So this evening in France I cooked my first three course French meal with French ingredients in a French farmhouse on a French cooker with a French guest we drank French Wine and French aperitif oh and a London Gin & Tonic… eek!
I had a little help from my friends Rachel And Julia. You may remember Rachel, gorgeous dark-haired chick lived in a Paris Apartment wears clothes in the style from the 50’s so dresses and looks like a real woman. She cooked on her two ring cooker in her tiny kitchen for guests that waited on a long list to be seated in her two covers a night living room restaurant. Yes thats her Rachel Khoo. Remember her ? Well she suggested to me to cook;
Salade tiède de pommes de terre
et pommes avec des miettes de boudin noir
Beouf bourguignon avec des quenllese de baguettes
Served with some buttered steamed fine green beans and a few carrots and of course bread! It wouldnt be true French otherwise!!!
Poires Belle Hélène
I have to admit these are not my actual photos but those from the recipe book after all how odd would I have looked to my french guest Jean ( who looks remarkably like he could be Johhny Depp’s dad) if he had seen me pause for a photo shot after each course. I was going to take a photo of the empty plates again but then that wouldn’t get you salivating in quiet the same way. Go ahead google the names of each dish and see what they consist of, I already did the hard work shopping and cooking, if you want to try them then get looking 😉
The evening was very nice and great company as was the food even if I am telling you … I was pleasantly surprised.
Oh and the other help was Julia Childs – a must see DVD Julia & Julia then you will know who I mean.
Okay Okay D’Accord I hear you they are châtaignier which are a lesser quality than marron which is generally a larger fruit and often used marron glacé is a confit marron that is covered in caramel. However I have stolen the idea for the title from a book I read called ‘Driving Over Lemons’ where Chris Stuart the founding member of ‘Genesis’ the band and original drummer wrote about his early experiences after giving up life as a band member and moving to Andalucía, Spain. Where he seduces his readers with the charm for example of how its impossible to avoid driving over the fallen lemons that are in abundance. A great read for anyone interested. I highly recommend it.
So we foraged on Sunday had semi wild raspberries and collected these at the bottom chemin of the hameau calme, where we are staying, first I did a bit of learning to find out about how to tell which is edible (chestnut) and whic is toxic ( horsechestnut – or conker as most of us know it and the two easiest ways and plese correct me if I get this wrong are the husk one warty one spiney prickles and the 2eme way is one has a single seed/nut the other has many. I’ll let you do you own research, I cant be held responsible if you eat the wrong one by mistake!!!
Speaking of eating is the
FÊTE DE LA CHÂTAIGNE
Depuis 1963, la fête de la châtaigne et du cidre doux est un rendez-vous incontournable de l’automne en Ségala. Which is this weekend in Sauveterre de Rouergue ( see 2016/10/15 post of the same name) where we can celebrate with the sweet cider and chestnuts but as a real regional treat we can have
8h : déjeuner tripous – yum Martin is so not looking forward to that but everyone here is excited and looking forward to it! so will report back on that if we attend.
Staying on the same subject of food & eating: This is the laundry room snack, that hangs above the door of the buanderie.
Monday night not having to cooking for me, I donned my heels( still boots!) and a tad mascara as we had been cordially invited for dinner at 7:30 next door at Chez Julie et Andy’s our Landlord and lady. Julie is a teacher, she does a bit down in Toulouse which is about a 1.5-2 hour commute each morning 2×2 days a week teaching french engineering students conversational English and it seems general culture of being a grown up she’s a fellow northerner although they have been here 12 years and call it home. Andy who is also very hand is a tad more quiet than Julie who also runs her two on-site gites and a third on-site that belongs to their besties back in England and maintains several others with Andy when he is not being an odd job man as he put it because he being modest with his renovation work. They have two grown girls un-identical twins Blonde petit Sarah who is full-on chatty and tall dark timid Hannah who are both lovely and as you would expect SOOOOO different. they off to visit Uni’s in Scotland and Ireland during half term Hannah taking her Dad to Ireland, then off to Harry Potter World(they both giggled and got excited every time it was brought up in converstation.Im sure all HP fans understand that ay C?) Sarah and her mum (surprisingly not Mam in Redcar) are off the Aberdeen. The Girls had gon on an overnight school trip with their wellies so it was just the four of us, the table was set with their wedding present dinner service and lovely old-fashioned cutlery.
Vichyssoise (traditionally served cold)
Leek & Potato to me and you served hot
Coq au Vin
Chicken in red wine with mushrooms onions lardons etc
Tarte de Pommes avec Creme Fraise
Needs no explaining – LUSH the base was made similar to a shortbread biscuit.There was not even this much left but it would have been roode to take photos but it all looked and tasted Formidable and Julie had worked hard and did her self proud. The Gaillac wine flowed withe the conversation and we rolled home ( ok so we walked) over the pebbles after a great evening. Thanks to The Butters.
So here’s the plat I cooked for Sunday dinner – I used the word ‘cooked’ loosely the Confit du canard (Duck) came from the tin and the Truffade( potatoes with cheese) came out the microwave but I did steam the carottes and haricots verts. It was lush although I couldn’t finish mine but now as I share it I feel I ought to do the walk of shame, however I did take a walk prior to dinner down and around the hamlet.