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It's All Downhill from Here

semi-overcast 21 °C

We are on the top of the world as far as the Canal-du-Midi is concerned, 600 feet above sea level; the high point of our trip. Behind us, to the east, is the Mediterranean – ahead is the Atlantic Ocean – and from now on we will be going down in the locks. As if sensing that we are on the downhill run of our journey the weather gods have decided to re-acclimatise us to our Canadian home and have dropped the temperature ten degrees, ratcheted up the wind and turned on the showers. However, the sun shone on us in Castelnaudary – a canal-side town of terracotta houses with an Italianate feel – and Sheila put out the laundry on the foredeck.
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Castelnaudary is renowned for cassoulet, a dish of white beans, (lingots), duck thighs and Toulouse sausage, and, as expected, it was superb. Cassoulet may look just like Heinz baked beans to the uninitiated, but that’s where the similarity ends. It has the flavor of duck, the smoky aroma of cured ham and a crisp golden crust. We ate in the restaurant that claims to serve the finest and most traditional cassoulet – but they all say that. Here is Captain David enjoying his…
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We also visited the market – one of the best in our experience – and provisioned the boat with local lamb, duck and chicken, together with the freshest of fruit and vegetables. Tonight’s dinner began with escargot en vol au vent, (snails in puff pastry with garlic butter), followed by stuffed cutlets of lamb, petits pois, baby carrots and tiny new potatoes. Primeurs is the name given to these first vegetables of spring and the tender newborns are highly prized in France. The main course was accompanied by individual flans of infant leeks topped with a local cheese,
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The French are justifiably proud of their cheeses. Here’s a small selection especially for Gary and Jane to consider for our Village Store…
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Castelnaudary is a pick-up point for hire boats and, in the space of a few hours, we had bumped into four groups of British Columbians, including a whole boatload of people from Powell River. But visitors from all over the world come here to cruise on the Canal, and that’s not surprising with views like these around every corner…
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Posted by Hawkson 23:14 Archived in France

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So inspired by the culinary content of your blog we are doing our own research into fine dining: http://politicsofreading.blogspot.com/2010/06/gourmet-food-of-mississauga.html

by janet

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