Fruit & cheese garde-mangers for sale on a sidewalk in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I wonder if they make a mini version for the furry hero in today's story... read on in today's column.

Harvest update: two more harvesters arrived over the weekend: John (retired, from Indiana) and Ansley (living in Avignon; from Portland). They are staying with Erin (Australia), Ross (California via Washington State), and Charles (Rouge-Bleu investor from Florida) in a local gîte that Jean-Marc reserved for them. Ansley ended up with the couch and John will bunk with Charles (who snores worse than I do). Erin and Ross are sharing the second room. 

Harvesters  I knew I liked John when, asked about Charles's snoring, he replied, "It was no problem. Once I identified the source, I adjusted to it."
"I hear it sounds like a train," I said, of Charles's snoring.
"No," John replied, thoughtfully.  "Kind of like a cicada."

(Click on photo: left to right: Ansley, John (visiting), Marcy (visiting), Charles, Kristin, Jean-Marc, John, Ross, Erin)

Today's word:

garde-manger  (gard-mahn-zhay) noun, masculine

    : cooler; pantry, larder

In books:
The Professional Garde Manger: A Guide to the Art of the Buffet by David Paul Larousse
Garde Manger
, The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen by The Culinary Institute of America

Audio File:

Listen to the French word garde-manger and this example sentence: "Remets-le dans le garde-manger." (Put it back in the pantry) Download garde-manger.wav.Download garde-manger.mp3


I was chatting on the phone with my mother-in-law, thanking her for another three mustard jars full of homemade tapenade (enough to feed an army the harvesters) when I noticed the sketchy aller-retours of a kitchen mouse.

A perfect fur ball with legs that spun like an electric fan in summertime, the petite souris made several back-n-forth sprints from an opening near the baseboard... all the way over to the cat food bowl—three failed attempts before, BINGO!, the little mouse landed in the bowl, plucked up a cat croquette and, with a blur of revolving legs and a panic-stricken face, peeled out of that pit so fast the remaining croquettes hardly had time to settle before the mouse-voleur had disappeared behind the fridge.

"Good thing Coco (the cat) is passed out on the couch," I exclaimed, rooting for the cute rodent.
"What's that?" my mother-in-law asked, lost at the other end of the telephone line.

I might've further shared my thoughts, musing "When the cat's away the mice do play!" Instead, I thanked my mother-in-law for the tapenade.

Comment on today's post or share your own vignette, here:

Ross  aller-retour = comings and goings; la souris (f) = mouse; voleur (voleuse) = thief

(photo, left: the volonteer-harvesters brought roses... how nice is that?)

Rosetta Stone V3: French, Level 1
Zip around in this Miniature Euro Electric Scooter
Doudou la Souris : soft toy for baby
In French magazines: Art & Decoration: Printed in French, Art et Decoration, is filled with ideas and how-to information for decorating all areas of the home and garden, including dinner table displays, flower arrangements, arts and crafts, and French interior design tips for all rooms of the house.

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