The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

3,639 replies on “The Bistro”

Interesting to see the Julie and Anna mentioned spiders. I had not even thought of them until a friend called Tues. night and told of their battle with them in their bedroom. We searched the room, behind bed and other furniture. We didn’t see any or any signs of them.
Anna, I had forgotten about the symptoms of sepsis even though the Dr. said it may have gone into sepsis without treatment.
Julie, love the B&B idea. Yesterday, Sam said that his mother always said Blackberry juice was good for infection. I ate a slice of blackberry pie and felt guilt free. I might add that I have blackberry wine in the cabinet. I keep it on hand for cooking and sipping.
Hi, Jennifer. I think the discussion will be here. All info about the discussion will be here for sure. Looking forward to it.
I had a short dream the other night. Sitting on the bench in the square in Three Pines and holding Rosa in my lap. She wore a small shawl over her back. I could feel the warmth from her body and her breathing. No one else in sight. It was early morning. So peaceful.

We will discuss the new book Jennifer. We are just giving people a chance to read it so they aren’t caught up with spoilers inadvertently. Quite a few of us have read it so we are just chatting while we wait. It’s a fabulous read although Julie and I are waiting to talk about how on eart Gamache thought what he did was a good idea, without saying what made us question him! Please join in. We are happy to talk about all things Three Pine. Did you enjoy the book….without giving anything too much away yet?

Oh dear Barbara…cellulitis is nasty. Is it getting better with the antibiotics?? Please be careful because nausea and shaking can be signs of sepsis as well as side effects of the medication. Not said to worry you, I just want you to be alert. If the redness and swelling are improving then it’s likely to be the medication causing the problems. Wish I could be there to help you!

So very pleased that the computer will be set up properly soon and you have that out of the way. So proud of you getting your laptop. And the book will come and we can have a lovely natter. Did Carol order it for you? What kindness. Hopefully by the time it arrives you will be feeling better and able to enjoy everything.

Spider bites Julie! Eek. I killed a deadly female funnel web in our garden a couple of weeks ago. Spiders in this country are so nasty. Could well be though but Barbara’s reaction is a horrid one. I am glad you are reading happily. I had to devour in the end as I just couldn’t see where the time was going to come from otherwise. Had Dad to the doctor yesterday, went well, pacemaker check today and need to get him to the optometrist. He is so heavy and the whole process is exhausting even with my friend helping. I was in bed and sound asleep within two hours of getting home.
I will try and reread AGR…

((((((((Barbara))))))) I’m so sorry to hear about the cellulitis. I wonder if it could have been spider bites? Vern gets them really bad this time of year as the spiders start to “come in for the winter”… they seem to love him and leave me alone, but his bites are always big and itchy and swollen. Not that mosquitoes don’t get into people’s houses… but the reaction seems like too much. Whereas, depending on the spider, they can be bad. I hope the antibiotics knock it out in one go. Certainly seems like they’re knocking you out! Go, read, be calm, drink tea, or a big vaseful of bourbon with a branch stuck in it! 😀 and feel better… So happy that your book will be there soon! Then you can fret about whatever it was that Gamache was thinking along with Anna and me! Glad to hear the laptop is here, too. Good news – by the time we’re discussing the book, you’ll be an old hand on it!

Anna, to me, Three Pines is so real you can taste it, hahaha. Of course, that might just be all the wonderful food they have. Very early in there’s a plate of scrambled eggs with brie that had me salivating!

Wow Anna, you really gobbled up the book. I can imagine Julie, It keeps calling “Just one more page”. So tempting.
Much news. Carol told me this AM that my copy of AGR is on the way. I was going to send Sam to buy me a copy in a few days or so. Glad I didn’t.
My typing is very poor this morning as I have to make corrections to almost every word. That is because I am somewhat shakey as I have been taking high doses of an antibiotic since Sun. I woke up with bites all over my upper left arm on Sat. but by Sunday was in real trouble. Cellulitis. Had a regular appt. with primary Dr. for Mon. but went to one of the hospital’s Prompt Care offices on Sun. We all thought mosquito bites. I had scratched them and bacteria had entered the broken skin. That has always been a problem. First time to have such a serious reaction. The antibiotic has made me very ill. Again standard reaction. I wonder if the4y were really mosquito bites. I have been nowhere outdoors or unusual.
Good news. New laptop arrived yesterday. Will be set up by Geek squad next Tues afternoon.
Can’t wait to start reading. The distraction will be good for me.
Best to all.

