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Lunch at Brasserie Capoul, Toulouse

One of the deelicious desserts
This is a wonderful brasserie in Place Wilson, Toulouse, which I visited in May with my mates Debs, Sal and Lynn. Lynn, an old friend (time not age you cheeky buggers) from America spent two fun-filled weeks (or at least I think so!) with me in May of this year –and yes, I know that's 3 months ago. Don't get me going on the Snail Trail again...

How many snails can YOU eat?

My impressive list of snails eaten!
23531 snails for 480 people. That's 49 snails per person. I ate 50 so someone got 1 too few. Sorry. Welcome to the St. Elix d'Astarac Escargolade. Allow me to embellish but at a slightly faster rate than said (deelicious) animal. Oh come on, you didn't really expect to get away with no snail jokes now did you.

Trees and Ron

Trees and Zorah
(Todays recipe: Green beans and coconut milk)
We met a delightful Dutch couple and she has a really interesting name. It's spelt Trees but pronounced Trace. Ron and Trees spend many months of the year traveling around Europe and Morocco in their camping car. We spent a couple of weeks traveling together and had an absolute blast, laughing and joking together. A lot of the jokes are a bit naughty so I shall spare you the details – sorry!

Thai Pork with green beans in red curry paste

Thai pork and green beans
Here's another one of the lovely Nynke's lovely Thai food. I know To Thai For is a really old joke, but I still really love it! And this really is To... Seeing as I was (trying to) make a joke, I looked up Thai jokes on google and allow me to assure you, I ain't printing any of them. The "best" I could find that was still printable was: How to make a Thai laugh - try speaking their language. Well that person has not heard me speaking French as they would be laughing all their way a la maison!

Nynke's Terrific Thai Temptations

Today's recipe: Thai Chicken Green Curry
Agathe and Nynke in Nynke's front garden
The summer was filled with lots of activity and Nynke’s Terrific Thai meal was one of the highlights. We had Agathe (that’s her on the left in the photo with Nynke), a wonderful French student staying with us, and although the French do not traditionally eat spicy foods, she was really cool and tried everything. I basically had to be tied to my chair not to lick the plates after the meal. Thairrific.

Llllamb - Lovely Laura's Lovely Lamb

Lamb Crown Roast
Today’s recipe: Herbed Crown Roast of Lamb served with redcurrant and mint sauce and mustard mayonnaise
As we drove up the 1km of beautiful field and tree lined driveway, I wondered what awaited us. We crossed the little bridge over their ponds and entered into the world of perfection. “Well”, I said to my hubby and to the hostess later on, “we can't have them back to our hovel now. It's a chateau!”

Popadom your diary

Catherine’s Summer Curry Fest
Last year we were invited to Catherine's Curry Night of Note. It was also the only occasion in probably the last 20 years that I forgot my camera at home so this spectacular event went undocumented. So? I hear you mumble belligerently (thank goodness for spell check on that one). YOU didn’t see the magnificent spread of food at this mega-dinner. However, the camera-forgetting-trick did work well, as they were forced to invite me back this year to take photos. The worrying thing is, am I now going to be invited back next year??

Pork Colombo

Pork Colombo
We had this super meal with the wonderful Jo and Michel - I doubt they used their computer to defrost the meat (see http://www.acookonthefunnyside.com/content/computers-defrosters-and-pork... ), but it was fantastic anyway. The starter was a modern fantastic version of a Prawn Cocktail that blows the 70's version out of the water and will definitely be posted later, so stay loyal folks. Well done and thank you both for the great company and a wondefrul meal!

Cottage Pie with Haggis

My Cottage Pie
aka Carol's concoction
“You're never too old to learn” and today I learned that Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie are actually not exactly the same thing. It may be a case of splitting hairs here, but a Cottage Pie is a Shepherds Pie made with beef or pork and a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. Voila. You live and learn. I know, your life will never be the same again. (UPDATE: Please read the comments for the real difference between the two - thank you Frances!)

Lamb Shank Redemption

Today's recipe: Lamb shanks with olives & preserved lemon
The lamb shanks after the meal
Sigh, it ain't easy being me. Just this week I had to (1) get help opening the boot/trunk of my rental car – would you have known to press the VW logo at the top down to get the bottom up? And (2) did you know that you have to press the central lock button to get the petrol/gas tank to open? And (3) did you know that if your ticket says South Terminal, your flight probably isn't leaving from North Terminal? Groan.