Thursday, November 2, 2017

So..the markets, in Provence..♥And the baking has begun.

I am elated to write that although Jacques never comes to local brocante/tag sales ..he actually scopes them out for us and I get to see so many!
It's the life..the color..the variety..the joie de vivre..the care..attention and devotion that I adore.
And I guess he does too.
This is St-Rémy..♥

It is just right..
Just right gorgeous.

I admit to LOVING the Aix-En-Provence one too;)

But getting back to markets..and St-Rémy..

After EVERY market..almost..that we went to..and we went to many..the towns are town proud..♥ and the streets are washed to within an inch of their lives.
When vendors leave..they leave gracefully and respectfully..not a thing is amiss..but then the town steps in and completely Hoovers ..and car washes the streets to utter perfection.

After every market we had lunch on a who never eats out:) Well this made up for all the years lol..
lunch.. ate out..

dinner ..I nibbled olives at home;) QC..  we start our Christmas Cakes early..

I rely on this is's Pierrette's recipe..a girl from work..I loved her baking..I loved her home..oh her would not believe it....and she was always nice w/ me..very colorful..married to a physician in our small town..and she lost him a few years ago..:(
I must write to her this Christmas and tell her I made it again..

Her recipe makes enough for a 3 tier wedding cake..I half it and it makes 2 6 inch I think springform pans..
her recipe can be a tad could be just me..yet it works every year:)
Still..I'll let you peruse your own Christmas Cake recipe as everyone's tastes are different.
The morning I made it..we had no electricity..the winds were howling..
so we went out in search of all my ings apart from te staples I always have on hand..
you need mixed fruit(I used dates,cranberries pineapple ,apricots  ..chopped and dry of course)..mixed peel..currants,golden raisins,sliced almonds,those cherries.. you can see in perusing recipes..they are all different.
I may try Mary Berry's next year.
Brandy.. pineapple juice....etc..
Personally..I HATE fruit
These are for Jacques.

We were also out looking for a new FAKE Christmas tree.

So we have had a few kinds over 45 yrs..

Real..not real..ugly..Charlie Brownish..Gaudy..and not.

I loved the real ones but there was no HOHOHO in putting it up..
or taking it out.
For the last 13 yrs..I have loved our pre-lit full and tall and actually magazine worthy tree,fake albeit..fake.

But it's huge..
the lights don't work anymore..
it weighs a ton even in sections..
and so the Hohoho had gone up and left.
I saw it coming..
We came home w/ a new pre-lit fake tree.

Apparently skinny is more in ..? 

I'll let you know in December if the hohoho is back.
I LOVED that tree.

I LOVE those tiny topiary olive trees can never find one here.
I have one..but it is a bush ..I am very fond of it..but it is getting used to fit on the ledge of my it's a corner of the sunroom;)

I just keep rethinking Provence..;)

Jeanie  ..the author of the blog The Marmalade Gypsy..

suggested a book to me..

Lisette's List..
I am halfway through..and have sent Nancy an email suggesting she read it..and told Penny who just came back from Provence that this is a good read..
Thank you Jeanie..
It is bringing back so many memories..some things don't change..and some of  my friend Nancy's favorite artists are mentioned..Chagall in particular.


  1. Those olive tree topiaries are so beautiful! Especially in their rustic pots! Love. love. love. those!

    Oh, the colors of this market must be just so wonderful to see and to soak in! A heady brew of color and shape and materials. A feast for the soul!

    I'm not a big fan of fruitcake, but my Evan is as well as your Jacques! blessings ~ tanna
    ps we went skinny pre-lit a couple of years ago and I love it! Hohohoho ;)

    1. Me too me too me too♥
      Oh I hope I love the skinnier one!! Of course I'll write if I do or don't;)

  2. Love the little olive trees. I must look for one when I go to Rogers Gardens.
    What a lovely post. It was like I was with you in Provence, thank you so much for the tour. So many beautiful dishes, etc. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I need to get my head together and get the supplies I need for baking cookies, making fudge. I always bake a Italian Ice Cake. Everyone loves it.

    Have a great weekend my friend.


    1. I have often heard of Rogers Gardens from California girls..I bet they would have one..beauties..:)

      Thank you Mary:)

  3. Heavenly photographs, Monique! I could sit here and dream myself into your landscapes, while nibbling on those delicious olives! Hope your power is on - my son also lost power on the NH seacoast. Just looking through the White Flower Farm catalogue that arrived - lots of lovely plants and trees for indoors. Miss my gigantic Calamondin Orange tree, which I left in NH :( Tonight I'll dream of those beautiful little olive trees, I hope - and the sun!

