Monday, May 12, 2008

Gibassiers to sardines

Beginning the sixth month of Eating Every Day
breakfast: gibassiers from the freezer; café au lait

dinner: barley soup; sardine sandwiches; green salad


I'D FORGOTTEN TO PICK UP a loaf of bread yesterday: what to do for breakfast? Why, break out the last two frozen gibassiers, brought back last month from Portland's Pearl Bakery. Oh, I said, no, let's have them for tea; I'll make pancakes. No, Lindsey said, I think of them as a breakfast pastry, let's have them for breakfast.

Gibassiers are a sweet bread from Provence; more specifically, Nice, I'd bet. The word appears in neither my Grand Dictionairre Encyclopédique Larrouse nor the Larousse Étymologique, which concerns me: I thought those references were more reliable, more all-embracing than that. Pastry is too often treated frivolously by the serious. They are a sweet bread, and — in the Pearl Bakery incarnation, at any rate — flavored with orange peel, anise seeds, and orange blossom water; and they involve olive oil: but they are a yeast pastry, rather like brioche.


Dinner was a more earthy affair, appropriate to a day largely spent in the garden and the vineyard, or at least thinking about them. Lindsey sliced leeks into some chicken stock and simmered barley in it; after the soup we had delicious sardine-and-sliced-onion sandwiches on five-grain bread from the Downtown Bakery. Green salad, of course: a mix of little lettuces and that curious big-leafed tender and mild "Dutch" arugula.

The last of that René Barbier Catalunya 2004 white wine.
Looking at it more closely, I notice it's imported by Freixenet: I bet it's the low-alcohol white wine they use for their low-priced sparkling wine. It's good.

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