Yesterday I went around the corner and across the road to the to the other bakery in town, simply called the Boulangerie Patisserie. The friendly folks who ran the old mainstay bakery on the Place Dom de Vic for years and years got into financial troubles around the same time the banks did in the US and then Europe, though I don't think there was a close connection, and slunk out of town during the night a year ago this past Fall.
A few months later, the Boulangerie Patisserie became the 'staff of life' bakery here in town. (It is a droit de vie to have fresh bread each day!) They are on the main road and I see working men in their vans and people from outlying hamlets stopping on their way by, in addition to the local, walk-in business. They also supply the fresh bread and croissants that the Utile grocery store, across the main road from them, sells.
I usually buy a half loaf of bread at the market on Saturdays. (I love that it is quite normal to buy "une demi" or half loaf here, so that the bread is not wasted.) My favorite bread vendor at the market, and there are ~10 different ones, is "Bio" (organic) and uses levain natur (natural leavening or sourdough). I like their pain noix (whole wheat walnut) or sesame, pronounced "sess-sam", (whole wheat sesame).
That half loaf lasts me until mid week. Then I go to the Boulangerie Patisserie and get a small loaf of pain cereale (seeded whole wheat). Yesterday, the little lady who works the counter, after our exchange of the ritual "Bonjour, madame!" said "Cereale." before I did. "Oui, merci." I replied, pleased. I've become a regular =o).
She chose a loaf of cereale from the shelf and then paused. Mais peut-être un de ces (But, perhaps one of these), she said, pointing to another group of cereale loaves, bien cuit (well baked, meaning crusty, a nice crust). Oui, merci bien, I affirmed.
It was a little thing, but neighborly (amical). I felt cared for and part of the village in a small but kind way. I took my bread home and enjoyed it for breakfast and dinner with the wonderful beurre aux cristaux de Sel de Mer de Noirmoutier (butter with crystals of sea salt, the whole cube pictured above for the benefit of my friend LC).
The "pleasures of bread" as it says on the paper in which she wrapped it. Quite satisfying, all in all.
PS: The white freesias are giving off the scent
of white pepper now that they are open.