Chilled white wine and cherries on the bank of the Canal du Midi in Montchanin, Burgundy. The barge, Libertijn of Alphen, in the background.
Fete de la Musique was celebrated across France last Thursday but some celebrations continued into the weekend. Fortunately for me, one such celebration was just across the road from where my friends D & E moored their barge in a tiny town called Montchanin on the Canal du Centre in the heart of Burgundy wine country.
And we can't forget World Cup fever that has embroiled this entire planet with the exception of one major world power, so much so that when I called a colleague in Germany yesterday, I was admonished for disturbing him one hour before the Germany-Argentina match. So last Friday it was World Cup, Saturday it was local Fete de la Musique and Sunday it was back to World Cup. All on a barge. In Burgundy. Surrounded by vineyards. And beautiful wine. And oozy unctuous cheese. And great, fun friends. This I could do.
Saturday's festivities included a huge buffet dinner for the entire town (of a few hundred), local traditional dance, fireworks and a huge bonfire. We showed up completely prepared, and rather conspicuously as it turns out, with a table, 6 chairs, 6 wine glasses, and a cooler of wine and snacks. It seems the only thing we didn't bring was an umbrella... the one thing we really needed. Well that and the wine! However it takes more than a few drops of water to dampen any French festivity so the bonfire roared, the dancers danced, the accordions squeezed and the music poured out into the night.
For dinner Sunday evening, after the England-somebody soccer match of course, we thought it'd be fun to fire up the barbeque and do some serious grilling. E and I had bought a pork loin the day before and changed our mind a few hundred times as to just how this was going to end up in our tummies. After listening to our back and forth, D, the grill-meister, whipped out his Steve Raichlen's grill bible and tossed it our way. Mojo-marinated pork was the winning recipe so we set out with great gusto juicing limes and oranges, slicing garlic and measuring spices. D grilled it to perfection and we dined by candlelight al fresco ("en plein air" doesn't have the same panache) on the banks of the canal next to the barge....