Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The jet lag has finally abated, my work in-box is looking a little more reasonable, the head cold I picked up enroute home is marginally better and the weather is, at long last, warming up and drying out! I have tidied, slept, worked, jogged and shopped - finally my mind has turned to recording the last few days of our cooking course in Camont. I know you've all been waiting to hear all about our Coq au Vin, Cassoulet and Confit of Duck since my last post. And let's not forget the pate, the rillette and the fig tarts, the green bean and lemon salad, and everything that is meltingly delicious about a white bean and caramelised leek salad.
Thank goodness Kate provided us with some lighter, summery options to tide us over until cassoulet weather arrives again. Lovely bean salads will be featuring at BBQs all summer, if I am in attendance. But in the meantime, the sun is shining through the pinoaks outside my apartment (and they have leaves!).
The memories of Camont are taking on the golden glow of past holidays, so it's best to get them down for you all before they dim into the haziness of warm, wine-filled sunny Gascon afternoons around Kate's table at Camont.
One of the most incredible things about the trip were the farmers' markets we visited. It seems that there was always a village somewhere with a market going on and most of our mornings featured a trip to another beautiful town to pick up fresh produce for the day's cooking. From tiny strawberries so sweet I'll never look at a store-bought strawberry again, to every type of cheese you could possibly imagine and a range of charcuterie that boggled the mind. My need to photograph their produce seemed to be a source of endless amusement to friendly store-owners and producers wherever we went.
One wonderful afternoon we picked the last luscious figs from the trees in Kate's backyard, some black grapes from the vines above her terrace and whipped up a beautiful rustic tart. The pastry was very simple - flour, butter, almond meal - rolled out and covered with goat's cheese mixed with egg yolk, lemon rind and a dash of armagnac (no goat's cheese for me, given my allergy to the stuff, just a layer of golden quince jam), all tucked in at the sides and baked until bubbling with sweetness. Easy peasy and so delicious.
Take me back to Camont, Kate! This sure beats my work-night dinner...