Cooking up a Storm in Galle

Our usual delicious breakfast on the terrace. How will I cope when I get home?

Following breakfast we walked around the quiet streets of Galle Fort. It’s really suffering from a lack of tourists due to the bomb attacks in Colombo earlier in the year. It’s such a shame. They rely on tourists here. Please come back tourists!

By now it was super steamy and we were heading to the markets. Into tuk tuks and out into the traffic.

The markets weren’t that big but it was still hard to decide what we wanted.

We thought the hotel would send a guide with us but it was really us and a tuk tuk driver ! We decided to get vegetables we liked – all types. Little cauliflowers, eggplant, snake beans, pumpkins, okra, and assorted other greens.

 

Into the spice shop.

Back into our tuk tuk for a visit to the outdoor fish markets near the waterfront. We wished we knew what we were doing!

We thought of consulting with the fish stall cat……..

But in the end made a decision and bought fresh looking prawns and tuna.

Back into the tuk tuks to give our produce to chef Poorna and get ready for our cooking class.

It was great fun.

Chef was great – teaching us knife skills and explaining each step as we cooked up each vegetable into what ended up as a beautiful feast.

We stirred and watched and in the end found it wasn’t too difficult!

The tuna looked and tasted amazing. Chef cut it in strips and seasoned each side with Pepper, salt and lime pressing it in and standing for a minute before lightly pan frying it.

We sat and ate the food for lunch – voting on our favourites. I loved the eggplant curry and the snake bean salad.

Then it was time to say goodbye. To Helen & Mike heading off to Italy, Kay and Trevor to India.

And Marcelle back to Colombo.

That left 12 of us to explore Galle town and stop for a beautiful passionfruit Mojito at Tequila Mockingbird – a rather fun play on words!

Our last dinner in Galle was a celebration of marriages! It was our 44th wedding anniversary so everyone was asked to tell how they met and became engaged!

Morning Ramble through the Village

The lifestyle here is very different to home. In many ways.

The most noticeable,  are the hours everyone keeps. It’s not just a holiday thing. It’s life.

People get up later, break for siesta, everything closes and then opens again at 5, dinner is always late.

So the early mornings  we seem to have in Australia, stop here and we enthusiastically join in. Up at the crack of 8, out for when things open at 10. Lunch when they close at 1pm. Siesta until 5. Out for passeggiata, shopping, aperitif until dinner after 8. And that’s considered early by restaurants that only open again at 8! Bed around 11.30.

But staying with John and Margaret and eating in most nights,  we have slipped into our own earlier time frame. Bed earlier. So this morning that led to a walk at 6.30 am.

Even John was having a morning off his usual run or ride,  so I was out the door,  as quiet as one of the little cats that slink around the little streets of the village.


I was the only one out! Truely. I didn’t see anyone else until I walked back up the Grand Rue at 7.45 where a few people sat in cafes smoking and drinking coffee.

It was so quiet I could hear fans inside open windows whirling. And my footsteps until the cobbles gave way to pebble paths. Then I crunched a little!
 Cotignac is a small village built into the rocky side of an outlook. It is famous for its troglodyte caves. So the streets wind up from the Marie, where the Brannock house sits tall,  looking towards the sheer rock cliffs with caves built into its face.


I followed the small winding paths past houses with shutters mostly closed, keeping morning sun out. Behind all those closed shutters people are sleeping or reading or making coffee or perhaps doing something more exotic? There are always rumours in small villages about what people get up to!

I decided to keep as quiet as a cat and take pictures. Particularly of the fountains and taps spurting or trickling water into stone basins. Apparently there are 15 such water features around the village. How many would I spy?


The path wound up. I looked over little fences, I came to a lookout,  back to the village, I wound up some more, I found a sign to a little appartment build into the rock wall. I walked on to the start of the route towards the cliff.


I kept looking at the view back to the village trying to spot the Brannocks house. It’s right on the Marie ( town hall place) and opposite the clock tower with the exquisite wrought iron bell tower.


The council have built a paved arcade in front of the rock wall. There are stairs you can climb to go higher up the wall. I tried the big iron gate but it was still locked.


I walked into the little garden with its lookout. Th only thing moving were the cats as they became wary of my footsteps. The view back was lovely especially as the morning was becoming lighter.


I felt so peaceful and alone but not lonely. It was gorgeous.


I made my way back to the village and saw the  bakery. First signs of life. It was still quiet. People were standing in a line outside, in silence. Not an unfriendly silence. – more an ‘ I’m still waking up silence’.


Then I passed a few people walking dogs or heading to their cars parked around the village. Without fail everyone wished me ‘ Bonjour Madame’.

Back to the house. I climbed the winding staircase to the kitchen.


I joined  Margaret for a cup of tea and to plan our day to another village, Lorgue where no doubt the routine of the morning would be the same as here.

We planned to arrive at 10 in time for cafe.

To Market. To Market. French style

If there are any better markets than a French one,  I have yet to see and visit it.

I’ve been to markets all over the world, but I do think there is something special  about a French Market. I really love them.

Is the basket that everyone seems to carry? Including me. Thank you Margaret.


If you don’t own one you can quickly buy one.


Perhaps it’s the colourful umbrellas providing shade as you move around.


Or the cafes to help rehydrate?  People drink Rose here like its a soft drink!


Perhaps it’s the stall owners? They are busy but friendly.

 

Carpe Diem

Or maybe it’s  the music wafting around as you browse the stalls.


Or the fruit and veg ? That rockmelon smells fresh and delicious. And tastes so sweet and juicy.

Or the heavenly  smelling fresh bread.

Or the beautiful French girls waiting on the thirsty.


There is something for everyone. This man was showing the young girl how to use the bow and arrow!


The variety of stalls gets me in every time


I think it’s a combination of all the above, plus the personalities of those selling their goods.

Whatever it is, it works. The markets were packed but there was room for all and lots of smiles.

Perfect to buy all your ingredients for a beautiful salad lunch washed down with a Provence Rose.

Life is sweet.