Monday, April 14, 2014

A Week Back in France

At the end of Feb, I took my first trip back to France in a whole year. I've never had a gap like that since I moved there in 2002. Anyway, I had a very lovely time, mainly made up of boozy lunches and dinners with old friends.

One lunch party went on all day and all evening, starting with a Vietnamese feast. Julie and Peter Harris had just been on holiday to Vietnam, and as Julie is a chef they had taken cooking classes on the beach. About 20 of us were invited to taste Julie's new Vietnamese repertoire. We had pho to start, which was completely authentic and delicious, and you couldn't tell that some ingredients like Thai basil had been missed out due to not existing in rural France. Normal basil with mint and coriander did the trick. After that we had two different curries with sticky rice. We had such a good time that I somehow didn't get home from lunch until about 1am.

Julie's pho
Me with the Harris' sweet dog, Caramel
Other meals included pizzas cooked in a wood fired oven, a birthday party of raclette with caiparinhas, and lunch at the La Mule Blanche local restaurant. I cooked a couple of times, including roasting a big free-range chicken from a farmer lady at the market - incomparable to supermarket chickens or any that I've had in the UK. The flavour was wonderful, and it came with giblets (including its still-attached head), so I could make really tasty gravy.

Flowers from a friend, in my kitchen

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