Spent a couple days reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by J. K. Rowling. Really, really enjoyed it — fun start to a new detective series — but it means I haven’t been a very faithful blogger.
We have been back-tracking a bit with this second ten day segment of the cruise. From Marseille to Le Lavandou (France) to Portovenere (Italy) to Monte Carlo (Monaco), and now today in Sete (France.) This was supposed to be the day we went in to Montpelier with the chef but Seabourn goofed on the scheduling and we got shut out if it. To their credit, they are making it good, scheduling another chef’s market tour for Valencia, and we are first on their list. That’s the last day of the cruise but it will be a fun way to end.
Meanwhile there have been some delicious bites worth mentioning. In La Lavendou we took a stroll and found a bakery selling pan bagnat sandwiches — a favorite of mine from the summer I spent in Avignon. They are tuna sandwiches on steroids — no mayo just really good tuna on a large round crusty roll, with lettuce, ripe tomato, onion, anchovy maybe a few black olives and a sliced hard boiled egg, all drizzled with good olive oil, with the juices allowed to soak into the bread. So delicious. We split one, eating it on a park bench in the shade.
The same bakery had one of my favorite provencal treats — callisons d’Aix. These are little oval-shaped confections made of ground up almonds and melon paste. Sweet and nutty — I love them.
The next day in Portovenere I had my eye on a great sounding place for Ligurian food, but we got there only to find them closed for lunch that day. Too bad for us! Instead we went to a place by the shore that served local seafood. I had linguini with pesto and a piece of grilled swordfish. The pasta was excellent — a plateful of summertime with its basil and garlic and olive oil and cheese — but the swordfish was kind of fishy. Jer had fabulous spaghetti in a tomatoey seafood sauce — mussels and clams and huge shrimp. He followed that with mussels with a bread and sausage stuffing which I did not taste but he loved.
You’d think we wouldn’t need dinner after that, but you would be wrong. Sitting at the Patio Grill by the pool that evening I had one of the best dishes I have had on the ship. It was very simple but just sensational — shrimp tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic butter.
How can I eat this much, you wonder. Good question. At least I am staying faithful to my usual breakfast in the face of extreme pancake and French toast temptation — each morning I get a bowl of creamy rich Greek yogurt and luscious fresh fruit. A moment of discipline before self indulgence takes over the rest of the day.