Superhero in French & What SDF stands for
Adieu Mas des Brun: Last dispatch from the vineyard & Ratatouille recipe!

Finally, Some News: We are now squatters...

These are now the good old days. Yesterday we drove 2 hours north, to the notary's office, to meet 9 people involved in our complicated, 4-hour transfer of property. Ça y est! We've sold our home and vineyard! We move on August 21st... (Photo by the previous previous owners of this stone mas, the Fraser and Moss family. Thank you, Maggie and Michael, for selling us your home in August of 2012 and for all you did to help us along the way. Thanks especially for your support in turning this page.).

un grigri

    : a signature, a scribbles signature

Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French

Click here

Hier, nous sommes allés à Sarrians, pour faire plein de petits grigris chez le Notaire pour signer la vente de notre vignoble.
Yesterday we went to Sarrians, to do a lot of signatures at the notary's to approve the sale of our vineyard.


"Holy Sow! What Now?"

    by Kristin Espinasse

In two weeks we will wake up in La Ciotat, this whole tender histoire behind us. I won't go into the story of 5 thrilling, beautiful, and difficult years at our made from scratch vineyard, because I have a sanglier in the oven and boxes to pack!

While clearing the cellier, that pig was one of the surprises we encountered (they don't mention wild boars in ANY of those decluttering articles I've been reading). The giant gigot (one of many given to us over the years by a local chasseur) was discovered in the congélateur, followed by a shuddering "Holy Sow! What now?"

My conscience whispered, "To toss it is to let that pig die in vain!"

Common sense barked, "Just cook it!"

Just cook it? For 4 hours--during France's heatwave? Surely that was NOT the voice of reason speaking!

Along with all the other moving-houses chaos in my mind, I've been preoccupied about just how we'll eat that giant hairy cuisse. Until I remembered the new owners of this house are coming by tomorrow night. I guess we won't be offering them a humble slice of We-can't-cook-cuz-we're packing Pizza!

Mon Dieu. The new owners of this house.... That makes us squatters! Nothing but two sweaty squatters cooking a giant pig in somebody else's oven. A further irony is that neither Jean-Marc nor I want to eat that poor beast!

This episode caused us to re-think our need for a 6-drawer freezer and other follies of consumption and accumulation we are currently dealing with. May we learn from our mistakes. Can you, dear reader, relate?


le grigri = signature  (slang)  
le sanglier = wild boar
le cellier = pantry, larder, storeroom, cellar
le gigot = leg, thigh
le congélateur = freezer
le chasseur = hunter
la cuisse = leg and thigh
Cuisse sanglier wild boar thigh
One great joy of living here at the vineyard has been this kitchen window, where our golden retriever, Smokey, hangs out while I cook. More memories from our vineyard here.

TABLECLOTH, Provence-themed - see a selection.

LAGUIOLE  steak knives are for sale in many of the local French market stands. Order here.

FRENCH KITCHEN TOWELS by Garnier-Thiebaut. Order here.

Espadrilles -  seen them everywhere in the south of France and elsewhere! Click here.

THE PARIS PEACE T-shirt - "so many people have stopped to ask me where I got it" -Betty. Click here


La Tarte Tomate. Here's that Tomato Tart recipe you keep asking for this time of year! Click here

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety