France Vlll

10 Sept 2016

What do you call a cow thats got no legs?………………….Ground beef. Ohhhh…it could be a good day!


Yesterday we hiked from Thollon les Memises, where we live, down about two hours on a switchback trail through field, forest and village to the shore of Lake Geneva and ended up at Locum, an as of yet undiscovered tourist destination. Things are about to change for them with publication of the up and coming but as of yet untitled travel guide! They may have to expand the parking area beyond the the one spot currently available.
It was a strenuous hike down but fortunately with plenty of shade, spectacular views and of course cows! We ended up on a little beach at lake’s edge where we had the best baguette, cheese and ham sandwiches ever and of course wine. The exertion of a hike like that makes everything taste great. We’ve discovered some really nice inexpensive local wines but as Mel will confirm, to succeed at that you have to kiss a few frogs. ( I don’t mean Frenchmen!) There are a few photos attached of our hike and Susan enjoying herself at the beach.
For those of you who have done a little hiking you probably know what happens after you’ve walked down for two hours. There is only one direction to go to get home! The 1,600ft change in elevation climb, with the “energizing” effect of wine, was a sort of revenge of “The Children’s Death March”, a small foray that Mel and I took our daughters on in the Adirondaks when they were about ten yrs. old. But we kept an extra bottle in reserve for motivation and reward at the top. Travel guide tip: When hiking always do the uphill first!
There is no way to describe the beauty that engulfs us. But on such a journey on foot, there is much time to think. There were interruptions, such as Rob dancing through the alpine meadow singing “Edelweiss,” and some random yodeling. I did capture it on film but it’s too big a file to attach. Still, there was time to think.


I think I may not be returning home as planned. The opportunity to get way from it all and put life in perspective has allowed me to identify my true calling and refocus my energies. It’s the cows…….
I’m looking into having a local bell maker make bells that cover every note in about three octaves. Mel I may need your help on some of this. I will outfit the appropriate number of cows with bells and teach them to chime to a few mountain melodies. We will tour as the Alpine Bovine Bell Band! I have herd there is a very rare kind of boeuf near here, called Tar Tar, which has a very moosical side! Of course I will except only the cream of the crop. If I can then pick up a few herefords with cowhorns, they could nicely fill in the base line. Just imagine “La Chanson de la Vache” echoing through the valleys. We will stick to the classics such as “Sur la Pont D’Avignon,” “Au Clair de la Lune ” and of course a few of our favorites from “The Sound of Moosic.” I have contracted Rob to work out the cattle choreography. If you could see the footage that I have of his footwork in the meadows you would recognize his gift, as I have!
Susan thinks it’s all a lot of bull and that I will meet with udder failure, but I expect a stampede at the gate on opening night and plan to milk this for all it’s worth!

Such are the thoughts that a walk in clear mountain air will bring!

As a reward for our efforts of the day, we actually made a reservation for dinner at Saint Nicholas a restaurant just a few steps, or a cliff dive, away. Since we are in the Savoy, and will probably not have the opportunity again, we ordered the two classic Savoyard dishes. The Raqlette, a large wedge of cheese, and I cannot emphasize the large enough, that is placed on the table and exposed to an electric heater similar something we might use to remove paint! The cheese slowly melts throughout the meal and is then placed on potatoes, a variety of cured meats, bread, pickles and pretty much anything else that was in the kitchen. The second dish, I think was called La Potence. It consists of large cubes of beef ( from one of the cows which didn’t make the cut for the band) skewered in a tight ball on an apparatus that that hangs over a dish of delicious semi mashed, scolloped, cheesey potatoes. As they bring the meat to the table it is ignited with something which burns off at the appropriate time so that the meat is rare on the inside and seared on the outside. There was discussion as to the fuel source. I thought probably olive oil or brandy. Rob thought gasoline!
It was all delicious and nothing we would eat in our real life. There was way more than enough for all of us but we did well. I checked this morning and between the four of us there was only one major cardiac artery open and all of us were functioning primarily on collateral circulation. But, when in Rome.

Past my bed time again. But a parting thought.

What do you call cattle with a sense of humor?……………………………………Laughing stock!

Bon nuit

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