Normandy Part 1

Meet the Coldrick FamilyFor purposes of privacy, I will refer to the three kids by their first initials. This is 2 year old T and this is his typical expression which gave me great joy every morning when I first saw him. He is a delightfully joyful little boy and the highlight of my trip came toward the end when he reached over from his mother's arms to kiss me goodnight and the day he called me Mum! M just turned 4 but looks more like 6 or 7. She also looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth! I loved when she invited me to sit next to her on the couch after 8 days! L: you wil see more of her later but this is how I think of her as she cartwheeled her way through Paris, Normandy, and back home in Devon. I was so touched when she invited me into the living room to hear her play the cello.

After several hours of driving we stopped here to refuel. Oliver brought sandwiches he had made in Paris but we ordered fries for the kids and someone at a nearby table offered us a burger that apparently was an extra he was unable to eat. It wasn't bad but mainly I was happy to be at the golden arches because they had wyfi! Le Château I've heard castles and the like can be quite uncomfortable but not this one. Loved the tub! It reminded me of baths as a little girl in my grandmother's victorian house in Far Rockaway. Normandy is known for it's apples, Calvados, and apple cider. These were the first apple blossoms of the season on the grounds. There was a lovely long outdoor table at which we all met for aperitifs. The pink cider was made with cassis. We purchased it from a local cider press. The lovely melon and local ham. Oliver and I at our first collaborative dinner. We went shopping at a fairly nearby supermarket where we found the magret de canard. I made the duck and potatoes, Oliver the courgettes and gravy. (he swiped the garlic I had lovingly simmered in the rendered goose fat til golden to use for the potatoes to put in the gravy--but I was smiling again come dinner time.) It was an amazing experience for me to cook without recipes and with another person. I learned to love it! The potatoes also were cooked in the duck fat and were fabulous! I also loved the way Oliver cooked the courgettes (zucchini) on a heavy cast iron griddle pan. Kate's Mom whipped brought terrific orange marmalade (we added a little to the gravy for the duck) and also managed to whip up an excellent lemon ice cream, without an ice cream maker, using lemon curd and crème fraîche with baked meringues that had been purchased for the kids at the local patisserie folded in before freezing.