Sunday, July 24, 2011

Belle Epoche in Sablet

I know that some of you might be waiting for the recipes I promised to blog about, but they will have to wait a little because this morning we went to a village fête in Sablet, the village my fellow blogger Michel of "Our House in Provence" often writes about. And because he and his wife Shirley unfortunately had to fly back to California yesterday and so had to miss this unique and very Provençal event, Michel and Shirley - these photos are for you!
The theme was "Sablet à la Belle Epoche" and started with a mass in Provençal at the village church, followed by the blessing of a winestock by Father Pierre Granier and Provençal dancing. All through the village there were demonstrations of old arts and crafts and the villagers strolled about in their traditional Sunday finery.

PS: I am truly sorry some real nice comments to my last post got lost when I tried to edit same post. Somehow this seems no longer possible ever since the "new" Blogger was introduced. Because of some bad misspelling I had to delete and rewrite this post.
PS. PS: Through trial and error I finally managed to get back to the "old" version of blogger so all is well now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Blogger Meeting in Provence

Shirley, Robert, myself and Michel

After having met Susan and Dale of "Schnitzel and the Trout" in June, we now had another blogger meeting in Provence! After having met for the first time around New Year's (when nobody thought of taking a picture) and bumping into each at Vaison's famous Tuesday market, Michel and Shirley of "Our House in Provence" very kindly invited Robert and me to their beautiful house in the village of Sablet.
Michel who owns a French Bistro in California and loves to go and eat at (and blog about) all the best restaurants in Provence had prepared a delicious "Caviar d'Aubergines" (recipe to be found on his blog) and very tasty Bruscette. As they had just been to the seaside town of Cassis we were also treated to a superb Blanc de Cassis. Guess what we talked about? Recipes and Restaurants! I promised Shirley to blog about two recipes that I have just discovered at my Provençal neighbor's - so now into the kitchen I go to prepare them and take photos!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Congratulations to Andrew and Grace

Forgive me for taking a break from my usual Provence and cooking posts but I just have to share a photo from the lovely wedding we were invited to and went to London for. Andrew, the eldest son of our dear friends and former neighbors Ken and Ramona married his lovely fiancé Grace last Sunday at Hampton Court Palace - don't they make a beautiful couple? Wishing them all the happiness in the world!

But what is London without a little retail therapy? The sales were on and so I hit the shops and came home with a lot of books, one little cashmere sweater and another photo I just have to show you:

This sandal with a simple espandrille sole and a bit of leather at £ 335? Just in case you are wondering, this translates into $ 535 or € 379 and even the sales price of £ 201 is still a whopping $ 321 or  € 227. If ever I have seen consumerism gone mad, this is it! What do you think?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two in One

What could be better than to prepare one recipe that then actually gives you two dishes? When I spotted a recipe for "Flan de Pointes d'Asperges au Pesto" in a summer special of "Côté Sud" that had pesto as a main ingredient I knew I had a winner. The recipe didn't even ask for homemade pesto but since basil is growing in abundance right now what could be easier?
So for the pesto you need: a real generous bunch of basil leaves, a good handful of pine nuts, 50 g (1/2 cup) of freshly grated parmesan, one clove of finely minced garlic and olive oil. Mix all ingredients into a fine paste, just adding enough olive oil to moisten the mixture. This recipe gives you the amount of pesto you need for the flan (about 130 g or 1/2 cup of pesto), but if you just double the quantities you will have the best ever pesto to stir into freshly cooked fettucine - a real feast that couldn't be simpler to prepare!

Back to the flan: Once you have prepared the pesto, preheat the oven to 140°C / 208° F
Mix the pistou with 4 large eggs, 50 g (½ cup) grated parmesan, 20 cl (¾ cup) cream (preferably thick crème fraîche) and a few turns of the pepper mill. Pour this batter into a buttered gratin dish, decorate with a bunch of asparagus tips (since asparagus season is over I cheated and used frozen that I defrosted before use) and bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot or lukewarm. Served with a big green salad on the side this flan makes an elegant and unbelievably fragrant summer lunch.