I still remember reading Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe when I was young – for those who forgot, the story is about a man who is stranded on a desert island for many years. With the supplies he salvaged from the wrecked ship, Robinson Crusoe builds a fort and then creates a world for himself by taming animals, gathering fruit, growing crops, and hunting. The story is filled with difficulties like pirates, cannibals, mutiny etcetera. It was my favourite story!
And it still is … in a different guise. That is the reason why the expat stories of people moving to France (our favourite destination) or any other (European) destination, buying a house or farm, renovating it, building a new life in a strange country, having trouble with the language and the customs and overcoming the difficulties, is still a firm favourite. Over the years we have read a number of these stories (for example Catching Fireflies by Tony Rocca, Chris Stewart’s Driving over Lemons, The Almond Blossom and A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, Carol Drinkwater’s Olive Farm, Olive Season, Olive Harvest and Olive Route, Patricia Atkinson’s La Belle Saison and George East’s Home and Dry in Normandy) while dreaming of the day when we could do the same …
That was how we stumbled on Susan Loomis. I have just reread her two books On Rue Tatin and Tart Tatin. I enjoyed every minute of it, and we will definitely try out her recipes. Maybe we must do it one by one, as in Julie and Julia? Here is a link to Susan’s website. She now runs a cooking school from her beautifully restored home in Louviers, France. http://www.onruetatin.com/
The Master of the House