Monthly Archives: September 2009

Postcard pretty…

Tiny, but aromatic apples from the B & B's orchard

Tiny, but aromatic apples from the B & B's orchard

Squashes on the bedroom window sill, ready for midnight munchies

Squashes on the bedroom window sill, ready for midnight munchies

Could not resist taking these.

It did not look staged or contrived at the time, but looking at it now I can see the whole B & B was a carefully stagemanaged filmset.

But none the worse for it!

Go + stay there when you want to a civilised short break in Normandy and tell the Osmonts that I recommended their delightful home (their son runs a decent restaurant, or should that be “table”, in Honfleur called “L’Endroit”).



French: foodies or not?

Proper beef tomatoes

Proper beef tomatoes

Bunches of freshly picked radishes

Bunches of freshly picked radishes

It struck me whilst browsing the Saturday morning market in Honfleur last weekend that the “foodie” is a British (and perhaps American) phenomenon.

In France, everyone, or no one, is a foodie!

Food shopping, preparing and eating food is much more part of everyday live; it is not the same as a “pilgrimage” to the monthly local farmers’ market or a visit to Whole Foods Market.

There were real people, of all social backgrounds, buying real, seasonal food, to be prepared and eaten later that day.

I noticed at the cheese + egg stall that shoppers brought along their own empty egg cartons and I remembered my mother doing this.

 Talking about “foodie”: the hosts at the enchanting B & B where we stayed had learned a thing or two about making the most of British (and American) “foodie-ness”: they were offering home made jams at 7 Euro a jar – and selling them!

In case you were wondering: no I did not buy.


Wild damsons

Found this one (!) damson tree in a nearby wood a few weeks ago.

I had been deliberating whether or not to pick the fruit – would it be safe to eat? I took the plunge whilst J & J were staying with us.

J and I both ate one damson each – they taste horribly tart, almost bitter when raw – and we lived to tell the tale.

So on with the prep: I washed the fruit and did not bother to take out the stones – too fiddly.

Drizzled over some honey and gently stewed for about 5 minutes; then pushed the mixture through a passe-vite to get rid of the stones.

The compote is nothing like the raw fruit, tart but aromatic, and a great addition to fruit cobblers (made one with Dorking Bramleys + damson last night) and crumbles, fromage frais for a healthy pud or breakfast sprinkled with muesli and some toasted seeds.

And I like the fact that they are “wild”. It’s a pity there were not really enough damsons to also make some jam – I would have enjoyed that.

This morning, I used a few spoonfuls of damson compote + 1 ripe banana + 2 tbsp of oatmeal + 1 tbsp of mixed seeds + 3 tbsp of live yoghurt to whizz up a very tasty and prettily lilac smoothie.

Just the thing, with an espresso chaser, to set me up for an hour of Pilates.

Innocent: watch this space!