Aw Peg. Somehow it’s worse knowing she is so close and you can’t get there. I asked Pete to say hi from The Bistro if he gets a chance.
Exactly Julie? No spoilers but seriously Gamache?! We will have to discuss that in a couple of weeks. Suffice to say it is a great mix of all things Three Pines and some new people and places that keep the story fresh and interesting. Louise’s amazing ability to paint a scene for the senses and the heart is in full swing so you don’t so much read the book as float along beside the characters immersed in the world she has given us.
There is no doubt Three Pines is a real place. We all make it real.

And so we do, Paul. The Bistro has become so very important to me, and I think to a number of us. Even as we sit and wait. But the waiting is over, hallelujah!

I got my copy at midnight – said I would read one chapter. I’m on chapter 7, but I AM going to try to make it last a little longer, hahaha. I usually don’t read in the daytime, and will try to keep to that. Have plenty to do to keep me busy, but it’s calling, oh, it’s calling. I was at first so happy to read some things I’d been hoping would happen, and then the story got going and I am thinking – Gamache! What are you thinking????!!!! So, of course… no spoilers, I promise.

And so I am done. I gobbled as I knew I would once I could find the time which was initially in spurts. Sorry Erin, it was takeaway for tea and we ate it a 4 pm because I wasn’t going out again. I finished in bed with the lights out and tears in my eyes from Louise’s Acknowledgements at the end. So lovely to see Paul Hochman receive deserved thanks for creating the Virtual Bistro. Don’t we just bless him every day for that kind genius.
So fitting, when I went into the book afraid, to read Louise’s trademark sign off…Noli timere. I try….I really try.

Can I just admit that I was a little bit scared to read AGR. The previews imply trouble for Gamache and I don’t want to see any more trouble. But then it is a murder mystery so there will be a problem for someone…

It has arrived. I found it at 530 am and made sure it downloaded, read the first page then had to go back to sleep for an hour. Wow, did I have some weird dreams. I just need to convince the rest of the world to give me the day off to read…..

Anna – I think you’re right about temperature, humidity, etc. having a lot to do with how pastry turns out. Why can’t I try to master something easy? hahaha.

Oh, Anna – how wonderful to get your book before the rest of the world! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. But no spoilers, now – I don’t want to log on tomorrow and find out the whole plot! hahahaha – I know you would NEVER do that! In about 2 weeks, I think we ought to start checking in to see if people are ready to discuss the book – maybe try for Monday, September 12? Do we want to do it in chunks like the first discussions, or all at once like the last one? Cannot WAIT – I feel like a lot of questions will be answered… of course, then there will be new questions!

Oh Peg, well do I remember the fears of Y2K when there was concern that all the machines in the hospital would go chaotic and we slept in and had torches just in case. Nothing happened, thank goodness , but it was all an anticlimax.
On the other hand, receiving a new Louise novel can never be an anticlimax.
It is odd living on the other side of the world. My husband calls as he is heading to bed and I am having morning tea. Its freezing when he is sweltering. It is very topsy turvy. Actually I think we all deal with the weirdness quite well….embrace the weird I say.
If it gets delivered tonight…will I get any sleep? Probably. I am a wee bit weary.

Funny thing Julie, I wasn’t that happy with my pastry this time. I think ambient temperature and may other things play a part. It was still better than store bought though. I always precook the apples because they too have variable cooking time and I don’t like hard apple in the pie. I do drain it now so it doesn’t bubble through the crust and wet the pastry.
If the Kindle book comes at midnight…..I might get mine tonight! I did get it on Australian time last time so fingers crossed I will not be giving any spoilers……

So, Anna, best wishes for local-time Kindle delivery! I will have to wait for my library pick-up email.

I can remember Y2K eve and Paul and I were on ham radio listening and talking to the world – we are both licensed. We talked to New Zealand and Australian hams after their midnights and the world had not gone haywire. That was a big comfort to us. Seems so trivial and long-ago now.

