I can’t believe the 25th day of confinement is here. It’s a bit bizarre in that it’s gone by quickly, but there also isn’t a clear indication as to when it’ll be over. It was supposed to rain all week in Normandy but instead we’ve only had clear blue skies. This week’s Five Friday Finds from France features charming shutter holders, a Caudalie overnight recovery oil, French Easter traditions, and more.
Shutter Holders – Arrêt Tête de Bergère
I noticed these little hat-wearing ladies holding the shutters around the house and figured there had to be a great story behind them. I asked Romain’s grandmother and she simply said all of the old houses have them.
After doing a little googling, I found out that these shutter holders are called arrêt tête de bergère. Une bergère is a female shepherd, so I guess that means these shutter holders loosely translate to ‘shepherd’s head stop.’ I’ve also seen bergères pour les volets ‘shepherds for the shutters,’ which definitely has a nicer sounding translation.
I haven’t found the whole story on these ladies just yet, but apparently they’re pretty common in France and you can still buy them today in hardware stores. Such a charming little detail and something to start looking out for on a future trip to France!
My Favorite Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil
I’ve really been appreciating the little things during the confinement. Something I look forward to every night is applying this Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil. It’s very light as far as oils go and smells like flowers. I’ve been using it for almost two years now because I love it so much. It’s a clean and natural product and leaves my skin feeling so soft.
French Easter Traditions
This Easter Pâques is my second with Romain’s family. Last year was my first trip to Normandy with his extended family so I was less focused on the Easter traditions and more focused on surviving my first French family vacation.
French Easter traditions are more or less the same as they are in the US. Normally you go to church in the morning (I went last year and it was beautiful), have a big lunch with family and a roasted leg of lamb, and children go on an egg hunt.
There isn’t an Easter bunny in France, instead it’s the Easter bells les cloches de Pâques that bring the Easter eggs. Church bells in France don’t ring from Good Friday until Easter Sunday, and legend has it that the bells fly to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. On their way back to France, the bells pick up chocolate eggs and scatter them around the gardens for the children. Romain’s mom told me that she used to wait by the window and stare outside with the hope of seeing one of the bells fly by.
After the Easter bell passes, there’s an Easter egg hunt, la chasse aux œufs. Children go outside in the garden to collect their chocolate eggs and small presents. They even have their own Easter baskets panier de Pâques.
This year, Romain’s grandmother bought us all chocolate eggs. I don’t think she’s going to make us go on une chasse aux œufs for them, although I wouldn’t be opposed. We’re going to have a traditional Easter lunch with lamb (and champagne) to celebrate.
If you’re looking for a roasted leg of lamb gigot d’agneau recipe, try this one with anchovy, garlic, and rosemary. I’ve made it before and promise it’s delicious!
I’m a big margarita fan. Apparently it’s almost impossible to get decent tequila in Normandy. Who knew?
We’ve been trying different spots to find tequila, and this week we tried Promocash. It’s a store for restaurant professionals to buy all sorts of food, beverages, and supplies. Somehow Romain’s step-dad has the card to get in and oh my gosh. It’s insane. If you like to buy in bulk this is the store for you.
While they didn’t have tequila, the did have my favorite Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne for almost 20€ less per bottle. I always love a good deal for a Friday Find from France! Whenever the confinement ends I’m going to fill the car up with Champagne before we head back to Paris.
US Embassy’s Confinement Resources
This week the US Embassy in France sent out a guide with resources for staying at home during the confinement. There’s actually a lot of great information for both expats living in France and otherwise. Check it out here.
That’s it for this week’s Five Friday Finds from France. I hope everyone has a great weekend, a Happy Easter or Passover if you celebrate, and continues to stay safe and stay home!
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