I am usually off on Mondays and yesterday, I was determined to do something positive about it. I mean, I feel the summer is disappearing like sand between my fingers, , a sad metaphor on life you might say but hey, that’s the way I feel. I was hoping, shall I say determined even, to head west for the day. I have been meaning to go back to the Burren in Co. Clare to take some pictures of wild orchids, since June now… No luck. Sadly, after looking at the Irish Weather forecast that morning, driving 2hrs under mediocre weather seemed to be a bit of a waste of everything; I sighed and went to plan “B”…
Month: July 2015
Bastille Day Bouffe
Bouffe: ( pronounce “Boof”) French slang for “Food” in general, family or friends gathering involving food… Like we say in Ireland: ” Quelle Surprise”.
“What do French people eat on Bastille Day?”… I was first asked this question during an interview on TV3 in the summer of 2002. I was clearly not prepared for this question, to the obvious disappointment of the interviewer ( who was also a weather man). ” Well sir, there is not really such a dish, a merguez or paté baguette while we all go drinking and dancing?”. That answer fell flat on its face; depending of the region, meals can probably be quite different. All I can remember is street food, we tend to go out, enjoy the fireworks and some music. In my case, we didn’t celebrate the whole thing too much to be honest, a bit like asking an Irish man if he celebrated St George’s Day… We are proud people, no offence.
But if I was going to do something, it would probably be Duck confit. It taste of the South West, very versatile, with Sarlat potatoes, simply sliced spuds gently melting in duck fat, with a crush of garlic at the end and a hand full of freshly chopped parsley… Too hot for this? Shred the duck and include it in a salad of roots, spinach and a bit of walnut and blue cheese…
Did you know that the first garden Strawberries were first cultivated in Brittany? Yes, I can say that with a proud face, squinty eyes and hair in the wind while staring at the horizon from the bow of my ship; a mixture of Clint Eastwood and Jacques Cartier, Breton explorer, Canada discoverer and Strawberry amateur who brought back some Fragaria virginiana in the hull of his ship… The rest is history.
Roast ‘n’ Ratatouille
Ah, summer… Cycling to the beach, sword fights with giant fennel batons, building a tree house (more like a bungalow really) in the shrubs across the house or hiking through the old salt marshes of Séné, July had just started, school was truly over and all these adventures made us all very hungry. There are three dishes that colours the memory of my blessed summers: Dad’s legendary tabbouleh, homemade tomato coulis and of course, my mother’s ratatouille. Not a week without, it has to have had an impact… Tastes and smells? Of course it has! The solid anchors of a happy childhood. Did you ever wonder why they call food comfort?