The week of cooking classes began with a welcome dinner. The first Sunday, Kathie and I prepared a typical Provençal apéritif. An apéritif is both a social occasion along with food and drink to whet your appetite.
This particular Sunday, the apéritif included sausages, French radishes served with butter and fleur de sel, and olives from La Pitchoune. It is an occasion for friends and neighbors to get together before lunch or dinner to catch up on the local gossip before heading off to enjoy our meal.
For dinner, Kathie and I prepared a Puree of Potato and Leek Soup, Turkey Osso Bucco and Poached Pears for dessert. Lunch and dinner are always served with a baguette and if you’re lucky enough, a glass (or two) of wine. After dinner, stepping onto the terrace and looking beyond the pool surrounded by flowers and herbs in the front lawn, one could see the twinkling of lights from the villages perched on the hills.
It was a menu that included Amuses Bouches de Saumon Fume aux Herbes de Provence (Smoked Salmon and Herbes de Provence Appetizers); Timbale de Courgettes (Molded Zucchini Custards); Saumon en Papillote avec Sauce aux Herbes (Salmon in Parchment Paper with Herb Sauce); Risotto Simca’s style; and Crèmes au Citron Meringuées (Lemon Curd and Meringue Cups).
We again had our aperitif before lunch then sat down at the dining room table about 12:30pm for a 2 hour lunch. After class, students were free to explore the countryside with some going to Fragonard (the perfume factory in Grass) or setting out for Monaco, Antibes, or Nice.