    1. Dream..dream dream..I love filling my mind w/ pretties..pushing the not so pretties to the sidelines of lalaland..sometimes it works..sometimes not..
      Those minis aren't they adorable?:)I am sorry you had to leave your big tree behind..:(

  4. The colors of the market - so beautiful! You know that I especially love the photo of the artist with his tiny landscape and well used paints ♥️ Did you really bring back a faux Christmas tree from France? I love ours, but still is so heavy and cumbersome even in three sections. Luckily the lights are all still working. A real 🌲 so nice, but we would have the annual Christmas tree stand fight 😮 and then I would be untangling the lights..... you’ve been there! No baking for me, but I love to read about your projects.

    1. We brought a faux Christams tree home from Michaels who had a weekend pre-Christmas sale..

      Me thinks a mini olive tree would be so cute butnot festive..

      I know real trees wiped the hohoho out of the ballpark for us too..I like HAPPY tree set up..
      fingers crossed for this one!!

    2. ahhh Michaels... great place for temptations!

  5. I would be in big trouble in those markets! Especially the wood products and the baskets - such amazing art. Thanks for the gorgeous tour!

    1. There are markets in almost every town..and cute maps of them too..such a delightful thing to do in a get a feel for the whole place..and then you continue on your adventure:)

  6. So many happy sighs looking through your post. :-) Stunning photography!

    1. You're so pics are humble compared to what I saw with my eyes..the visions stay with you:)

  7. I only just realized the sparkles come out when I move my mouse. That is too adorable!
    We had a mini olive tree in the cutest pot. Then we put it in a bigger pot....that was about a decade ago. Olive tree grow notoriously slowly, but ours is now about 8 feet tall. And full of olives.
    I don't remember whether I pointed this out before, but in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, there's an elderly gent, Lolo, who lives in a cave just past the asylum where Van Gogh stayed; Lolo cooks up meals at a table d'hôte in his caves. He is quite a character, and the setting is gorgeous. There was a story about him in Dwell magazine earlier this year:

    1. I will look into Lolo! Met such warm and welcoming people in St-Rémy..such a keeper town:)Surprised I didn't know..thank you.

  8. Dearest Nana, I must confess I feel a little jealouse!
    All those street markets would turn me crazy! I' m sure you had a great time there!
    Next year, next holidays I'll be there, lunching outside, that's for sure.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. I hope you do!!St-Rémy I feel could never disappoint! Such a colorful happy lovely place..something for everyone:)

  9. Having my morning tea out on the terrace - in th dark - and enjoying your lovely photos! It is still in the 80’s here in Austin, so still green with just a hint of fall color. Oh how I would love to have a couple of those little olive trees! I may have to go in search of something similar.
    After Christmas last year, I bought a pre-lit tree on sale. The real trees are lovely, but just too much work and such a mess if they are up too long. Have a wonderful day!💕

    1. I bet you can find oe..and it would be so happy to live with you..Jacques told me your baseball team won:)There must be jubilation w/ sports fans there:)
      Have a great day!

  10. A step back to Provence instantly.
    So nice

    1. You're so close to everything:)
      A good baook that Lisette'sList..I think it is one you would enjoy..She goes to live in Roussillon..and misses Paris..and then settles in..oh I better not tell you everything..but the art part is lovely too.

  11. Oh the markets! They must have been wonderful and SO tempting with beautiful things to buy. I could see myself in that silver maille bra top in my 20s :) The Monique frommager sign...the wee olive trees and that gorgeous linen!!♥ I'm sure you would have brought back so much if you could. The man working on such a wee watercolor - he must have very good eyesight - LOL. Charm, charm and more charm! Of course lunch outdoors on a beautiful day with beautiful sights to behold. A must there. Here, we have been faux slim tree for several years and I love it. Less space taken, easy to carry and set up (it still takes both of us). I shudder when the lights start to go out! I bought commercial grade lights so they will hopefully last a few years more. I want your Ho Ho Ho back :) I love that you make Christmas cakes just for Jacques ♥

    1. You are all giving me hope on this narrower tree..and yes it will take J an d I..just bringing the box in..times sure change..
      I can't picture my ornaments in it..however thare is no theme to our tree..just life as it came every many of yours:)
      So nice to have those memories..

      it was not exciting w/ all the burnt out lights and the girth was just too much..onward.
      You know life there strolling a market..having an al fresco lunch..the real world seemed so far away...

      Many watercolorists..and I am surprised I have his work..he must have allowed me..

      by far Florence(2008) had the most..

