A Time Travelers Notebook by Author Holly Tucker

Home Is Where the Baguettes Are

by | Jan 12, 2017 | Food & Travel, Life at La Petite Maison

City of Light, City of Poison Baguettes
I have the same routine every Sunday morning when I’m at “La Petite Maison,” our little house in the hillsides of Aix-en-Provence.  The sun wakes me up as it climbs over horizon and into the bedroom windows.  I linger for awhile and wonder whether I really, truly want to go out on such a peaceful weekend morning. But then I think about the croissants.  Those gorgeous croissants.

In the States, I’d just throw on a pair of sweatpants and stagger to the car.  Mais non!  No self-respecting woman here would ever think of leaving the house without a good brush of the hair, a bit of lipstick, a smidge of mascara. (Oh, and heads up, wearing those yoga clothes outside of class?  Non, Madame, those go with you in a bag–and once the class is done, the street clothes go right back on.)

When we lived in town here, it was a quick walk to one of several nearby bakeries.  Now that we’re almost in the countryside, it’s a short drive to a nearby village called Puyricard.  The spelling is old French.  “Puy”  [say pwee], now spelled “Puit,” means well.  Ricard is a common family name in Provence.  So, Puyricard may have very well (pun) referred to “Ricard’s Family Well.”  But I’m just guessing at that.  The bakery is in the center of the village, which has a population (I can only guess) of a few hundred people.  All of town meets there, greeting each other with the sing-song-y “bonjours” of Provence.

Tall baskets filled with baguettes empty quickly as neighbors place their orders with the bustling bakery staff.  A grandfather buys his grand-daughter a chocolate-filled croissant, a “pain au chocolat.”  I get jealous as I watch another woman finally decide on a dessert that looks like a cloud of raspberry mousse floating on the lightest cake imaginable. It’s just Steve and me at the house.  We’d never be able to eat the whole thing.  I settle instead on two miniature tartes, one chocolate, the other lemon–along with a two warm baguettes to last us through the day, a couple of croissants, and a pain au raisin (a snail-shaped brioche with raisins, Steve’s favorite).

Steve is up and making coffee by the time I get home.  I set my market basket on the dining room table.  It really too lovely of a picture to dive in without capturing it.  While I’m setting out the plates and napkins, the camera comes out, so does a copy of my next book, and the sweet “La Petite Maison” dishtowel my father gave me.  Et voilà, here’s the view from here.  Nice work, Steve!

7 Comments

  1. Sue peterson

    Bonjour!

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Great start!!!

    Reply
  3. Heather

    To my dear older sister,
    I love you and am so very proud of all your accomplishments!!
    Hearts forever,
    H

    Reply
  4. Sue Grass

    Love! Can’t wait to hear more.

    Reply
  5. Holly Tucker

    Thank you, mesdames, for your wonderful notes. And thanks so much for the encouragement! (Dear younger sister: your message truly made me smile. Love you.)

    Reply
  6. Lynne Terr

    Bonjour!

    Reply
  7. Dannyn Qualls-Gibeau

    Bonjour! Ça va? Je peux à peine attendre jusqu’à ce que je peux lire votre nouveau livre! Et mon Dieu, je m’ennuie du pain en France. Ou peut-être que c’est le beurre, que je m’ennuie ?

    Reply

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