Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 23: Les Plaisirs du Pain


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.


Bisous,
N2




PS: The white freesias are giving off the scent
of white pepper now that they are open.

5 comments:

swallowtail said...

oohhh, and I see you have knicked the burre already! I am making some soup for dinner, and wishing sorely for one of those loaves, with the creamy, salty butter.

Love the B&W photo!

xoxoLC

Ms. Moon said...

Beautiful, beautiful and you remind me it is a day for me to make bread. Walnut whole wheat? Sweet potato pecan? Oatmeal flax? I have all day to think about it, all day to do it.

N2 said...

Oohhh, Ladies, wish I could have you here for fresh pain et beurre and cassis jelly. Yummm! It is the simple things, as I know you both know =o).

Each one of those breads sound deelish, Ms Moon. And I know LC could womp us up a fabulous pear crisp.

x0x0 N2

Bethany said...

Um, can I come along. I will clean up!
Love your bread talk. I wish I could eat half of anything. Lasts till mid week! Good for you. That big hunk of butter is calling to me.
You're killing me.
Thanks for taking my attention away from MUST EAT BREAD LIKE THIS NOW, to the beautiful Freesias.

N2 said...

Hi B - You made me chuckle =o) The bread rule is that I must only have one piece for breakfast or two if I am having a sandwich for dinner. Don't talk to me about this butter, though. I could eat it like cheese, like by the slice...
BACK AWAY from the BUTTER, N2!

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