Good for you, Barbara! I tend to panic when something like that happens because Vern is a product of the Great Depression (it must be capped like that, and I hear it in James Earl Jones’ voice – you know, Darth Vader, hahahaha). He can’t abide waste, and of course, I figure it was probably old and freezer-burnt anyway, because, like you, Barbara, I tend to over-buy. I love a full fridge and freezer, and only once have I ever really needed it. We were snowed in about 5 years ago for more than 10 days. Now, we could have gotten out in an emergency, of course, but trips to the grocery store are not really emergencies, now are they? So we ate down our larder and freezer, and I was very glad I had so much to choose from. But these days, of course, we are trying to simplify more. The same theory as the clutter – who needs all this food? We dropped our membership in Costco (I was having trouble lifting some of the large packages) and shopping more often for smaller amounts. Trying to keep only fresh things around, but of course, things get forgotten at the back of the freezer. Sometimes, I have to sneak them into the garbage so Vern doesn’t see, hahahaha. So it’s a very good thing that you have cleared all that up with a minimum of angst!

I, too, hope the laptop arrives soon. You need to get up to speed on it before we start to discuss AGR. I can hardly wait – It’s next Tuesday it comes out, right? Which means at midnight on Monday night it will be on my Kindle. Oboyoboyoboy.

Anna – sounds like the U. visit was awful – that’s just the kind of thing I hate – crowds and noise and jostling… I hope it will all be worth it in the end, and Erin will find just the right thing for her. Pork buns and mango sound like a great antidote! I’m glad your dad is back in familiar surroundings with all he needs around him. Did his sight come back completely? It sounds as if you got very timely help, and that makes all the difference in a stroke.

I took a page out of your book, Anna, and made another apple pie yesterday, but I’m beginning to think I over-think the pastry. Now that I kind of know the science behind things, and after watching all the Great British Baking Show episodes, I got anxious about my pie crust, and of course, then it turned out awful – plenty of flakes, but very hard – brittle, really. The crust was overdone, and the apples weren’t cooked through really – still firm. I think I need to simplify and stop thinking about it. The very first pie I made with that recipe, I didn’t know anything about pastry, so just did what the recipe said and it was perfect! Ah well… I’ll keep working on it.

So hope the laptop shows up very soon Barbara and you have time to learn its wily ways before AGR is out. What kind did you get in the end? Maybe you said but my brain didn’t take it in.
Really sorry about the food and the freezer but you handled it all so well. I was very impressed to hear how you held it together and just got one with the job. Well done!!
Gosh the world has been out of control. Dad is finally back and so very grateful for it. He was tired and hungry when he got to the home but they had his lunch standing by and lots of attention. The lady from church came and gave him communion and we had a new phone for him as his had died. So his world was set to rights.
We had spent the morning at a University Open Day but the whole thing was a bit overwhelming I think. Erin was much better once we left and she had pork buns and mango pudding for lunch. Too much noise, too many people and too real. We were all ready for bed when we come home but of course it was not possible. I did sleep in this morning though until someone came to collect yet more furniture we are selling.
Because the elders hav been ill I am less keen on selling so soon. Think I need to keep getting ready for sale but not stress too much.

Belated Happy Birthday Julie. Wow afternoon tea. So special for a special lady.
Tues. I discovered that the freezer had stopped working several days before as everything was thawed. Petey alerted me by going to the freezer door and sniffing. Almost every item was in a freezer ziploc bags so that helped cut down on the mess. Most of the items were meat. I’m glad I had not bought the food for Labor Day yet. I almost did. Everything went to the garbage and was carried away Fri AM. Including the old freezer. The same thing happened to friends last month. The wife took care of everything ( I think some of the grandsons helped.) including buying a new freezer. Sam was great working with me and trying to keep me calm. I did stay calm. Gold star for me. We are not getting another freezer as I don’t really need one. I have a tendency to overbuy. If something is on sale, it will be again and even if it isn’t just buy it anyway if it is wanted.
Another crises survived.
I can’t believe AGR will be out next week.
New laptop hasn’t arrived even though we were notified by email that it shipped last Tues. Patience Barbara, Patience.
Hi, to all.

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