Monday, September 19, 2011

Brandee's European Adventure - Part 10

Okay peoples . . . Brandee is actually on her way home or maybe already home, so this is probably the final installment of her European adventure.  If possible, I'll try to get a picture of her when she comes to visit us at the office (When she brings us all kinds of goodies).

A Road Trip to Le Puy with New Friend, and Playing with Sugar.

This week was another short week in Yssingeaux. Monday was a holiday in France so there where no classes until Tuesday. That week I stayed back at the chateau along with my friends Noam from (Tel A Viv), and Roz (Canada), but made plans to go to Le Puy with my new friends from down the street.

Every end of the week, we have a buffet displaying all the goodies we made for the week, which left us with just dozens of breads, gateaux (cakes), biscuit (cookies), glace (ice cream), macarons, chocolate, you name it. We eat enough during the week for lunch, all the time. So at the end of the week I would pack a big bag, and go down to the town and give out to whoever would be interested in what I had. At first I would give to people at the bar where we hung out at, or the lady with the crepe shop, but one day I saw a woman who lives in the house down the street next to the chateau sweeping her porch.  I asked her in my own little way of communicating in French if she would like some bread and tarts. She invited me in for coffee, and we have been friends ever since. Her name is Denise. She is a retired lady who worked in a hospital for 40 years, and now babysits her two grandchildren Ame (9yrs old) and baby (1yrs). She has three children, but they all live in Le Puy. Ame is out of school and spends the summer with her grandparents. I learned all of this communicating to her on Google translates. She doesn’t speak a lick of English and my French is terrible, but I liked getting to know her and her granddaughter Ame.  She asked me if I had ever been to Le Puy, and would I like to go for the day. Of course I hopped at the chance to see another town, and asked if I could bring a couple of friends with me. Luckily that week Roz had no plans and she is French Canadian, so I invited her along with my other good friend Noam. It made communicating easier with Roz as our translator.

Denise took us to this beautiful church, and a famous red sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. It is a tragic story about the artist who designed and built this monument. Apparently the Virgin Mary holding baby should be holding him on the left side. Well he built the sculpture with Mary holding baby in the right hand. Distraught, the artist committed suicide. But the sculpture is still there perched high above the rest of the town. When you drive into Le Puy you can see the statue, and the view is breathtaking. Denise, Ame, Roz, Noam, and I had a nice afternoon, and the weather was beautiful.

In the same week we experimented in sugar pulling and sugar flowers, it was fun and relaxing to play with sugar. You need to wear protective gloves at all time, and Flo (French assistant) showed me a few tricks of how to pull sugar, to make little rose petals for flowers. Chef Jocelyn made a huge sugar display while we played around. Flo made some amazing flowers that are really delicate to put together.

Love all, Brandee

The Catholic church

Roz and I in front of the church

Looking down from the entrance of the church

Denise, Roz and Ame walking up to the statue

Naom walking up to the statue

Virgin Mary and Child

Ame at top

Scenic view at top

Ame and I, scenic view

Ame and Denise inside the statue

The town for lunch

Noam, a sandwhich and two crepes

Playing with sugar

Baking colored sugar

Flo showing me how to make ribbons

Now curling the ribbon

Chef's sugar piece

Ame and Roz

Noam and Roz


Betty Townsend said...

What awesome memories Brandee has made for herself and friendships for a lifetime...

jalna said...

Wow, you're right Betty . . . wonderful memories with friends from around the world! Wow.