veuve de la vendange

Mealtime and How to say "I'm full" in French

Mont Ventoux (c) Kristin Espinasse
A typical country lunch in southern France... read on, in today's story.

rassasier (rah-sah-zee-ay)

    : to satisfy, to satiate; (reflexive) to have enough, to be filled

Audio file: listen to Jean-Marc teach us three ways to say I'm full (and not "je suis plein"!):  Download MP3 file or  hear the Wave file

  1. Non, merci. Je n'ai plus faim.
  2. Non, merci. Je suis rassasié(e).
  3. Non, merci. J'en ai eu assez. 


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

  "An outward focus and an outstanding lunch" 

On Sunday we were expected at Yves and Roseline's house for le déjeuner. I thought to send Jean-Marc ahead without me, not wanting to distract the other diners with my bandaged nose

"J'ai l'air ridicule!" I assured Jean-Marc. It's just comical. How will the other guests keep a straight face?

"Why don't you just cut it off altogether?" he joked. I did not share Jean-Marc's sense of humor, which only fueled my frustration. That's it! No use hiding out at home, alone, with my husband's words ringing in my head!

Lunch at Roseline and Yves's was a welcome distraction. For the repas de chasse, we were greeted by six of Yves's black-and-white spotted hunting dogs, les epagneuls. Our gentle host offered a warm three-kiss welcome, before ushering us into the house, to sit beside the fire with the other guests.

Yves's wife, Roseline, appeared with the first of several apéritifs... Inside the little clear glasses, or verrines, puréed avocado held a layer of crushed, sun-dried tomatoes. Another tray included individual servings of pumpkin potage with a slice of foie gras on top of each mini soup. We used spoons to dip into the small serving glasses; meantime Yves poured champagne.... 

Also on the coffee table were three kinds of savory petits-fours: one of the buttery pastries was made into little feuilletés à la tapenade, another ( a kind of puff pastry cup) held fruits de mer in a creamy sauce. There were also little pancakes with crème fraîche and smoked salmon on top....

If we were going to finish lunch by 4:30 pm, we'd better get crackin'. It was almost 2pm when we switched tables, leaving the living room for the dining room. Roseline disappeared into the kitchen in time to fry up two omelets, carefully mixing in the truffles that were unearthed near the vineyard just outside her kitchen!

After the omelette aux truffes, Yves brought out his offering:


 Lièvre aux truffes. Yves caught the hare himself, and he and Roseline prepared it with truffles, foie gras, and cognac.

The other guests at the table teased the host, after a pellet was found on one of the diners' plates (I think it was Jean-Marc who pulled it out of his own mouth!).

"Be careful not to break a tooth when eating at Yves!" one of the table mates winked.

The four-hour meal continued... A plate of soft cheese, including Saint-marcellin and reblochon, followed, before two "kings cakes"—les galettes des rois— were delivered to the table, following the recent Epiphany celebration.

What with all the outstanding food, this bandaged nose hardly stood out.  What a shame it would have been to have missed out on a traditional country French lunch, surrounded by down-to-earth hosts and their delightful convives


Update: I return to the doctor's this afternoon, to have the stitches taken out, and to learn the results from this third biopsy. Many thanks for the positive thoughts you sent me! 



le déjeuner = lunch
j'ai l'air ridicule
= I look ridiculous
le repas de chasse = hunter's meal
un epagneul = English springer
un apéritif = usually refers to a drink, but can also refer to a snack, such as an amuse-bouche that preceeds a meal 
la verrine = a little see-through glass or cup in which one layers mousse or other savory or sweet "pureed things", topped or mixed, with non-pureed items, too 

le potage = a thick soup
le foie gras = a kind of pâté made of duck or goose liver
les petits fours = little snacks or hors d'oeuvres, made of puff pastry
les fruits de mer = seafood
la crème fraîche = sour cream
le lièvre = hare
un convive = guest (see the convive post, here, and hear the word spoken)  

Some of the Rhône wines that were served: Domaine la Soumade, in the village of Rasteau.

Domaine Rouge-Bleu, in Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes.

Blossoming-cover-kdpBlossoming in Provence is the perfect gift for a traveler, Francophile, or language lover, and the stories, with their in-context French vocabulary, make learning effective and easy! Click here to buy a book, and thank you! 


The baronnies hills and landscape (c) Kristin Espinasse
I wish I'd gotten a photo of the lovely Roseline (always too shy to ask to take a photo of the hostess. Will work on this!). Here is a beautiful landscape picture, taken not far from their home. Notice the galets that surround the vine trunks. In the distance, the Baronnies is a favorite area for hiking, horse-riding, hang gliding, and cycling.

Les Soeurettes (c) Kristin Espinasse
A snapshot from the archives. Smokey's sisters "les soeurettes". Would you like to add a caption to this photo?


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