      You know what Oli said to Caro: "Nana is so lucky she gets to travel"!!!
      Imagine someone saying that about may remember he thought we were in jail in Paris last that's how much he knows:)
      Have a great weekend!
      I want our hohoho back too..the huge stepladder will now be a stepstool.I hope.

  12. It's déjà bu Mon...I think as we age(which we are) although your younger we de clutter a lot of things making life simpler!Di

  13. The markets look like heaven on earth. Oh the temptations would have been to much. I've had to olive trees and they flowered, but never produced olives. One is about seven feet tall. I don't know why I keep them since they don't produce. I absolutely loved that lap desk. Had my name on it. I won't eat those Christmas cakes either and it is sweet of you to make them for Jacques. I saw beautiful fake trees yesterday, but I got those new pre-lit birchbark twig trees last year and that will be it from now on. Saw new kinds of LED lights yesterday for Xmas.

    1. I love thos pre-lit birch trees:) I remember yours Donna!!!:)

      I had bought some tablecloths in 2008 so I resited..I don't entertain..but I did buy a pretty square thing w/ my a way for the dining just centers everything well:) I am a terrible tabletop decorator..terrible..never know what to put on a blank dining room table.;)

    2. Why don't I believe that? Everything always looks so beautiful. I am sure you just keep rearranging until it looks like you want it. And for some reason I could not spell two and too. And then there is to. Made me think it must be hard to learn English with so many definitions.

    3. I promise..a dining room vacant /empty tabletop? No clue..It's my grandfather's set and not country..not French..very mahogany Jacobean w/ lions heads etc..hard to work around:)But I love it..if my girls sell that one day..I''ll shed a tear from wherever I am.

  14. Lindas imagens. Feliz fim de semana. Cumprimentos.

  15. Oh be still my heart. I am kicking myself for missing out on these markets. Another trip shall be in the future. I so enjoyed your post.

    1. I can see you going there:) Both you and your husband would love it!

  16. What gorgeous place to visit.. I think I'll go crazy if visit there.. :)

    1. I did..and now Provence stays with me:) It is just calm and charming.
      Nothing seems frenetic.
      It just all seems Zen.

  17. All those photos are of just the one market? What beautiful bowls, look at the baskets, the olives, the garlic, the wooden spoons, and all the olive topiary! It must have been breathtaking to see but a bit heartbreaking to know you just could not come back with lots of stuff. I love the outside cafes, we would be eating there too. I can’t believe you are starting your fruit cakes and buying a Christmas tree. The months fly by now. Hope the new Christmas tree works out well. We downsized to a real table top sized tree a few years ago and it so much easier putting up and taking down. The one problem is you can’t fit all the ornaments but I’m ok with that. Enjoy the weekend!

    1. This is the St-Rémy one....we visited many..the winners for me are St-Rémy and Aix..
      ISLS was CRAZY busy.not like the last time we was like being in a file when recess was is a wonderful colorful market but the day we went was just over the top for could not get close to the booths almost.But wow. stupendous..streets and streets..St-Rémy is this one...

      The outside cafés..every single one held it's charm..each town a different flavor.

      Not one disappointment albeit one..for the food..and we ate Les Baux..
      and one for the person who looked after us..:(Fontvielle..the food was good..the poor waiter was having a very off day we think.
      Some places took my breath away.Les Tilleuls..St-Paul- de -Vence..A movie set.And the town♥'s the ornaments..what would I do w/ 45 yrs of memorabilia?:(
      I am much too attached to sentiments..I know that.
      I hope to change.I will look towards you:)

    2. Such wonderful memories, the markets of France will bring you for years to come. I gave some of my ornaments to the girls. Maybe you could do the same. I should give more away but sometimes they don’t want it (yet!). When Jerry and I became a couple we had twice the amount needed. His are all so tiny. I have one small fake tree that I decorate with them but still too much.

    3. Shh..listen to this.. for yrs I gave the girls ornaments..not hand made at the beginning..they sold some at a garage sale and some on Varage Sale..the last 5 yrs I have made them the Alicia Paulsen ones..and my girls are older and say they love you are right re getting older :)
      I make ..made 3 a year of 4 depending on the collection for them.. 2 Chrsitmases ago..our eldest called and said did you happen to see my ornaments? She thought she had left them behind on Christmas

      they were thrown out w/ all the Christmas wrappings:( Luckily I had made a set for us..and gave them to yr I will make myself another set..this yr I bought a new pattern for one single ornament from someone else..and I bet no one will like it because I don't even like it:(I kept thinking they would get better..this particular pattern..didn't with me..

      Love hearing stories:) Hpe you got your molds?

