Hotter Than July


We seem to be caught in a horrible French canicule or  heat wave, with temperatures as high as 101 F.  I hate that.  Unfortunately, I challenged M. Parret to a national day cook-off beginning with the 4th of July at our house and ending with the 14th of July at his.


What a miserable time to cook!  Wisely I made the salads, cheesecake and pre-baked the ribs the day before, eliminating the need to turn on any flames, other than the grill, on the day.  Still, I was hot.  Our house doesn’t have air conditioning nor fans on the ground floor because in normal summer weather it is still very cool and pleasant inside.  That is, if you’re not dashing in and out to the grill.  Ugly.


Still, and as always, our guests made my day and we had a master blast that lasted from noon to 6:00 p.m. without a cheese course 😀

Yeah, yeah!


Because of the heat, the conversation and wine, I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked (the ocean fresh Normandy oysters were gone before I could think) but I knew that would happen so I took some prep pictures from the day before in case I was having too much fun  😉


Orecchiette pasta salad with tuna.


A salad of roasted aubergine, courgette, bell pepper with chilli for babies, capers and basil.


I grilled char sui flavored ribs(French cut travers de porc) and Bavarian flavored chicken (see pictures above).  I also made a cherry compote topped cheesecake and then scandalized M. Parret by serving it on American flag paper plates  :- 0


I am forever surprised by our cultural differences.  The oysters and dessert were served at table but when I told everyone that the main course would be buffet style, self-service, there was so much confusion, I mean, the music stopped and I could tell that our guests were slightly uncomfortable with this style of eating, not sure on how to proceed! Questions were asked!  Lord have mercy 😀

Stay tuned.  Next Sunday we will be celebrating July 14th at M. Parret’s.  I should have loads of pictures because he will be hosting and I will be guesting  😉

Orecchiette Pasta Salad with Tuna

1/2 onion, finely chopped

6 sweet gherkins, finely chopped

1 large jar diced pimentos

4 boiled eggs, chopped

14-16 ounces good quality, solid chunk tuna, flaked

1-2 tbsp yellow, French’s mustard

1 cup or to taste, mayonnaise

1 lb orecchiette pasta, cooked

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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18 Responses to Hotter Than July

  1. Yep, it’s been hot, but hotter still wherever you are. I’m not a fan of summer humidity at all. I don’t think i could live without an air conditioner. So for you to have prepared that gorgeous feast under those conditions… That must be a super power! 😀
    Well done! I hope you had a great Fourth of July. :star:

  2. Looks lieka great celebration – I too did a buffet once for the Spanish, it was all a bit like a slapstick comedy with everyone wanting to clear the buffet table and lay it up with cutlery and place settings!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    That looks like a fab celebration feast. I empathise with regard to the food being wolfed down before you can photograph it – I’ve had the same trouble myself on occasion. On the bright side, it means that the guests love the food 😉

  4. That all looks delicious, and how smart were you to prepare everything before the heat came in? I always struggle with that when I have guests, trying to enjoy them and prepare food at the same time.

  5. Gemma says:

    Those ribs look amazing! I’m craving some now *.*
    I’ve heard that Europe is going through a weird heat wave, and that it’s affecting a lot of people because no one’s really prepared for it. Hopefully, you’ve found a way to stay cool and safe!

  6. That is a damn fine looking spread my friend!

  7. Nadia says:

    Yep, we arrived in Dordogne last Monday and it was 40 (104)!!!
    Not the best weather to be painting, varnishing floors and cleaning. The movers are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
    Your feast looks delicious. I can’t wait to start cooking. Already been trying some superb terrines de lapin and assorted pâtés and cheeses. Soooo good. And don’t get me started on the breads:)
    Keep cool.

  8. What a feast! I can see how the French would be taken aback at buffet-style dining. The paper plate comment cracked me up. 🙂

  9. Yum! What a beautiful festive table setting and food!

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