part that’s closest to the Dordogne River that gives our département its name. Here’s a view from our table, with its own burst of colour:

Looking past a basket of flowers to the river.

Looking past a basket of flowers to the river.

For lunch itself, Jan stuck with her playbook and had the mussels and frites. Meanwhile, I thought I’d try something different, and chose la poêlée de Morue à la Biscaina — pieces of salt cod sauteed with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and a lot of garlic slivers, and served in a skillet with boiled potatoes. It made for a nice burst of colour on our table:

A colourful skillet of food.

A colourful skillet of food.

To accompany our food, we had a Spanish rosé wine that we order virtually every time we’re in Le Tournepique. It’s dry and refreshing, but with a good amount of flavour (the grapes are the Spanish classics Tempranillo and Garnacha, typically used in making full-bodied reds). Here’s the bottle:

Our usual tipple at Le Tournepique -- a rosé.

Our usual tipple at Le Tournepique — a rosé.

Just to round things out, I thought we should stick with the theme of vivid red colours, while also taking advantage of the fresh strawberries that abound in the GDA from late spring throughout the summer. So I chose the Fraise melba, and we got this:

Underneath the whipped cream lies a bunch of fresh strawberries.

Underneath the whipped cream lies a bunch of fresh strawberries.

Who could have known it would have come with such a generous, healthful serving of crème Chantilly?

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This entry was posted in Food, French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne, Weather in the Dordogne, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spurts of growth, bursts of colour

  1. Doug Curson says:

    Good to see you’re back in harness.

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