I am now back home after a wonderful visit toFrance. Barging, touring, cooking at La Combe and studying French at the French L’Ecôle d’Eté, Summer School, at the Nancy University. On the barge we had a fabulous cooking class, in French, with my French class. It was most successful and absolutely fantastic to think we could cook on board in arelatively small space in the galley kitchen.
I am refreshed with many great ideas for cooking in our classes. The French have tremendous attention to detail, which always strikes me when I cook there with the chefs. The making of a simple eschallot salad dressing, making paper thin crepes, and the traditional ‘Quiche Lorraine’, another tautology I was told as Quiche isLorraine!
We enjoyed excellent barging trips around Lorraine, to historic Strasbourg and Saverne…climbing up and over the Vosges Mountain range (which divides Lorraine and Alsace), including going up and down the Ardviller inclinator, which saved us going through 17 lochs! and many other lochs, going through five tunnels and travelling through the beautiful forests and experiencing sensational scenery.
The trip to Bar-Le-Duc, near the border of Champagne and Lorrainewas fascinating, filled with ancient 12th and 13th century buildings, fountains, squares and houses, very authentically and appropriately restored. Bar-Le-Duc is the beginning of the famous sacred road toVerdun and was the major supply route to the town of Verdun, where the Battle of Verdun raged for 10 months and achieved very little other than many deaths on all sides.
Describing cities in France as historic is unnecessary as they are all historic, ancient, beautiful and charming. Each has their own story, usually associated with a specific historic period, person or event. I also travelled with my daughter to Champagne, Bourgogne, the Auvergne, La Combe Cooking School in the Dordogne as well as around Nancy, where the barge was moored during my stay. More about the beautiful La Combe next with photos.