There were these 2 plums…how I love plums, they are so pretty as well as juicy and delicious. I picked one of them out of the fruit basket and I saw there a couple of apples, we wouldn’t eat them as we constantly forget to take food items to work with us… Continue reading Nothing but the fruit…
Postcards from the Pyrenees, encore.
Driving up the winding lane, alongside the fields that will soon burst with maize and sunflowers, I’m struck by the variety of livestock in our small village. A gathering of 250 inhabitants and a myriad of small farms, in every other home the obligatory well-tended kitchen garden. There are cows, sheep, ducks, pigs, chickens, guinea fowl, geese (of course, we are in Gascony after all) and goats – well they are the ones I have seen anyway, there may well be others! Continue reading Meadows and Pastures
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
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
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
I know it’s a cliché that France has an abundance of cheese and I also feel strongly that UK cheeses are exceptional too, but having spent the last week at our home in France the quality and selection on offer really smacks you in the face. Continue reading C’est Cheese
Spending the last few weeks down in France gave me time to contemplate….. more than I had imagined because although not a technology freak, I have suffered a few weeks without it (unexpectedly) and realised that I value ‘it’ a little more than I thought. Continue reading A is for Artichoke
“Where is it then?” asks Karl-Heinz. We are presiding over our habitual lazy breakfast on the terrace at the shack in France. A few softly boiled eggs, yokes oozing and richly yellow, gifted to us by our friend JC the farmer… a little creamy yoghurt with some mountain honey…a few croissants and some home made jam, the ‘usual’. Continue reading The Chateau on the Plateau…
From my position on a sun-bed from which I didn’t much move for a couple of days (having worked my backside off for the days prior and in anticipation of the days coming ahead where a list of jobs is mounting) I was dreaming of sardines. Funnily enough not the fresh variety at that moment but the really high quality tinned ones from St Jean de Luz on the Atlantic coast, which are canned in wafer thin lemon slices and dressed in light olive oil. They are delicious and make a great snack. Continue reading Sardines, Sardines everywhere…
There is a very uninspiring looking tree at the front of the shack in France, it’s clearly quite old and when we first got the place we thought it might even be dead. However, every August it produces a bounty of the sweetest and most delicious greengage plums.
In the early years, being townies and not knowledgeable about this kind of thing we believed the tree fruited on alternate years because…. Continue reading Tempted by the Fruit of Another
Safely ensconced at the shack, having rushed through vacuuming up bugs, etc and held our heads in shame at the weeds that have sprung up everywhere, we have a frisson of anticipation in regards to this evening’s supper. Continue reading Tarragon from London, Limousin Beef and the Pyrenees