Success? Perhaps. We heard no noises in the wall last night….no scurrying across the attic this morning. Are we now living in a Ratty-free zone? We’re hopeful, but Felix was staring intently at the bathroom ceiling this morning…..and there wasn’t a moth in sight.
Since we’re due to leave soon, we decided to spend the morning driving through the countryside. We discovered some nearby villages we hadn’t yet explored. The spire of a church beckoned us to Pouzouls-Minervois. We meandered through the narrow streets, winding our way to the Eglise….built in the 11th century. We arrived just as an elderly gentleman was leaving. He stopped to show us a handful of skeleton keys and asked if we’d like to look inside. He didn’t speak a word of English, but it wasn’t necessary, we understood his kind gesture but, not wanting to impose on his day of rest, declined his offer.
Lunch was cassoulet and red wine at a restaurant along the canal. The weather is changing….getting a little cooler every day…. and this hearty dish warmed us inside and out.
Back home, our attention turned to baking. I have my last rendezvous with Jaky and Angelique this week and I want to give them a parting gift…..good ol’ American Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This usually simple task was complicated by the lack of the main ingredient…..chocolate chips. What to do? We went to the Intermarche and searched up and down the chocolate aisle (yep….a whole aisle of chocolate!), reading the labels of all the chocolate bars (they’re huge…about 8 oz each….and come in various “strengths” based on their percentage of cocoa)…. trying to find the one that most closely approximates “semi-sweet.” After we made our selection, we returned home to chop the bars into pieces about the size of the chips that come in the yellow package we’re so familiar with. Two hours and two sore hands later, we added these bits of chocolate to the cookie dough and carefully rolled the dough into little balls that were then placed on a small baking pan…..nine at a time….that’s all that’ll fit in our little oven.
As they baked, their sweet smell wafted through the cottage. An hour later, three dozen beauties….looking somewhat like chocolate chip cookies….were done and ready to be wrapped for gifting.
Quand on veut, on peut….where there’s a will, there’s a way