Thursday, February 07, 2013

Vo Vo Gateau

XLIX marks the spotAnother journey around the sun for me started today, a far greater distance than my meanderings across this little globe, but no passport controls  along the way. It’s my fourth anniversaire celebrated in France, the first being in Paris in 2006 when I began two months of French studies, and the remaining three here on the farm.

Presents are still rolling in (silly me, asking for tumbleweeds) but I did really well today. First off, special kudos to Gustav who made me a gateau hommage to the Iced Vo Vo biscuit (not the same as a Swedish iced volvo) -  a big sponge cake covered with raspberry jam, pink-marshmallow fondant and coconut.
Lucy, Munson, Minty, Gustav, Zelie, Jean et Brent  Vo Vo Gateaux
The Munsoneers et ses parents Jean & Brent came over to split the cake with us (sans Otto, on a school mission). Lucy presented me with two gifts, the first of her own making: a painted portrait of Munson beside our pond.

A Portrait of Munson
The other was a group effort: a hand-made album of my time in France, photos surrounded with hand-drawn embellishments by all the kids. I’m going to pop that one out into a separate post as it deserves special attention.
Vo Vo gateaux  Lucy, the artist, in contemplation
At some point the three girls rushed the piano. Zelie found the bench put her just out of reach of the keyboard, so she clambered down to drag it into place – no stopping a determined two year old.
Zelie and the piano bench
After she was settled in, it was six hands on the piano for a percussive improvisation and impressive hand-over-hand passagework.
Six hands on the piano: Zelie, Minty and Lucy
The little party disbanded about five o’clock, so that Otto could be picked up (and given a slice of cake), and Brent had to tend to the castration of the bulls. I’ve suggested that any excess coconut from the baking effort could be used to create a new Gascon recipe with the proceeds, something like Boeuf La Muingdon.

Postscript: Otto came over a little later with his own hand-drawn contributions:Otto-1      Otto-2

Otto and Lucy’s cards each thanked me for lending them my Asterix, Tintin and Lucky Luke books. I’ve had some of them for nearly 40 years – and hauled them around the world for at least fifteen. The’re’s nothing special about the editions other than how well loved, well read and re-read in that time. While I gave them only a few copies at a time to read as if they were borrowing from a library, now that they’ve read their way through of them I’m going to let them keep the collections when I move on from here. They’ll get a lot more of the love they deserve.

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