Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Trip to Provence

I went to Provence, France last night.

Well, sort of :-).  Actually Mr Comforts of Home and I went with our friends to a French cooking class.
(Ghislaine, in her kitchen)

I met a delightful woman, originally from Paris who now lives in Asheville at a farmers market a few weeks back.  Her name is Ghislaine Mahler and her business is called Ma Belle France (my beautiful France).

She sells wonderful quiches and pastries at a few local farmers markets during the week.  Once a week she holds a French cooking class in a barn beside her delightful cottage in the countryside.
(chopping fresh herbs from the garden)

We arrived at 5:30 and were handed a chef's apron and a kitchen towel and we were off!  
(Chicken Provencale cooking on the stove)

Ghislaine was teaching us to prepare Smoked Salmon-Avocado Verrine, Chicken Provencale and Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries.

(Ghislaine's potager)

(Her cute cottage next to the cooking barn)

All of the herbs were freshly picked from her garden behind her house.  The eggs used for the chocolate mousse came from the local farmer across the road.
(Mr. Comforts, whisking the egg yolks for the chocolate mousse)

The evening was hands on, we all helped dice, chop, stir, separate egg yolks and whites, measure whisk etc.
(Ghislaine and Me- look close, Ghislaine has garden scissors in one hand and fresh chives cut from her garden in the other)

Eventually we all sat around a white linen covered table and enjoy the fruits of our labor while Ghislaine's sweet dog, Nina was invited in to visit with us.

It was a fun evening.  Did I feel like I was really in Provence?  Yes, for a little while I did.

Welcome Home,


  1. This would have been right up my alley. I love cooking classes and what could be better than French cooking? You and the Mr. must have had a lot of fun.


  2. Sounds like a fun night Penny! That chicken dish looks delish!!

  3. What a lot of fun that must have been. I haven't taken a cooking class for years - just haven't seen one that appealed to me, but something like this one definitely appeals! I love it that the two of you went together.

  4. What a wonderful experience. The chicken dish looks yummy. I love her little cottage.


  5. That must have been so much fun. It is something we would enjoy, too.

  6. What a fun thing to do! The food looked yummy so you two must have done a great job cooking. What a sweet little cottage she has. I would have tried to get a tour of that. You know how pushy I'm not.

  7. How fun. No way would my husband go to a cooking class.

  8. I've always wanted to do something like this...what a great experience! I love her cottage and garden!


  9. Oh, that sounds like so much fun, Penny!

  10. That is so cool! My husband would love that. He is my Chef! Great fun!

  11. Looks like some fun! I can imagine you and Mr. Comforts having a get-together soon with this very menu. Her cottage is very sweet and I love the casual beauty of her potager.

  12. I bet that was alot of fun. I've never been to a cooking class like that before. I've heard it is a growing trend though. Looks like you were able to eat a wonderful meal and try some great recipes!

  13. That sounds like such fun! Learning new recipes and then enjoying them with new friends. What a wonderful idea:>)

  14. What a great way to take a mini-trip to Provence. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

  15. What a fabulous way to spend part of your vacation Penny. We would love to attend her school.

    Dreams take us wonderful places.

  16. What fun! And to think this is in your neighborhood.

  17. how fun!!! i love cooking classes and then to sit with everyone and enjoy the hard work.

    loooooovvvvveee her little cottage!!!!!!! oh my!