Hasselback Potatoes and August Fun

A photo of Kathleen holding her plate.

Although I have been promising to catch up from January 2nd, I just have to tell you about the Hasselback potatoes I had in the month of August first. August is party month. August is the busiest month of the year after July which was actually also very busy… But anyway, stop interrupting yourself woman, and tell your stories!!

I met the delightful and wonderful couple Kathleen and Colin, and the equally delightful Barbara, at an intensive French lessons week with Nadege ( www.natif.fr ). We met up everyday from 9am till 1pm - I live the closest and was always the last one rushing into the room as everyone sat down. To ingratiate myself with the group and the teacher, I brought the proverbial “apple” everyday in the form of produce from our garden.
“If you can’t be punctual, then have a big garden” is a saying I have just invented.

It was such a nice week that Barbara and I immediately signed up for one more week directly thereafter. (Are we crazy or what!?) My first French sentence was “Tu est un monstre!” (You are a monster!), something I regularly said to our teacher as she made me say something else in French. I could imagine that she was REALLY glad when the two weeks were over! No, no, I have since heard that she said I was a very gifted student…remember the garden produce is all I have to say to this subject. (In the photo we are on a tea break, but that is not tea, it's birthday bubbly for Barbs!)

A photo of our French class.

In the class above us, and I’m talking literally and figuratively, were also the lovely Dave and Christine. We all had tea breaks together and commiserated about our French skills. Dave recently had a big birthday party and was apparently seen wearing a pink nightgown and pretending to be part of an Egyptian Arabian…Or was he wearing the “Wee willy winky” outfit and his father-in-law, also Dave so you will have to excuse my confusion, wearing the nightie? Anyhow, they all had fun regardless of my lack of details!

What does this have to do with August? Well, duh, Kathleen and Colin had Barbs and I, Dave and Christine, and several other people, over for a party lunch in August and boy did we party. The food and the fun were equally great. Kathleen did take a knife to Rachel at one point, but I am very sure she deserved it!! K and C have a beautiful home on a lake about an hour and half’s drive from us. Yes, it’s a long way, but they are so worth it. I met Colin at the airport last year when he was fetching his young daughter, Louise, and just about floored the man I was so delighted to see him again. Louise was a little concerned for her Dad’s safety I think, but she has since been informed that I am (mostly) harmless and we both had fun at this August Event (even without me flooring her Dad).

A photo of Kathleen and Rachel.

It was the first time I had met the (almost deceased) Rachel and her husband David and daughter Stephanie, and I immediately fell in love with them and particularly Rachel. In fact, I am considering having a talk with my mother as to whether I have a twin she never told me about. Within seconds she had said something so funny I had to run and get my little book to make notes. Isn’t it sad? I am no longer capable of remembering all the weird and wonderful things people tell me – I have to take notes! Is it the alcohol? Is it age? It is a shame! Oh well, cheers and where did I put that little book…

“Drink straight from the bottle and skip out the middle man”
she said to me and that was that – I knew I adored her. Such a sensible lass. Steph had the (mis)fortune of sitting next to me and the poor girl was getting job advice from ME. She is 13 and considering studying law later on and we (I had to get parents and guests involved to try and save myself) recommended lap or pole dancing as a very lucrative source of income! She did reprimand her parents about the company they keep…sensible lovely young person. She helped me take notes, but by late afternoon they were becoming more cryptic, so Steph please send me a comment about a “Runaway Bulldozer”?

A photo of Stephanie next to me.

My notebook was just about full by the end of the afternoon and I shall be sprinkling my posts with the stories from now on. One I have to share was that when someone theres son (who shall remain unnamed like I promised, Rob) was a tiny boy he would get naked every time the phone rang! He and they can’t remember how or why this started or ended, but I think it’s fantastic. I have considered trying this, but firstly it scares the cats and our phone rings all day and it’s getting too chilly to be naked all day…

A photo of Colin under the trees.

But what, you may correctly ask, does this have to do with food? Oh yes, she replies, it is time to get onto the lovely spread that K and C put on. We sat under the trees at the bottom of the garden, so K and C and their lovely children, Louise, Victoria, Robert and his other half Katie, had to run backwards and forwards laden with food and drink. Colin would probably have been wiser to have the lunch in the wine cellar as boy did those other people drink…not me of course (have to say that type of thing indoors for fear of being struck by lightening.

A photo with Louise and Vicki.

Firstly we had Melon wrapped in ham, 2 types of Pate with Gherkins and Breads, and Tomato and Mozzarella salad. As if that wasn’t already enough, there was Lasagne with mushrooms added in, and Chicken and Potatoes. I call them Hasselback potatoes and Kath called them Huckleback potatoes, so people, I want comments as to who is right! It doesn’t matter as they taste great by any name. You basically don’t slice the potatoes the whole way through - you make slits to almost the bottom, drizzle oil and herbs if desired and bake in the oven.

After the lovely main meal we had cheese AND 3 desserts. I am not a dessert person, but I had to try all three for this blog. I did have to give half to Joerg as it was SO much. But they were all very good. There was: Tiramisu,

A photo of Kathleen’s tiramisu.


A photo of Kathleen’s pavlova.

and Trifle.

A photo of Kathleen’s trifle.

For today’s recipe I am trying something new and that is I am linking you to another blogger who has a lovely recipe for Hasselback potatoes. Hey, but you come back here straight after reading her post, you hear me?!?! She may be well known and a great writer but so what?? I will be giving you MY version of Hasselback potatoes just as soon as I have a photo of them, so enjoy Molly’s so long, but be prepared for mine!


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David Hasselhoff

I agree with you about the Hasselhoff thing! Maybe we should rename the potatoes Huckleback. My French accent is great, it's just that I have NO grammar so conversations with me are very interesting...!!!

what fun

I loved my French classes even though my teacher once told me I had an accent that would kill a Frenchman - focused more on my reading after that. Looks like a wonderful party and I love the recipe, even though whenever I see Hasselback potatoes, I always think of David Hasselhoff, I have no idea why. I think I'd like the potatoes much more.

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