Category Archives: Food

The borderlands

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Postcards from the Pyrenees…again

The Mountains form a natural border between France and Spain, but more than that they traverse the historical regions with their distinctive traditions, culinary and otherwise. To the west on both sides of the peaks is the Basque country, wonderful people who are rightly proud of their traditions, food studded with Pimentón, and an incomprehensible language with lots of X’s and J’s. From the beautiful Atlantic towns to the tiny coves that pepper the northern coastline, semi-sparkling crisp white wines like Txacoli (you see, it is unpronounceable but very drinkable!) and dishes that ooze with the warmth of spiced sausage alongside classics such as bacalao (salt cod). Continue reading The borderlands

Mers et Montagnes

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More postcards from the Pyrenees

I have an interesting relationship with Oysters, in that I love them but I am allergic to them. My enjoyment these days being derived vicariously, beside my love.

As he pops the shells open to receive the milky pearlessence within, my mouth waters, for I know the ozone freshness there. Continue reading Mers et Montagnes

Postcards from the Pyrenees

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Sea Bream with peperonata

I thought I’d write a bit about the region of southern France in which we have spent so much time these past 14 years – not enough time, never enough. We’ve recently returned from our home there and through the medium of food I shall attempt to share a sense of the place we so love, through a series of posts. Continue reading Postcards from the Pyrenees

The bells of St Clement’s

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Roast Harissa Prawns, oranges and lemons, root vegetables

I find the Christmas season exotic, the yuletide of my childhood being rich with citrus, pineapple, Turkish delight, figs, dates and the like. The magic carpet of my mind is transported to the middle east and beyond at this time of year. I can’t decide if this is a fading tradition here in the UK, if the children of today will have any such association, maybe in this world where foods are available year round it simply isn’t a thang anymore? Continue reading The bells of St Clement’s

Santé Santa!

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Crab gougères, smoked salmon and scrambled egg gougères.

It’s true to say that food has the power to evoke memories. I was thinking about a lovely canapé to do at this time of year, and I keep coming back to something often served with an aperitif in France, something we had for the first time many years ago in a Chateau in Bourgogne. I won’t name check the Chateau as everything about it was bizarre and not that good with the exception of the delicious glass of local Crémant (sparkling wine) served with Gougère. A delicious light and cheesy choux pastry, served warm and with something chilled they are a simple delight. Continue reading Santé Santa!

Before the mayhem, a little goodness

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Cabbage with potatoes, bread and cheese

Looking out into the misty London morning, makes me think of and long for the Mountains near our home in the Pyrenees. There is something magnetic, I find, about proximity to those majestic peaks, peaceful, ethereal and magnificent…

Some time ago, I was watching Antonio Carluccio cooking up a soup, whilst on a misty mountain, it looked fabulous, in the tradition of the best peasant dishes and on this day, it was the only thing that would would do. Continue reading Before the mayhem, a little goodness

You say tomato, I say tomate

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Green Tomato Chutney

On the way back from France last spring, driving north from our place in the Pyrenees, we stumbled on a village fair filled with local people and businesses proudly peddling their wares.

We had stopped off hoping to find a bakery where we could get a pastry to eat in the car but we got more than we bargained for. The place was packed with everything from wonderful produce, breads, cheeses and meats to a flea market area and and lots of farming type equipment for sale. Continue reading You say tomato, I say tomate