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Archive for July, 2013

LE CHABROL is a twisted tradition in the Haut-Quercy that dates back to the Middle Ages!

The story is really all about the soup. In southwestern France no meal is complete unless it starts with either broad bean soup (soupe de fèves) or a tourain. Tourain is an onion and garlic soup… the same soup traditionally served here at dawn to newlyweds, whether they like it or not, on the first morning of their married life.

So, when you've almost completed that delicious bowl of soup, this is where things get a little twisted…

Just take in hand that bottle of ’82 Château Latour Pauillac you've been decanting and pour a generous splash into the remainder of your soup; give it a hearty swirl to mix and then… it's bowls up!  Chabrol!!!

When visiting you will quickly grasp the importance of perpetuating this tradition...

Go for it!  Slurp it up and you will be a VERY happy traveler.

Just ask Bobbi!

Chabrol et à bientôt! Jack

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July 21, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

IT SEEMS TO HAVE ALL STARTED WHEN MARIE ANTOINETTE allegedly screamed her infamous one-liner: “Let them eat cake!” (Then again, probably not!)

 … alas, she was probably never to feed or paint her face again!

Quatorze Juillet/ 14 July commemorates the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison on 14 July 1789 and was seen as a symbol of the uprising modern nation. Now, like the Fourth of July, it’s a great day to celebrate our independence!

Fortunately now the only popping sounds you will hear tonight are fireworks and Champagne corks!

Bonnes Fêtes et à bientôt!   Jack

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July 14, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

IT WAS 69 YEARS AGO TODAY… 10 June 1944, just 4 days after the allied forces landed on the beaches in Normandy; an atrocity was perpetrated by Hitler’s S.S. on the 1,000 year old village of Oradour-sur-Glane. In all, 642 persons that included; 193 schoolchildren perished in the massacre that Saturday afternoon. Actual specifics and firsthand accounts detailing the horrific brutality can be easily found on the internet… The 190 men were herded into 9 different barns and buildings where they were then shot in the legs and burnt alive, all the women and schoolchildren were lead into the church to meet a similarly unspeakable end.

That afternoon, two hundred soldiers’ with Hitler’s Waffen SS arrived traveling up this road to commit unspeakable crimes


Waffen SS assembled the entire village here around the doctor’s car for an ID check and then down these roads in shops & barns – the killing began


And here in the heart of their church… All the women and innocent children massacred

I knew little about the magnitude or scope of this war crime but felt compelled last week to travel just north of Limoges to see and learn more about what was only occasionally whispered about by our neighbors many of whom were themselves members, or children, of the Maquis (French Résistance) during WWII. You see, this convoy of Hitler’s SS had just passed through our villages of both Bretenoux and Saint Céré only 24 hours before the massacre.

We were not prepared for what we saw and what we learned… I was not prepared for the actual size of this village which has been left EXACTLY as it was on that infamous day. In total; 325 homes, shops, hotels, cafés, schools, and the church, were plundered, burnt and left frozen in time, so all who visit will remember horror that occurred in Oradour-sur-Glane, not really so long ago.

Souviens-Toi et à bientôt, Jack

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July 10, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin