Asseing - you try and say it!

Today's recipes are: Moroccan Marinated Carrots; and Dried fruit Cake
I find some French words harder to pronounce than others and this is such a word. You don’t say the end of the word, but you make sort of a nasal thing so that (a French person) would immediately write ‘ng’ on the end in spite of the fact that you never actually pronounced them. With or without ‘ng’, Asseing is a beautiful village in the foothills of the Pyrenees – the mountain range that separates France from Spain. We had a lovely Moroccan lunch there with Ginette and her friends (now ours too!) Kristel and Nicolas. It was the end of March and the weather was still a little cold, but we Europeans go out rain or shine as we would otherwise never get out!

Valentine's Day is far away

A (late) friend of ours, Felicity, told us a really funny story which will relate to today’s post in a very round-about way. Her husband was driving to England and near Calais, running out of energy, he decided to stay at the next hotel. A few kilometers further on, he stopped at a rather seedy looking establishment, but as they could offer bed and breakfast, he decided to stay there. Next morning he went down and asked for coffee and croissants. The croissants seemed rather elderly so he asked it they were fresh that morning.
‘Non, Monsieur’, replied the Patron, ‘they are from yesterday.’
‘Well,’ her husband said, ‘I’d like some of today’s croissants, please.’
‘Mais bien sur, Monsieur’, agreed the Patron, ‘come back tomorrow.’

Mystery Murder Dinner

Today’s recipe is: Carrot Roulade/Swiss Roll
When (my darling) Em and Pikey first invited us to a murder mystery dinner, I had no idea what to expect. That no-one was to actually die, seemed fairly logical, but what then? We each received our own personal invite with the character you were to play. I was Angel Roni, the beautiful (thank you, Em!) young daughter of the deceased, and Joerg was Rocco Scarfazzi, a slightly dodgy Italian businessman. We dressed as our roles required – me in a short black dress with fishnet stockings/nylons and Joerg with his head almost shaved and in a dark suit – and hoped the whole way to their house that we wouldn’t be stopped as we looked like a hooker and her pimp!

Pumpkin Chestnut Soup

A photo of Pumpkin Chestnut Soup.

Mid-April we were invited to a dinner party at Sally and Ed’s, along with Jane and Rob. Sally has eleven Siamese cats so one feels like you’re in kitty heaven! They also have 3 dogs, 30-odd sheep, 6 horses, lots of chickens, a couple of ducks and a Guinea pig called “Poo”. Occasionally I house sit for them for a few days, which is always fun and sometimes interesting, like the time Tiger Lily, one of the kitties, decided to use my shoe as a kitty tray…..!

d'Artagnan - the 4th of the 3 Musketeers

Today's recipes are: Fruity Moroccan Lamb Tagine; and Couscous 101
Sally, my bosom buddy, and I went for lunch in Auch last week. Auch is our department/state/province’s biggest city and is the birthplace of d’Artagnan, the 4th of the 3 musketeers. I don’t get it either. I thought that there were only 3 but it seems I was wrong. Maybe he was like a reserve one or something, incase one of the others got hurt and couldn’t do whatever it was they did. Hey, it’s been a while since I read the story.

Raw food, dieting and other tortures

Today's recipe is: Thai Coleslaw
Before we left America, we had lunch with friends and she had just come from a yoga class. During lunch she mentioned that she had managed to get 2 of her fat rolls into a knot during one of the yoga exercises. Well, I thought that was hilarious - improbable, but hilarious. But then……

Mussels at the seaside - a restaurant review

I haven’t as yet done a restaurant review, so today is a first. A couple of weeks ago, Joerg and I took a drive to Hossegor, a town on the Atlantic coast. I really miss the ocean, so my darling husband drove the 3 hours (one way!) just to make me happy. He’s a keeper! They have international surfing events in Hossegor, so there are lots of nice looking chaps about – a definite plus in my book. We have a VW kombi/van and sometimes we sleep in the car right on the beachfront. On one such occasion, I opened my eyes and 4 of these lovely young men were standing near by. I smiled and one came over and placed a kiss on the window. Be still my beating heart!! Then Joerg lifted his head and said kisser was Gone with the Wind….

Paella and the Celebration of a life

The Paella

Today's recipe is: Paella
One would think that living on a farm with your nearest neigbour almost a kilometer away would be “oh so boring”, but this is so not the case in the south west of France. We have to fight for a night in, in front of the telly. And this last week has been no exception - in fact the last 3 months have been no exception. We’ve had visitors or been out 9 times in the last 2 weeks!! I need some time to lie on the sofa, I mean, write this blog, for goodness sake. Well, that’s it. This week I’m here to stay and finally post some (hopefully) interesting stories and recipes. Just have to answer the phone quickly and I’ll be right back………….

Breakfast at the market

Today's recipe is: Spicy Sausage on French Bread
Everybody loves French markets and we are no exception to this rule. In fact, I am no longer merely an enjoyer, I am a believer of this tradition. This belief may involve ruining my liver and lead to early alcoholism and an early death, but if this is the price to be paid to preserve the French traditional way of life, then I shall have to sacrifice myself.

Husbands and other Smoothies

Today's recipes are: Joerg's Breakfast Smoothie; and a Mango Smoothie
My husband has just asked me for a bowl and a pair of scissors. To some of you this may seem like a perfectly normal request, but I am married to The World’s Biggest 5 Year Old. So this question sets off the same alarm bells that sound when a 5year old asks his Mother, “Mommy, can I have a keg of dynamite and a flint.” I cautiously ask what he needs these for and he excitedly informs me that he is going to use the flint to light the keg….I mean, he is going to cut some stinging nettles, lime leaf tree shoots and other weeds to make me a smoothie for lunch. My heart sinks. My 5year old is glowing with pride. I open the windows to stop the explosion breaking the glass.