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28 August: Friday

Reims, France La Quinta, California: Tonight marks 166 blog posts in a row. 166 home-made dinners. In a row. (We did grab burgers for lunch once during our move-in week, but everything else has been home-made by me.) It's a grind, as I am sure you all know. What can I dream-up for dinner tonight? Ugh. And I simply LOVE cooking and meal planning. If it is getting me down, I can't imagine how it grating on someone who does not particularly enjoy cooking... while staring at a dining table filled with hungry people.

Today would have been one of the highlights of our 40th Anniversary trip to Europe. We were going to visit the Veuve Clicquot (Widow Clicquot) cellars for a tour and a champagne tasting. The widow was left with sons and a profitable champagne house. Back in the day, champagne was cloudy - but The Widow developed the process of "riddling" - or gathering all the dregs at the bottom of a champagne bottle - by turning the bottles upside down, popping out the silt, and re-capping the bottle, producing a crystal-clear bottle of the bubbly we all know and love today. When you see "Methode Champagne" on a bottle, you have The Widow to thank. I try to thank her as often as I can.

Her cellars are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had arranged for a tour of the cellars and a tasting... then we were going to a farmhouse to enjoy a picnic amongst the grape vines, then were going off to another champagne house for another tasting.

Maybe we would have been served a pan bagnat (basically a deli tray in a sandwich) for our summer picnic lunch?

Wouldn't be a fancy picnic without a fancy desert.
Happily, there were two miniature raspberry tarts (with lemon curd).

After our big day, we would have surely been pretty full with food and pretty woozy from all the day-drinking, so maybe we would just a snack at our hotel before calling it a night? Maybe cheese. Crackers. Dried fruit. Nuts. Grapes.

Thank you, Widow Clicquot, for your service to your country, and to people the world over.

Until my next update, I remain, your bubbly correspondent.

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