WINTER

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's been a while.....

Just finishing the clean up after another dinner served...has been a very very hot day and late this afternoon all of our guests had come back to rest for a while as it was too hot to try and do anything but sit, read and sleep...

Inspired by the heat and an overripe gorgeously juicy melon in the bowl I made my first ever melon sorbet! Dead easy and so delicious in the heat..I served out 4 guests portions then ate the rest myself as an attempt to wain the heat of the kitchen...it was delicious and a welcome additional course for the guests who were sweltering in the menage after a large plate of salmon....AND I got to put the new ice cream maker that I brought Mike to good use...one of those gifts you buy for your nearest and dearest because YOU really want it!!!

I have had some fun experimenting with different ice cream recipes. Now I have a MACHINE! the recipes all jump wholesale out of every cookbook and must be tried and tested...my latest refind in my cookbook shelf is 'The Cook and the Gardener' which is just fabulous. I must admit when it got Radio 4 'Book of the Year' I brought it and dipped in and out but am only now starting to really USE it. In it is a recipe for 'Thyme Infused Ice Cream' which must be tried at least once...I served it with huge dessert oranges sliced and cooked slightly in a champagne and honey syrup...the guests...2 teachers from Salisbury....assured me it was divine and when tried it was an unusual but pleasing idea and the flavour was surprisingly and alluring....not an everyday but fun when you can every now and then...
 I have had a rest from blogging of late but not much of a rest on any other front...it has been a mad month with guests and family coming and going and life full of general business...
The weekend was spent with a lovely Parisian couple who rented the whole house with close friends to celebrate young Ruth's 30th birthday...originating from Australia and now immersed in life in Paris the 16 strong dinner party was a mixed bag of both nations...all very appreciative of the small touches that we made to the house to mark Ruth's special birthday weekend. Dinner was a BBQ of grand portions with no less than four desserts to finish off the night...A chocolate birthday cake, a raspberry chocolate torte, a cherry pie and a baked cheesecake....the Cherry pie was inspired by our lovely older Texan guests who came, ate, entertained and amused us for 3 nights last week...such  energetic enthusiastic folk with interesting lives and fabulous turns of phrase!! The leftover cheesecake was taken next door by Ruth at the end of the night in the wee hours of the morning with the throwaway comment...'who needs the bread lady when you have cheesecake for breakfast!'
Sunday dawned and off to the 'brocante' we all went....a ritualistic summer habit of the French and tourists alike...basically the whole of the chosen village empties it loft and associated storage holdalls onto the street in front of their house and sell everything and anything to whomever cruises by...now this generally means some of the most obscure items known to man...these items are not always tasteful, valuable or worthy of a spot on the table and sometimes so fabulously awful that it can be a great source of amusement for all...my favourite, which I have seen on numerous occasions in various villages dotted around Champagne, is the wooden cheeseboard with a deer hoof fixed to the centre as a handle...needless to say that the French country folk love to hunt shoot and kill things BUT this surely creates a bit of a health hazard especially when the fur starts molting...and then to think about putting cheese at the base of this amputated animal body part and use it as a finale to an evening meal leaves me a little foxed! As did someone trying to sell a piglet last weekend in Montmort Lucy!
BUT we also pick up some real treasures and it is a pastime that can become addictive...bargains are to be had if you have a good eye and a little knowledge...projects collected, lovely linen, china and assorted bits of madness to decorate your house and home...it is part of the charm of our house that it is full of the treasures found from the off casts of others...dealers often show with the prices higher but the selection of goods on display of a higher quality also....you learn to spot them and negotiate accordingly...if there is something that you really love!
And the day would not be complete without stopping at the BBQ where the local 'pompiers' [fireman] or community group of some description cooks up 'frites' and sausages and stuffs them into a baguette and calls it 'an American'! Champagne in bleeders, cans of coke and homemade cakes and tarts and lunch is sorted! The kids all enjoy the madness of making a little money go a long way and come home with various stuff that just must be had...Liliana's collection of 50 centimes Barbies is quite impressive!

1 comment:

id said...

Spooky! Look what I found in my local junk shop, only four days after your post... http://itsallinthega.me/deer-hoof-cheeseboard