Since early this morning, Canadian flags have been fluttering outside our home in Daglan. Why? Because today, July 1, is Canada Day — the national holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which established Canada as an independent country within the British Empire.
Because my wife Jan and I are both Canadian citizens (and proud of it, folks), we’ve continued to celebrate the holiday every year since moving to France. And this was our fourth Canada Day since we moved.
Our traditions have remained fairly constant. There are the flags outside the house, like this one:
Among other things, the flags get the attention of passers-by. This morning I enjoyed explaining to one of our neighbours why we call our house Les Erables (The Maples) and why the red maple leaf is on Canada’s flag; and late this afternoon Jan spent some time with a tourist from the Isle of Wight who noticed the flags, figured that we were Canadian, and had a good chat with Jan.
Another tradition is having something quite Canadian for breakfast — like the maple syrup that I poured over this morning’s French toast, served with bacon of course:
And then it’s out for a celebratory lunch. This year, we headed to Les Prés Gaillardou, on the outskirts of La Roque-Gageac on the main road running from Cénac north towards Sarlat. There we began with a kir each, and went on to order a two-course meal: an entrée and a plat principal, plus a bottle of rosé wine.
It was all pleasant and enjoyable, sitting outside on the terrace, although the meal itself wasn’t the finest — and seemed expensive for what we received. For example, my foie gras entrée (see below) was delicious, and was served with a large pour of sweet wine (traditional with foie gras). But it came with exactly one-half of a single fig (!) in a tiny pool of fig syrup, and there was a pretty steep 6-euro surcharge to order the dish.
For my main course, I had medallions of roast pork loin, served with a somewhat thin apple sauce and several prunes and chestnuts, plus some admittedly delicious potatoes. Here’s my dish:
It was the extras that drove up the total price of our lunch to 95 euros — 5 euros for a kir, for example, and a whopping 4 euros per cup of espresso.
But hey, that’s enough complaining. All in all, it was a good day. And here’s hoping that family and friends in Canada had a very good day too.