Yesterday I escaped my stone house when there was a break in the clouds. I climbed above the village and walked in the grey light to feel the wildness, the limitless space and to gather bay leaves, laurier as they are called in french. I was thinking of Noêl, and something to send from my home away from home. Les herbes gathered in the garrigue seemed a likely idea.
It is dark now in the month of November. I spend much time inside with a pot of tea and my le Cruset full of le soupe de jour. Yesterday I made a “poti” with onions, garlic, choux or cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and boudin aux cêpes which is delicious pork sausage with mushrooms. Into this I tossed four bay leaves, un carré of chicken bouillon, some pepper and a bit of Dijon moutard. With a soup ready during the day, my mind is free to think of painting or writing.
Living in a foreign country can really enhance your magic à la cuisine. I decided to collect all my favorite french food photos from the past four years. Le mois de Novembre makes me think of chestnuts which I have had roasted, cooked in squash soup, and in apple tartes, and as a crême de chaitaingnes spread on bread for breakfast.
Quiche with poireaux, or leeks, and loads of Emmental rappé makes a fabulous lunch with some fine slices of artisanale saucisson. My favorite is wild boar with hazelnuts, or sanglier avec noix followed by one rolled in herbes de provence.
Recently the pears from Spain have been exceptional each coming wrapped in a white tissue with a fruit logo reminiscent labels in the thirties or forties. I am saving these treasures for some creative moment… The pears were actually secondary, but in fact were excellent and made a divine tarte de poire.
Other images include my favorite seafoods, les huitres et les moules, as well as all the fresh fruits of summer which remain in our culinary memory to entice us as the seasons turn. There is nothing sweeter than les garrigettes, strawberries from the Luberon sold in wooden baskets at a fruit stand on the N-100 in the month of May.
Finally for desert, or for le pause, take a break with a steaming cup of café noir. Treat yourself to a patisserie from le boulangerie, or perhaps a square of organic chocolat noir a l’orange qualité Suisse. La vie est belle!