Sunday, August 23, 2009

Southern France and my G10 pt.5 and finale

I love to cook as much as photography and there is no better place for awesome ingredients than France. I went to Farmer's market at least twice week to buy food for the family. Unlike our mass food chains, the food does not last as long before one must use it or through it away. But, and this is a very big BUT, the produce is so much tastier since they are picked ripe and not picked weeks before they hit the market.

The meat is all grass feed and not stuffed with corn so the fat content is much lower and the flavours are much bolder. Beef tastes like beef, pork is freaking awesome, lamb, Veal, chicken and so on are just sooo good.

Enough talking about the food since I am starting to drool on my Mac and it is not pretty and onto some pics I took at some of the Markets.

Seafood is very big in these parts as one would expect since we are so close to the Mediterranean. At first I was a little weary about buying seafood from the market but that faded away as soon as I started to see how fresh the seafood really was.

The French version of crawdads. I loved these little guys. Nothing like admitting to eating and loving water insects. My kids would not touch them unless the meat was out of the shells.

The Markets not only sold fresh items but dry goods as well. Anyone want some rose pedals for their salads or to make rose pedal infused oil and sauces. The perfume wafting from these dried roses was incredible.
I made some humus with ingredients I bought from the market for a BBQ potluck we were going to at my parents. I used the normal amount of garlic I would usually use but that was a mistake. This garlic compared to the garlic from Gilroy is much much stronger. Still, everyone seemed to gobble it up but the smell the next day was brutal. Good thing we were all family and friends.
I so loved these small villages were the smaller farmer's markets were located. One really got a great feeling of age and time from the more modern homes that are a few hundred years old to the older abbeys and churches that date back to the 13th century or older.

Besides the joy of going to the markets, I also became a big fan of Le Cosy in Carcassone. This little bistro owned by Joseph Di Domenico not only has great food and atmosphere, it also has live jazz playing on special nights. One of those special nights that Theresa and I never missed while we were there was Saturdays. On this day, my dad, his drummer and sometimes bassist plays from 8pm to 11pm. I do not think there was a more proud son than I when I truly enjoyed listeneing to my dad play.

As you might notice on my home page of my web site is a picture of my dads hands floating across the piano. Even though my dad played mostly acoustic guitar when I was a kid, he held a passion for his first love of musical instruments, the piano.
I would have of never believed that my dad would become a jazz performer after he retired and especially of all places in southern France. You go dad!!!

Theresa and I enjoying great food and awesome Jazz

My Dad

On the second Saturday that we went to Le Cosy, we ran into a couple that got lost going from Toulouse to Beziers. They ended up at Le Cosy by chance, hungry, tired and probably frustrated since Beziers was another 90 km away.

As life goes, this was a blessing for me and all the guests at the bistro that night. The couple consisted of Adam Berry, American professional photojournalist working in Berlin, and his travel companion classically trained violinist from Hungry. For the life of me I can not remember her name :-(.

As we chatted with Adam, we convinced his travel companion to take out her violin and play some sets with my dad. It was amazing. She improvised beautifully even with extremely different music styles between the technically perfect style of classical music to the very rebelliousness style of Jazz.

It just shows you how a bad day for a frustrated traveling lost couple can turn into an evening of awesome music, great food and wonderful memories.

The owner of Le Cosy stood in awe over the music he was hearing. What a magical and memorable night

I hope everyone following along with me on this journey entry was able to have an understanding of how great of a time my family and I had here in southern France. The few times that I have gone to this part of the world, I am reminded why my parents ran away from home and planted themselves in a little part of heaven called southern France.

Love to my parents - Miss you already

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