By Martin Calder
A summer season in Gascony: gaining knowledge of the opposite South of France conjures up the attractions and sounds of the opposite South of France-its powerful spirit of independence, its love of the land, and the easy pleasures within which it revels-with this captivating fish out of water story a few younger Englishman who spends a unprecedented summer time operating at a Ferme-Auberge in a distant hilltop village in Gascony, some of the most rural components of Southwest France. it truly is an idyllic land of rolling hills and vast horizons, swathed with vineyards, sunflowers, and pastures. within the tiny hamlet of Peguilhan, Martin Calder is brought to the Gascon lifestyle, operating the fields and shepherding sheep. it's in Peguilhan that Calder discovers a distinct and fiercely self sustaining humans. filled with colourful characters and sun-drenched landscapes, it is a story of 2 amorous affairs: a summer time romance with Calder's fellow stagiere, Anja, and the start of a lifelong love affair with Gascony. alongside how you will meet the charismatic and convivial Jacques-Henri, the hardworking farmer whose relations takes Calder into their domestic and hearts; Pattes, the mischievous and lovely stray puppy who leaves havoc in his wake; Madame Parle-Beaucoup, town gossip who has a mystery of her personal; and the memorable Monsieur Fustignac, whose satisfaction in his Gascon background is unforgettable. virtually nearly as good as a weekend getaway, A summer season in Gascony: getting to know the opposite South of France is an event you will not are looking to pass over!
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Additional info for A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France
During the high season in July and August, I cooked magrets almost every evening. When the restaurant was expected to be busy, I had to set the wood burning a couple of hours before we opened, so it would be reduced to glowing charcoal when it was time to start grilling. I cooked the fleshy side first, to allow the fat to seep into the meat from above. The duck sizzled as the fat dripped, spitting and spattering, into the smoking embers. The smell was always tantalising and the smoke gave a rich, woody flavour to the meat, but I frequently had to step back from the alcove, coughing, to breathe in the open courtyard.
Bruno brought out a stack of wooden vegetable storage trays and set about repairing the broken ones. Paul was in the kitchen making coffee. Florence was doing something curious. Since she’d arrived, she’d scooped out, washed and saved the seeds from all the melons we’d eaten. Now, she spread them out on the table, took a long piece of black twine, threaded it on a needle and began to poke the needle through the flat side of the seeds one after another, sliding them down the twine like beads. She was concentrating very hard, following the movements of the needle with her tongue around the corners of her mouth.
My summer at the Auberge suddenly looked very different. ‘Anja’s a student at Heidelberg,’ said Marie-Jeanne, quite impressed. ’ I asked her. ’ Anja spoke good English and even better French. We were destined always to speak to one another in French. We’d both come to the Auberge for a real Gallic experience, as we put it to live in French, and it was natural for us to use that as our lingua franca. In truth, I think Anja’s French was better than mine. Marie-Jeanne went into the kitchen to start making coffee for Anja.