My Take on… Picnic in Provence

Book Reviews

In a recent post, I gave my take on Lunch in Paris, a memoir with recipes by Elizabeth Bard. Having enjoyed her first book, I decided to follow her journey to the French countryside of Provence. Picnic in Provence is full of more of Bard’s recipes, this time with a flair for the French countryside.

In Picnic in Provence, the now pregnant Elizabeth and her husband set off on an adventure to Provence to visit the home town of Rene Char, a poet that her husband finds of interest. To their surprise and great luck, the home that Char used to inhabit is now available for purchase. Falling in love with Provence, the couple decide to leave Paris for the countryside. They learn to live at a slower pace and decide to become entrepreneurs as well. What town could not use an ice cream shop?

After reading Picnic in Provence, I am ready to pack a bag for France. After all, I am fond of lavender, French cooking, and ice cream. Picnic in Provence did not dissapoint. It was a perfect follow-up to Lunch in Paris. I highly recommend making some croissants and sitting down with a copy of Bard’s latest memoir. Au Revoir!

Lavender

gardening

Ah the sight of lavender fields! Brings one to think of lazy days touring Provence, France. The fresh scent of lavender can put one at ease. Wouldn’t this be lovely in your own back yard? That is exactly what I thought.

Shopping with my daughter, I came across bunches of dried lavender. “Wouldn’t this be nice,” I thought. Then I looked at the price tag. Maybe not today. After pondering the expense of buying dried lavender, I decided it would be more cost efficient to plant and dry my own lavender and that is what I did.

Lavender is extremely easy to grow here in California. It does not need a lot of water and is not picky about the soil except that it should be well draining.

The lavender can be cut and hung upside down to dry and then used around the house. Once cut, it does not take long for the lavender to bloom again. It is best to harvest lavender early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the bees, which love the lavender, are not busy at work.

I decided to dry lavender to be put in a ceramic wall pocket. I may also try making some dried lavender satchels to put in my drawers. It looks as though I will have enough lavender for myself and to share with others as well and my plants are only a year and not fully grown. Au Revoir!