Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creme de la creme!

The last couple of days post-Carnival have been quiet. We did a bit of provisioning at the US Supermarche, although we encountered more difficulties than success in finding some basic necessities. Do you realize how many different types of cream the French have?? We had no idea!! We were in search of half-and-half for coffee, but despite there being dozens of different types of cream available, we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for. 

...And more crème...
...and yet even more....
...Crème...but not half and half.
We found Crème Anglaise, Crème liquide Legere, Crème Entière de Normandie, Crème fraiche, Preparation for crème Brulee, Preparation pour Pots de Crème Chocolat, and even cream for cheese sauce “sauce fromage”, but all of these were fairly mystifying. They seemed heavy and quite thick (certainly didn't sound like liquid!) and since we couldn’t read French, we were stuck.  Even the photos on the packaging didn’t help!! (What the hell is crème liquid Legere??) I finally bought some "Fluide & Legere (3%)", only to discover, yes, it was incredibly thick and certainly not coffee creamer! The milk aisle was no help either, since there was simply a choice of whole, skim or “demi-skim” -- 2% -- milk. Exploring the aisle with the coffee showed us a few containers of .... only powdered creamer. (Which was NOT going to work here on the Island of Fabulous Feasting!) Alas…no half-n-half! Clearly we need a lesson in French from Muriel!

The remainder of the day was devoted to dinghy exploration. We took Eclipse around the north coast of St. Martin to Orient Bay and explored a bit more there. We stopped at Ilet Pinel, a tiny islet which is a nature preserve on the northern edge of the Baie Oriental. There are walking trails through the island’s coastal marine environment, which “shelters numerous species of flora and fauna, many of which are rare and endangered”.

The beach at Islet Pinel...gorgeous!
It’s quite pretty, with almond trees, coconut trees, machineel trees, tamarinds and sea grape fringing the shoreline areas of the island. The trails circle the island, which start and end at the island’s area of three little beach clubs and restaurants on the west side. There is a gorgeous beach area, with chaise lounges and umbrellas where folks off the day boats & ferries swim, paddleboard, and frolic for the day. We didn't get to stay all that long, but it's a place we'd like to explore more when we have the chance!

Looking west towards St. Martin

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