Thursday, October 05, 2006

Good tart, bad tart and a fabulous mash!

Today was a jaunt into La Rochelle to do some more work on vegetables. We found a fantastic market stall that arranges their stall with little vignettes of vegetabley abundance. And around the front of these harvest festival displays are small wicker basket of beans and other legumes and each is decorated by a ring of the brightest red tomatoes. Someone has found a use for tomatoes! At the end of the vegetable market, we had espied a rotisserie with racks of slowly gyrating bronzed chickens, piles of ribs and potatoes cooked in all the lovely juices. But when we returned for our eagerly awaited hot chicken sandwiches we were 'desolee' to discover they'd run out of bread and couldn’t help us. So we went of and found a tart restaurant and I have a nice slice of Salmon and Leek Tart. They did have the Tarte flambée d’Alsace (Alsatian flaming tart), which I am rather partial to but this one looked a little custardy.

There was rather enticing chocolate tart that started to call to me so I suggested a split three ways. Unfortunately it turned out to be a rather disappointing third share of a Chocolate and Orange Tart as firstly it was covered with the thinnest and oddest custard I've ever tasted which only served to dampen the tart unnecessary, the pastry was too cooked and very difficult to penetrate and the chocolate stuff was like some hideous chocolate flavoured blancmange. Truly a disaster! We managed a couple of mouthfuls each before rejecting it outright. Waitrose and Marks & Spence both do a fine Tarte au Chocolat. How can specialist french tart shop get it so wrong?

On the way back from La Rochelle we stopped off to capture a few pumpkins and gourd shots for our portfolio. They have enormous flatbed trucks just piled high of knobbly gourds just itching to be photographed.

Fortunately Roger didn't get it as wrong and we were treated to a starter of Green Beans with Feta and Pinenuts. I’ve never been a fan of feta but I found this to be very acceptable. Jenny had made us a tasty Coq au Vin whilst we were out and this was served with a bowl of Roger’s glorious Mash Potato. I wonder if they know about my mash obsession?? And after the Cheese we tucked into a small bowl of a fabulous Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding.

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