[A world in which everything looks green – Holidays in the Alpilles and courgette loaf cake]

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As I spent the last two days trying to survive without the internet, I discovered there were other many means to maintain my high-procrastination policy. The 614 tv-channels clearly weren’t enough and I found myself confronted with my laptop, finally looking at all the pictures that needed to be classified. Far too many, trust me.

That’s when I suddenly – and providentially – stumbled upon a folder containing exactly two hundred photos (notice how obsessed I am with numbers), which were taken during the one-week holidays I spent with my family.

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It’s amazing how places like les Alpilles can be such an inspiration: the landscapes, the food, the farmer’s market, the light… Everything just fitted.

We started our journey in Eygalières, a small village located just a few kilometres away from St Rémy, which is known for it’s gorgeous Wednesday morning market.
However, things didn’t go as smoothly as that; on the way to Eygalière, one of the tires of our 1977-camper van (number alert!) exploded, which forced us to stay of the side of the road for more than two hours. Luckily, forecasting that trouble-free holidays weren’t an option in my family, I had packed Heidi’s lovely courgette loaf cake with us.

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As expected, the market was beautiful; definitely comforting after everything that had happened.

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While we were staying at Eygalière, we did a one-day escapade to les Baux en Provence; certainly touristy, nonetheless gorgeous.

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We, then, headed towards Nyons, where we had an olive oil tasting. Nyons, is a small town, mainly known because it’s where the only AOC olive oil is produced (*edit* – thanks to Rosa, I now know that Nice also has its own AOC olive oil; can’t believe I see myself as the ultimate french riviera girl and didn’t even know this).

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Next town was Forcalquier where we found lovely brocanteurs and farmer’s market. I had a coup de foudre for a set of porcelaine measuring cups, which sadly happened to be far too expensive – I still think about them and wish I had gotten them.
ps. My totally adorable sister Aïda is the one who took the gorgeous cloche [bell] picture; new packed-with-talent girl on her way!

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And well, she already hates loves salad (ever heard about how salad likeness affects a person’s photography skills?)…

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Cake sucré et moelleux aux courgettes et au ras-el-hanout
Adapted from Heidi’s 101 cookbooks.

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I remember the first time I came across a recipe for courgette cake – it was in Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess. I could even tell you the exact name of the cake: Flora’s courgette cake, and give an outline of Nigella’s write up about it. I wasn’t shocked, but my interest was definitely tingled.
Then, I stopped thinking about it…only until I discovered Heidi’s version of it.

Rich with nuts and deeply aromatic with the use of ras-el-hanout, this cake was lovely.
Funnily enough, in France, un cake is a cake (English word this time) cooked in a loaf pan – is that what the Americans call bread? Oh well, I’ll just stick to the French I learnt; so sweetly old-fashioned.

I made the cake using white flour only, and leaving out the poppy seeds and ginger. As for the spicy touch, I used one tablespoon of ras-el-hanout, which gave the cake a great depth. Hmmm ras-el-hanout in cakes!