Home Is Where the Baguettes Are
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!
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