How to Escape the Cold: Head South to Provence

apres la sieste
We haven’t been too thrilled about the chilly weather that has descended upon us in Burgundy so we decided to head south to our favorite bed and breakfast home away from home in Provence, Apres la sieste in Saint Laurent des arbres, not far from Avignon. This is the fourth time this year we’ve been back. They can’t get rid of us!
apres la sieste
It’s beautiful and warm, just what we needed. The olives are ripening.
apres la sieste
Chill time in the warmth.
apres la sieste

I saw this creepy praying mantis! Probably recently ate its mate and is now getting ready to lay eggs. I’ve never seen a real one before but it totally reminded me of Zorak from Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Après La Sieste
2 suites, 3 rooms; breakfast included
Contact: Jacques et Chloé (English and French spoken)
Website: Après La Sieste
(Visit their site for more room photos, details and rates)
Telephone : 04 66 50 33 94
Mobile Phone: 06 61 84 58 40

Related: Our Favorite Place to Stay in Provence Has a Chef, Dinner Chez Apres La Sieste, Friday France Photo: Saint Laurent des Arbres, Provence

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One Bad Apple: Toxic Mac Pros
Sunday September 28th 2008, 9:23 am
Filed under: articles,business / economy,daily life,games/software/tech,news,products,shopping,weird

From gizmodo:

“One of the croissant-snarfing editors at Gizmodo France passed along this article that alleges the Mac Pro gives off toxic vapors. Translating from the language of lose to the language of guns, soccer moms and hot dogs results in a bit of discombobulation, but the gist is that a CNRS lab researcher got a Mac Pro, and after his eyes and respiratory tract were repeatedly agitated by a “stench,” decided to break down the noxious vapor coming off the Mac Pro. They found “seven volatile organic contaminants.” Though the worst they do inhaled is cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation—ingested is another story—benzene is the most troublesome, since inhaling it eight hours a day over could affect one’s bone marrow. Apple’s response?

The researcher says that after first alerting Apple to the issue, “I got the same answer each time, our skate launcher warning: ‘Our engineers are working on the problem.'” (I’m assuming “skate launcher” is a Google Translate cock-up. Giz France editor says “Skate Launcher warning = the guy from the CNRS lab who tried to warn Apple.”) Since publishing the report, Apple has promised “to resolve the problem in eight days.”

I wouldn’t chuck your Mac Pro out the window yet, but if you’re particularly digging that new car smell, I’d probably cut back on huffing it, until this is sorted out.”

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Carrefour is a Rotten Egg

If you shop at Carrefour, you might have noticed a strange sign they’ve put up near the eggs that first says that eggs stay fresh 25 days after they’ve been packed, then says, “we remove eggs 7 days AFTER the expiration date.” This should be an indication that you should NOT buy eggs from them or at least check the date very carefully. They do this so you cannot return rotten eggs and get your money back.

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Friday France Photo: Appetizer
Friday September 26th 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: Bourgogne/Burgundy,food and drinks,photos,restaurants

les ursulines restaurant in autun

Part of yesterday’s lunch (stuffed tomato, rosemary sorbet and a spoon of cherry and broth gelée at Restaurant Les Ursulines.

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Thursday September 25th 2008, 1:13 pm
Filed under: Bourgogne/Burgundy,cultural differences,daily life,food and drinks,nature

apples in france
We heart Apple season (well I guess we heart all seasons) where we live and this wheelbarrow is about the third one of apples we’ve harvested in the last month or so – from only one tree. By the way, if we didn’t live here in the countryside I probably wouldn’t even be familiar with the French word for wheelbarrow, which is une brouette, just in case you were wondering. My city dwelling family members in the U.S. tease me about this to no end (because I used to be such a die-hard city person), and they sometimes tell people that I am a farmer now. I’m not but I’m actually fine with that.

So many people just leave their apples to drop off and rot on the ground, I mean hundreds upon hundreds of precious, yummy pesticide-free apples, which makes no sense to me but whatever. We can never have enough apples; bring ‘em on, we say.

So far, I’ve only made pectin (with the greener ones), apple compote, and lots of apple (plus other fruit and veggie) juice, but I really would like to try to make some chaussons aux pommes (French apple turnovers) and some tartes aux pommes (apple tarts/pies). You know, do something French with these apples, since they’re French afterall. Maybe I’ll try making something this weekend if I’m not too lazy.

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