A room with a view or, if you like, une chambre avec une scène. Read on in today's story, by guest blogger Lynn McBride.
Lié, e (lee-ay) adjective
: to be friendly with, close to, attached to
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In the news...
(headline) L'acteur vedette des films "Twilight" lié à Dracula par le sang. Robert Pattinson et Vlad Dracula sont semble-t-il liés par le biais de la famille royale britannique.
The star of the "Twilight" films linked to Dracula by blood. Robert Pattinson and Vlad Dracula are, it seems, linked by means of the British Royal Family.
Love and a Tarte Tatin
... by Lynn McBride
A French window is a thing of beauty. First there is the satisfying experience of turning a heavy, twisted iron handle. Then with both arms you draw the windows toward you and suddenly, with no screen between you and the sky, you are truly outside, leaning into the sunshine. From high in the château we live in, the view below--a patchwork of lush pastures with their leafy borders and white Charolais cows--is like a framed, living painting on our smooth stone wall.
My husband Ron and I have become bien lié with Nicole and Pierre, the owners of this château. When we decided to move to France several years ago, we were lucky enough to stumble into a fantasy life in a fairy tale castle in southern Burgundy with this extraordinary couple we’ve come to love, who have oriented us, taught us some French, and educated us about French food.
And if food equals love, then love at the Château de Balleure is a tarte tatin.
Tarte tatin. Even the words, as they roll off your tongue, are delicious. The first time I ever heard of this warm, caramelized, topsy turvey apple pie was many years ago, when my husband sent me to a cooking class at the Cordon Bleu in Paris for my birthday. When Monsieur le Chef announced that we would be making that iconic dessert, the woman next to me, a food writer, began almost dancing in her chair. “Can you believe it?” she whispered excitedly in my ear. “A tarte tatin!” But now that I’ve had both, I must tell you this: that famous chef’s version couldn’t hold a candle to the one Nicole makes.
Lynn's husband, Ron, with Nicole.
The table in Nicole and Pierre’s dining room at the Château de Balleure is an imposing walnut affair, in a bright, grand room with dark wood beams. We’ve had many a fine meal there, but there are certain rules: Ron, who is habitually spoiled by Nicole, has his own chair, at Nicole’s right. And if we are invited to dine, even with a large group, there is tarte tatin for dessert. This tradition started the very first time she served us her specialty, and Ron said, “Nicole, why would you ever make any other dessert?” And with that clever comment, we have scored our favorite dish at every shared meal.
It was with great trepidation that I asked her to share her famous recipe. But Nicole, always generous, agreed, and Dear Reader, you are to be privy to her secrets. Serve it hot, with cream, to someone you love.
Go to www.southernfriedfrench.com today to find Nicole’s recipe. Also on the menu at Southern Fried French: the sweet little history of tarte tatin and the Tartin sisters.
Lynn McBride is a former magazine editor for Better Homes & Gardens who moved to Burgundy from Charleston, South Carolina. She and her husband serendipitously landed in a medieval château with a French couple, where she’s busy learning about language, French cooking, and the good life in France. You can subscribe to her weekly blog, with a recipe, at Southern Fried French (www.southernfriedfrench.com).
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