    4. You know those ornaments might show up at some point. I thought I donated a shoe by mistake and just recently found it! And I took the bins with shoes (I don’t wear) and matched them twice and the closet had been cleaned out but so it was hiding on me. I hate when a project doesn’t come out as you had wanted. Yes I did but have not made the Apple cakes yet. Maybe tomorrow so I can some to the girls on Monday.

  18. I wish i was there on the market...i see beautiful and jammie happy weekend Ria x

    1. It is a happy place would love it.Have a sweet weekend.

    2. I can see you going there:) Both you and your husband would love it!


  19. Hi Monique....
    I can see why you love love love going there! The blue windows and doors are fabulous.
    And the garlic! Hahaha!
    We got a phoney tree last year....isn't my needles to pick up....but still difficult to put together and add the lights! I wanted a skinny one, but the $ was more than I wanted to spend. :o(
    Christmas is creeping up on us....better get myself organized!
    Enjoy your weekend 😉
    Linda :o)

    1. You have so much to look forward to this holiday season..
      Linda...I am absolutely smitten w/ Provence♥
      So happy we ventured out again..who knows what the future can bring right?
      Have a superweekend!

  20. There is so much eye candy here that I can hardly stand it! Those colorful bowls really do need to be in my cupboard. And that olive tree!! I have long wanted one of those.

  21. Funny about the "skinny tree"...Joe wants to put up the skinny tree this year, and skip the big, beautiful magazine worthy tree. I told him, just this year. LOL
    Keep the Provence photos coming. I am trying to recall, did you go to Paris also on this trip?

    1. No..we flew to Marseilles..we went to Paris June 2016 and circumstances changed my vison of it:(
      It is amazing..everything people say it is..but it has changed apparently ..and we were just unlucky there..and honestly we now know for sure we are not big city people at all.

  22. Ugh! I hate it when blogger loses my comment before it posts. This is what happens when you save a favorite blog to just savor when you have the time and then blogger won't let you comment. But savor I did -- oh, the markets! I would have had to come home with those bright, beautiful bowls. At least a few of them. They're wonderful. Maybe a basket and that wee watercolor by the artist. Wonderful photos, those!

    I'm so glad you liked Lisette's List -- when I read the beautiful descriptions of the countryside and the wonderful artists' stories, I thought of you!

    And the Christmas cake. I don't know -- I'm not a big fan of fruitcake but I love to be surprised. Rick is in Paul Hollywood territory now, going through different recipes in his bread book. And he's come up with some real winners! Tonight, baguettes again! (I'll make Julia's onion soup again to go with it. We'll eat happy!)

    What a lovely November post!

    1. Onion soup and baguettes:) Perfecto!
      I hate Christmas cake..ers is edible though and I will put an almond/marzipan icing and make it cute.I have to eat with my eyes first!
      Oh Jeanie..the lunches we had in and Rick would♥♥

      Tout fut un délice!
      And we were welcmed so warmly everywhere.You would love it..Oh my gosh St Paul de Vence..:)♥

  23. Bonjour chère Nana,

    Très plaisant de te lire et d'admirer tes photos... Je ne sais pas à quel moment tu te trouvais à Aix en Provence... Moi je m'y trouvais puisque j'avais une exposition de peinture en cours.

    Gros bisous 🌸

    1. What have I missed, you in Provence. I'm so happy for you, a dream place to visit. I thought after your experience in Paris you would never return to France. Although I live in France, I just adore that region. I must go there again. I have an olive tree in a pot but still love seeing pictures on pinterest of lovely rustic gardens in Provence. From the lovely photos it looked as if you had a wonderful time. interesting but informative info about airbnb. I haven't read any blog posts for a long time. but really enjoyed seeing youe visit to France.

  24. I had written a long comment here last night (on my iPad and it disappeared. I hate it when that happens, so here I am again! Love your fruitcakes. I adore fruitcake. I always use Delia's recipe and it works a charm. Todd loves fruitcake. The hardest part about a Christmas Cake is keeping it until Christmas, lol. Well, for me at least. Your photos of Provence have been so beautiful. I feel as if I have actually been there! I want to go. You have inspired me and I want an Olive Tree. You can buy them here, but not sure about planting a tree like that in a place that isn't ours. Its bad enough we planted the fruit trees and bushes. I bought that book, Lisette's List and am enjoying it so much! Thanks for the recommendation! Love and hugs and happy wishes for today and always! xoxo

    1. If you can get one there..get a mini for inside your cozy home would love living with you:)
      Lisette's List..Jacques is going to read it's just keeps mentioning Roussiloon and Gordes it is a nice read.I hope you like it!
      I am going toemail you:)

  25. So beautiful and vibrant Monique! xo