It was supposed to be a day of chores — well, not exactly chores if that implies a tedious job that must be done at the request of parents. Errands, perhaps? Opportunities? In any case, we had a number of things to do, in preparation for the arrival of our first guest, the Rock.
First we had to buy wine. This wasn’t an expedition to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or Gigondas, or any familiar appelation. No this was just getting in the quaffable wine. We have been left with bag-in-boxes Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, but the south of France is all about rosé so we went in search. We headed over the gorge to Bourdic, where we bought two 5L bags-in-box, Grenandise rosé and Campagnac rosé. Anthony asked, “Will we drink all this?” Silly question.
We then headed to Collorgues to the olive oil press of Soulas where we acquired extra virgin, cold pressed, olive oil made from the local Picholine olives. Fruity and sharp. It has a distinctive taste.
By now it was time for lunch so we headed to Uzès and la Place aux Herbes, where my favorite restaurant, Terroirs, occupies a corner of the square.
They serve simple but excellent food — a tartine of pesto, tomatoes, chevre called Uzetienne (pronounced Uzesienne) or a salade composé of tender lettuce, parma ham, dried tomatoes and mozzarella. Antony had the Pissaladière and I the Uzetienne.
We whiled away an hour and a half, people watching, enjoying our meal and picking up a few delicacies in the small boutique.
We dashed through Carrefour to pick up the last few provisions — all-butter, already-rolled pastry, ice cream, lentils, chick peas and a few other necessities.
Inspired by Antony’s lunchtime pissaladiere tartine, I riffed on it with the tuna steaks we had bought in Les Halles. Slow cooked onions splashed with Banyuls vinegar, settled on top of a thin spread of tapenade and of puree of confit tomatoes which crowned the lightly cooked steaks. Filets from anchovies packed in salt criss-crossed the top.
Too many flavors, perhaps, was my judgement.