Puylaurens, France—We’ve settled in to our routine here with Hans and Angela. Ben is working with Hans on renovating their 17th century house and I am doing an assortment of things: laundry, helping with the building, etc. but mostly I am focusing on cooking. It’s a privilege to have a kitchen again, and because Hans and Angela are vegetarians, I am learning a lot. Today for lunch I made veggie burgers using primarily leftover quinoa. I snuck a bit of cheese in the middle of the burgers for a twist and it went over pretty well I think! Also, they had never seen carrots or strawberries in salad before, so I think they think I am adventurous!
Most of the food they have is organic and/or locally grown, although they are not above shopping at the regular supermarket—so big that here it’s called “hyper market." As in Cote d’Azur, the produce is incredible (it’s asparagus season now) and they also have an abundance of French cheeses, which is awesome. The views of the surrounding countryside never get old, and every time I walk outside I don’t know where to look first. I get dizzy in the car trying to see both sides of the road at once. They also plant lines of trees on either side of the main roads, sometimes for miles. It’s strikingly powerful.
Hans and Angela have been in Puylaurens for seventeen years, so it feels like they are more knowledgeable about the local culture than our last hosts. Like Gaby and Ton, however, Hans and Angela are taking really good care of us. In addition to being very interested in and accommodating of our Shabbat observance, they have also taken us on outings to the nearby towns of Revel and Castres as well as Toulouse , which is about an hour away. Toulouse was gorgeous, everything was in reddish orange brick and the city has roots clearly from the Romanesque period, around the year 1000.
So life is really good here. We are enjoying it even more than the Cote d’Azure. It feels much more authentic except for the occasional sprawl, which has been growing in the last fifteen years. It upsets Ben greatly. Also, our computer is on the fritz we believe because of a loose wire that sometimes disables the keyboard and touchpad. So if you don’t hear from us for a while, don’t worry. We are planning to get it taken care of soon, but might have to wait until Paris.
Be'er Sheva and Tel Aviv (start from photo 80): http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2529445&id=5726231&l=185b133fb0
Southwest France coming soon