My life in South West France:Notes and a seasonal recipe from my time living in, and from my kitchen in SW France. In collaboration with The France Show 2019 as an ambassador for the show.
Be inspired by top French chefs and authors on the Flavours of France stage, sample French wines in the Wine Theatre, listen to the live French music and pick up some goodies in the French Market – don’t miss the can can dancers! Get language tips and holiday ideas from the experts, even try your hand at pétanque, and just enjoy a great French day out.
The event venue is Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX
The nearest tube stations to Olympia London are:
– Kensington Olympia Station (Overground and Southern lines)
– Barons Court (District and Piccadilly lines)
Advance ticket price: £12, purchased on www.thefranceshow.com | Ticket price on the door: £16
The France Show is organised by Archant, publishers of FRANCE Magazine, Living France, French Property News, www.completefrance.comand www.francepropertyshop.com.
NOW TO SOME EXCITING NEWS, AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST, I HAVE SHARED A SPECIAL CODE FOR THE FIRST LUCKY 100 LAVENDER AND LOVAGE READERS TO WIN A TICKET (OR TICKETS) TO THE FRANCE SHOW 2019. JUST USE THE SPECIAL CODE AND THEN CLICK ON THE LINK TO GET YOUR FREE ENTRANCE TICKETS WORTH £12 PER PERSON.
Aromatic herbs border the old terrace and bees buzz as they lazily fly from flower to flower in the intense heat of a midsummer’s day. I’m making notes and writing a shopping list. But, this is a different shopping list to the ones my mother or grandmother would have made. For a start, so many things that would have been on their lists were home-grown or were delivered to her door, such as milk, cream, eggs, fresh fish and even bread, although she made all of her own bread.
Mine is a list of cuts of meat they may never have heard of, for wine-enriched casseroles and slow-cooked pot roasts. The list bristles with ingredients that are peculiar to this part of SW France – confit of duck and goose, duck and goose fat, legumes with strange names such as mojettes or moghettes as is the very local spelling. These creamy coloured beans are cooked over many hours in terracotta dishes with wine, thyme, tomatoes and garlic. Serve this peasant dish with a hunk of one of the ubiquitous crusty breads of France, such as baguette, pain de campagne, couronne or maybe a delicate flute.
The local market was in the nearby town of Cozes, where it was held in the ancient vaulted covered market, with its roots going right back to medieval times. Under its immense dark oak beams were crooked benches which were all marked and pitted with age, each cut, chip or crack in the wood representing centuries of producteurs plying their wares. From butchers with their bloody aprons, sawdust-filled finger nails and bowls of burgundy coloured bourguignonne beef, to the little old lady who only had one goat and came to market to sell half a dozen ash coated chevres, the market echoed with the voices of past sellers and customers, and it was a place I was constantly drawn to.
Here the place resonated with aromas and the chatter of past generations. As soon as you entered the market, it was if you were joining in with the age-old conversation of swapping recipes, squeezing fruit and smelling the freshness of the “catch of the day”. It’s where we used to go to buy misshapen loaves of artisan bread, hand-made goat’s cheese, jewel coloured spices from the Maghreb, as well as all of the fruit and vegetables we didn’t grow in our potager and orchard at home.
The kitchen in our French home backed on to the kitchen herb garden, so there was never any need to walk farther than a few steps in order to grab a sprig of thyme, rosemary or a couple of glossy bay leaves. A terrace hugged the back of the kitchen, which opened out through large French windows. Here sundry potted herbs and flowers lived and, in the summer we’d drag the wooden table and chairs out of the stable, for eating sur l’herbe under the sun and for dining under the shooting stars that are so prevalent in this part of France. It was convivial place to sit, eat, drink and contemplate life, which I often did, with hundreds of books (mainly cookbooks) lining the walls in the seating area next to the business bit of the kitchen. It’s there that I’d sit in the peace, silence and solitude of an early morning drawing up plans, creating recipes and making notes for this book before the day’s work started in earnest.
And so today I would like to share a recipe from my time in France, one that represents the area I lived in so well using locally sourced and grown veggies, ROAST FENNEL, TOMATOES AND ONIONS. This delicious vegetable recipe would make the perfect accompaniment for any roast dinners or as a filling for a pie. Fennel is very prevalent in the Charente Maritime region and I used it a lot in my cooking. Before I leave, don’t forget there is still time to buy your tickets for The France Show. The UK’s greatest celebration of France returns to Olympia London on 25-27 January 2019. Whether you love French food and wine, enjoy holidays in the sunshine or want to find your dream property, The France Show is the place to be. See all the details at the top of this post.
*Disclaimer: I am The France Show 2019 Ambassador and have received a fee for working with the show and creating recipes for them*
USE THE SPECIAL CODE BELOW, AND PROCEED TO THE CHECKOUT,
WHERE THE TOTAL WILL SHOW AS £0:00
THE PROMO CODE IS: TFLL29 FOR 100 FREE TICKETS – VALID UNTIL THE
25th JANUARY 2019
LINK TO THE CHECKOUT IS HERE: CHECKOUT
OR HERE: TICKETS
Excerpts taken from my book, “Lavender and Lovage: A Culinary Notebook of Memories & Recipes From Home & Abroad” – You can buy the book here:
Read my last post with The France Show here:
ABOUT THE SHOW:
The UK’s greatest celebration of France returns to Olympia London
The UK’s greatest celebration of France returns to Olympia London on 25-27 January 2019. Whether you love French food and wine, enjoy holidays in the sunshine or want to find your dream property, The France Show is the place to be.
Be inspired by top French chefs and authors on the Flavours of France stage, sample French wines in the Wine Theatre, listen to the live French music and pick up some goodies in the French Market – don’t miss the can can dancers! Get language tips and holiday ideas from the experts, even try your hand at pétanque, and just enjoy a great French day out!
Thinking of buying a property in France? The France Show hosts the UK’s largest French Property Exhibition; a unique opportunity to browse thousands of properties for sale, talk to agents about your plans and get free expert advice on buying or living in France at the seminar theatres. There are plenty of property bargains to be had so don’t miss out!
The France Show – a fabulous French day out in the heart of London.