Saturday, December 8, 2007

Barging in Burgundy

Our great travel adventure for 2007 was a September trip to France. We were joined by Jeff and Julie (son and daughter in law) and good friends Craig and Melitta Cronce. The first week was spent aboard the barge Sarouche, captained by a most jolly Kevin Tickell and his chef wife, Jodie. What comfortable and beautiful accomodations. The food was beyond wonderful, as Jodie is a creative and accomplished cook. (There is a lot more information and pictures of the barge at We highly recommend this barge. We think there is none better.)

Chris, Julie, Craig and Jeff relaxing on the deck of the barge as we meandered down the canal.

Jodie's Boeuf Bourguignon...I was so inspired by this dish, I just had to try it when we got home. The recipe I found and liked the best was from Bouquet de France (an old Gourmet magazine publication) called Vinters' Beef. I tried Jodie's Lapin Dijon one night...loved it. Unfortunately, all my travelling companions gave me a hard time for eating Flopsy. Or was it Mopsy or Cotton-tail...don't know, don't care - it was wonderful! And don't EVEN think of emailing me about what a rotten person I am and "how could you eat the poor wittle wabbit." blah, blah, blah... With a knife and fork, I say!!

The next leg of our trip took us to the middle of France, just north of Limoges, and a charming bed and breakfast run by Kathy and Martin Missen - Le Canard de Parapluie. The house used to be the hotel at the rail depot. She says they are still laughing at how we toasted the trains every time they passed by the house. Didn't matter what we were drinking - coffee, wine, whatever... Hey, we know how to have a good time. We spent one day touring the town of Oradour-sur-Glane ( - a fascinating website created by an enthusiastic historian). It was very moving. The town was destroyed and all its residents murdered by SS men just before the close of WWII. The town has been preserved just as the Germans left it as a memorial. This is the doctors car near the town square.

Our final night in France at Les Caves de Marson near Saumur in the western Loire valley. The restaurant is in a Troglodyte cave and only lit by candlelight. I had the mother of all colds, but it was still pretty special to be sitting there with my sweetie enjoying a glass of Coteaux du Layon.

More on the trip later...

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