Dinner with Tom
Our meal last night was wonderful! We all sat and relaxed while Tom prepared. That part, by itself, was good! 😀. We enjoyed one of Eric’s white wines while we waited – aromas of great food to come filling the air! 😋. First course was this delicious puréed soup – white beans and sausage. He soaked the beans with the sausage so they would take on the smoky flavor. Then sautéed these sausages and served the soup with a few pieces of sausage swirled on top along with a piece of yellow cherry tomatoes from the garden . . . Yum
Next course was slow cooked shoulder of lamb served with potato slices that had a tinge of duck fat in them (doesn’t sound good – but they were really tasty) and roasted tomatoes with thyme. Interestingly enough, Tom got the recipe for the duck from a little restaurant in Majorca that we hiked to when we were biking and hiking there a couple of years ago. Remember Cyndy? 😀. It was way out in the middle of nowhere and was renown for its lamb. Which we had thoroughly enjoyed there!
Dessert came from a recipe in Tom’s family. Whipped egg whites with infused apple compote topped with a fig and maybe a slice of orange. So light and tasty! Called apple snow by his mum! 😀
Cheese came next – a delightful soft local cheese. And then we learned much from Tom about his travels on his bike several years ago. He’s written a book called The Hungry Cyclist, which many of us have read, detailing his travels on a bicycle from the Finger Lakes of New York – across the US – down through Mexico – all the way to Rio de Janeiro. Very interesting stories he has to tell! 😀
Late to bed last night after our wonderful meal and conversation! Today looks rainy again. Not sure what the plan is for activity . . .
So – we made great use of this day. With a heavy mist falling and not much hope for sunshine, we all piled into the two cars and headed into Beaune to tour the Hotel du des Hospices de Beaune. Fascinating place. In 1443, Nicholas Rollins, Chancellor of Burgundy, decided to build a charity hospital in Beaune, run by the sisters. It took 8 years to build. This place, including its chapel, is now a museum. It was used as a hospital until 1971, when the last patient checked out.
The dazzling inner courtyard features a colorful glazed tile roof. These tiles are fired three times and last 300 years. The hospice was not a place of hope. People came here to die . .so care was more for the soul than the body. We were given phones so that we could learn as we toured. This was very well done. Here are some interesting facts . . .
* the first room we entered was for the paupers. 15 beds on each side of the room. These were fancy beds! 😀. Small though
* at every bedside was a jug of wine Water was considered to be polluted so the patients drank wine! 😜
* fruit was always cooked because the belief was that cold things were harder to digest
* the barbers became the surgeons The doctors were not allowed to marry
* the nuns worked long days – starting at dawn – cooking, caring for the patients, attending to their religious needs, finally cleaning up
* chicken was served to the poor Meat to the wealthy All comers were welcome
* they built a canal from the river to dispense of waste
* all food was grown locally. They also established a vineyard to support the patients
Wine from some of the best estates is sold at huge auction in November to help support the project. It was really an interesting way to spend a gloomy morning. We grabbed lunch in town and then headed back to the lodge. The weather looked promising. So we split up. Colette rested Tom went on a crazy ride. John went on his own power ride. Betsy and Bill went on a hike. Laurie went on her own hike. Karl and Carol, Dave and I biked one more time through the vineyards and on to the canal. It was wonderful – a headwind all the way out A tail wind on the way back! Can’t beat that! We’re going out to dinner tonight. Should be fun . .
Photos from Laurie’s hike:
photos from D and J’s ride
Dinner was awesome. Tom found us this little place a couple of villages away! Local – cozy. That it was! Food was wonderful – rack of lamb. Sea bass. Beef kidney (that would be Bill). Steaks. Started off our meal with yummy snails! Finished off the meals with blackberry crepe brûlée and raspberry sorbet. The sorbet was hysterical! Loaded with some liquor that took your breath away! Reminded us of Mirto, that we had in Sardinia as well as all the digestivo’s we had on our first Ciclismo trip . . All good! We toasted our friend, Cyndy as we all enjoyed this speciality !