Saturday, October 07, 2006

A la prochaine

K and I have been hearing stories all week about one of Roger and Jenny’s neighbours, well he was a neighbour and now they have moved across the road (at least 4 paces!) apparently they’re not considered neighbours anymore. Monsieur Couturier sounds a fantastically eccentric farmer who even in his eighties was recently fixing his roof. What makes Monsieur Couturier rather curious is not that he was fixing his roof but the fact he was up there with a chainsaw in one hand and a bottle of homemade Pineau in the other! Monsieur Couturier likes to keep an eye on everything that happens in the area and is terribly frustrated when he doesn’t know what is happening. As well as his little farm his pride and joy are his sheep, which he delights in referring to as “yum yums”. Apparently the only English word he knows! Each Christmas the sheep help feed his family of 37 (he even received a special award from the mayor for his proliferation, an example to us all!) These yum yums are very spoilt and Jenny in particular keeps them well fed with left over bread and potatoes.

We had our final full morning grabbing more shots at another market but even though the vegetables and fruit looked tasty they weren’t as beautifully arranged as some of our other well photographed purveyors of vegetables. An irate rotisserie guy pursues K as he thinks she’s taking just too much interest in his mechanism!

We have our lunch at La Forge and admired yet again the unusual décor, this restaurant favoured light fittings made from ox collars but with the über bright bare bulbs to finish it off. They also had collected various butterflies and little feathery birds and of course, some lurid artificial flowers. Roger was able to have his Eels in Parsley Sauce that he’s been craving and I had a nice piece of Peppered Steak with some Frites. There was some interesting meat lover’s option but it sounded too huge for me with the lamb tonight! I had seen an old favourite from travelling in Belgium - Dame Blanche in the menu and hoped it would be delivered with a little jug of hot chocolate sauce – but unfortunately it wasn’t!

We spend the afternoon slaving over a hot printer and commit some of our most prized photographs to fine art paper – not glossy but pleasingly matt and perfect for framing! Now we’ve just got to get them home.

For our last supper we have Asparagus and Smoked Trout with a sauce made of chopped egg, egg yolk and olive oil and seasoning, which a recipe Terrence Conran gave to Roger, back when they were talking! For main we tucked into a Gigot of Lamb, studded with anchovies and an extremely delicious and fabulous Gratin Daupinoise (how it should be!). The meal was finished off with a very fine hard Cheese and a bought Strawberry Tart. I know it’s very chic for a Parisian to grab a dessert from their local patisserie so we had our strawberry tart. Frankly though, Roger has whipped up some very impressive sweet treats for us and we didn’t need to buy in though I still have a little craving for a good chocolate dessert! We finish the remaining bottles of Christian’s wine and recall the many fabulous moments from the last week, K is going straight back to La Rochelle early tomorrow so we all say goodbye.

We have easily eaten the best food on this holiday ‘chez Roger’ and I feel a very worthy “trois fourchettes” should be awarded to him. And there were no tomatoes at all! It is possible to eat well without tomatoes! We did.

I’ve had a fantastic holiday, eaten some fabulous food, met some great people and have really improved my confidence behind a camera. Roger deserves his legendary status in the world of photography – especially food and I feel his energy and encouragement has helped me to really achieve something and all whilst having a wonderful time. Thank you.

A la prochaine… until the next time!

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