Corned beef is your national dish, damnit!!

Today's recipes are: Corned Beef 101; and American Corned Beef Dinner
A photo of a green beer.

We generally spend St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th of March) in the USA. For those of you who have had the (mis)fortune of receiving group mails from me over the years, you would know this. But I am relying on the fact that most of my friends won’t remember this (alcohol, age……and no, I haven’t quite finished reading “How to make friends and influence people”). We were in the mid-west for the celebrations two years ago and our barman wore a green wig, our waitress had drunk far too much of the green beer (yes, all beer is green on this particular day) and brought us warm beer, cold corned beef & cabbage, and the Irish soup (should have been stew) after the pudding….. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Go to Anna's for the perfect Roast Beef Dinner

Today’s recipe: Maltese carrots

A photo of a Roast beef dinner plate.

We were recently invited to Anna’s for a meal and were treated to a really super supper. Gaynor and Chris, and Eli and Pierre were there too. Anna has led (and is still leading) a very exciting life, a life that includes safaris to Africa. She has lived in Paris, Malta, Morocco, to name but a few, and always has interesting stories to tell. She went on a safari in Botswana recently with “his gorgeousness” (the “slightly younger” tour guide) and tells of going to the open air bathroom in the rain – you try and finish the paperwork with wet toilet paper!!

Jill's 50th and other birthdays

Today’s recipe: Sausage Pie
A photo of Sausage pie on a mixed plate.

I am absolutely terrible at remembering birthdays. A couple of years ago we were invited to one of my absolute best friend’s birthday parties and I completely forgot that it was her birthday on that day. We arrived at their home, chatted a bit and one of the other guests (who had flown from England to France for the event) mentioned that she had brought a special birthday cake with her. From another country, through 2 airports, 2 hour security checkpoint lines, with the icing still intact and no slices missing.

The 5 year old connoisseur

Today's recipes are: Artichoke 101; and Vinaigrette with capers
A photo of a Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.

“Lamb is very good in a brown sauce with figs”, Lily bluebell informed me. I was quite taken aback. She is after all, only just 5 years old – I mean literally as I was at her birthday party last month. Clearly this blog has hit rock bottom if I am getting recipes from 5 year olds. Lily and Charlotte (her 3 year old sister who as yet has given me no recipes) were very excited about visiting our new baby rabbits and I said that we also have baby lambs that they could come and see. I deliberately said see and not eat, but it seems that French children know a good meal when they hear it. I also think that she has as yet not made the correlation between the cute and cuddly lambs and the delicious meal she was describing!

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!