Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Only two years and yet it feels longer

Next week, on March 31st, it’ll be two years since our favourite butcher shop closed down. Somehow, it seems longer though. The other day I realized that one of things I was missing most, beside the quality meat, the friendly service and the butcher’s inoffensive flirting, was the weekly walk into the village on Saturday morning. I do most of my shopping on Friday, when I take the car to our local supermarket, although it’s only half a mile down the road. Dragging two to the brim filled shopping bags, which each seem to weigh a ton, home is very bad for my back though. So the car is indispensable, especially when it’s raining and you need a third hand to hold the umbrella.

My new Saturday morning walk incentive.
Any idea what it is?

So the Saturday morning walk made a nice and feasible difference. I therefore decided to re-instore the tradition. And a few weeks ago I trotted down the road again, equipped with my Portuguese handmade shopping bag, which I use for my light-weight shopping. In order to force myself to keep up the habit, I’ve invented a new incentive and goal: our local bakery shop and the pharmacist.

On Friday I phone the bakery to put in an order for the next day. And to make sure that I pick it up in the morning – the best time for a brisk an refreshing walk – I also make sure that I need to drop in at the pharmacists’, which is closed on Saturday afternoon.

Yesterday’s walk was very nice. The sun was shining, yet the air was crisp and clean and the somehow chilly, yet not unpleasant north-easterly wind made my cheeks and ears tingle.

A 'French tradition' loaf

Moreover, I was very pleased with what I had ordered at the bakery: a rustic loaf of bread called ‘French tradition’. It looks like a giant baguette; way too large for me to eat on my own. So I cut it in half and gave one of the two halves to my mother. The best way to enjoy it, is to cut it in 3-4 cm chunks on which you put a generous helping of creamy cheese, pâté, rillettes or butter and jam.

Luckily I can share it with my mother.

I have a feeling that I will be taking many more Saturday morning walks down the road to pick up one of these beauties!


chm said...

Martine, you're doing exactly the right thing.

Being almost a nonagenarian, and having a "poussette de marché", I make a point in walking once a week to my shopping center, weather permitting.
I guess it's about three quarters of a mile, one way. To the friends who want to help me, I say: "As long as I can make it, I must do it. When you give up, you're lost. You'll be the first to know when I need you!"

Hope your mother is in good shape.

Carolyn said...

That's a gorgeous loaf of bread. I'd be more likely to pick up a few pastries at the same time, which would undo the purpose of the walk.

Bob said...

healthy or unhealthy? I say a pastry, but not sure which one. As for the bread, that's the way I like it. We had a can of German potato soup (from Aldi) last night and we could have used that bread!!!!

Jean said...

That's the good thing about having a dog.
Two brisk walks every day, regardless of weather and if we feel like it or not!
The bread looks delicious! You could always use the leftovers to make a hood old fashioned English bread and butter pudding.

Jean said...

".....good old fashioned......."

VirginiaC said...

The bread looks delicious enough for a Saturday morning walk to obtain it.

Niall & Antoinette said...

that bread looks yummy :-)

ladybird said...

Chm, My mother has her good and bad days, but in general she is doing well, pottering around the garden on a sunny day, using her 'rolator', the Belgian equivalent of your 'poussette de marche'. Hope you are well and that you will be able to continue doing your own shopping for many more years.

Carolyn, You see through me :) I did pick up some extra pastries, but 'forgot' to mention them in my post.

Bob, That loaf would have been great with the potato soup. Yumm!

Jean, Bread pudding is not a Belgian tradition, but I could sure do with the recipe ... if you have the time.

Virginia, I got another one of these beauties yesterday and enjoyed three large slices with a topping of cream cheese with chopped chives. Divine!

N&A, Our baker spent many years in France learning the trade and the result is fabulous.