11 October, 2010

Any given saturday.

There are no morning cartoons on Saturdays here.
They exist in France, bien sûr, but not at our house, because for that you'd need a television.  So, after the early morning daddy/daughter/dog walk, the young ones go with their father to the bakery, some five minutes away in the village.  After that, the paper, a croissant and coffee for daddy at the cafe.  The kids get green tea or chocolat chaud. I get to sleep in a bit longer.
Only now, in mushroom time, I don't. Instead, the five year old buccaneer stays home with me, because he loves to 'hunt for treasure'. Penknife, camera and basket in hand, he and I step out into the field and forest sparkling with dew, heavy with the scent of the blooming oregano, to seek out our treasure, like the perfectly purple fungus below.  (I think it's a lactaire amethyste, or amethyst deceiver.)
Since it's just the two of us 'experts' we harvest only the local basics I'm comfortable with, like rosé des prés (in English they're just a plain-Jane-but-tasty field mushrooms), chanterelles/girolles, trompettes de la mortcèpes--and if we're crazy lucky--l'oronge
The unknown mushrooms in these photos were admired, and left alone.  They are really only the pretext, anyway. 
We are as much there for the dappled sunlight, the discovery of any number of potential, seductively mossy picnic spots, and any particularly well-formed dead branches (to use as swords, obviously).  
Sometimes we find a clutch of chanterelles, other times a wild boar mudbath, with the tree trunks all around it covered in mud up to my eyeballs.  That's when I start Talking Really Loudly.  (Did I ever tell you my neighbor shot a boar that weighed 120 kilos?  You should have seen the tusks.)
Other times it's the flowers we stop to admire. The little one's at the ideal height to best enjoy all these things. He orders me, repeatedly, to take pictures of  'all the beauty'. So I do. Sometimes I'm laughing too much (goodbye, blurred shot of tiny, electric green acorns).
We look for the spiders who made such airy, deadly traps in the broom.  No luck.
No matter: this past hunt, we had luck enough to fill the saucepan.  After leaving my co-conspirator with his father, I spent my usual two hours singing in the choir (we're now rehearsing Yugoslavian drinking songs and Mozart's ecco quel fiero istante). Boy, was I ready for lunch, and the mushrooms were soon ready after a thorough brushing.
Threw in some golden tomatoes I put up a while ago, a smidge of salt and white ground pepper...
...some spaghetti al dente and we were good to go.  Bon ap', as the young'uns say.
With the 600-odd new books just in at the library, after lunch I put in some extra time there organizing.  I came across this gem, which I had to share with you.
Here's a peak inside.  Inside a pimped van, early 70s, opium den style.  How about that?  Tell me you have one, just like it.
In between raindrops, the colors are up in the village as well, if less Dance of the Seven Veils-ish. 
On the way home, the ripening fruit of an olive tree mingles with a yellow firethorn. 
Note to the dearest little pirate: I'm doing my best to take pictures of all the beauty.


  1. The picture of the windows with shutters is gorgeous!

  2. Oh to have your life, if only for a day.

    Love that you get to sleep in on Saturday. Sunday's my day to sleep and does it ever feel good!

  3. Your photography is beautiful and your prose is fun. :)

  4. so, so pretty. and delicious.

  5. Hi WC,
    Thank you! Great fall colors, right?

    Hello Rose,
    Well, make sure you have my life on a well-chosen, GOOD day!

    Hello John,
    A girl can never have too many compliments! Thank you.

    Hello Aidan,
    Pretty and delicious sums it up perfectly. For dinner last night I had some delicious black trumpets and chanterelles that my son and I had gathered. SO GOOD!


Thanks for visiting my blog and joining in the conversation!

Related Posts with Thumbnails