Attitude Readjustment

Having lost our joy because we realized that we are probably not going to France this autumn because 1) we might be barred from France, because we’d be coming from a country with the most lackadaisical, irresponsible and dangerous response to the Corona virus in the world.  2) Also we’ll probably be too afraid to get on the plane quite possibly incubating the virus from others in our country who didn’t follow science and medical guidelines.

Rather than wallow in this disappointment, we chilled some Cremant(Vieux Ambal Blanc deBlancs) and made a “gouter” (taste, snack/small meal).  The majority of French eat their main meal at noon.  Towards the evening, they will prepare a small snack before TV/bedtime.  I’ve always like this because the meal is usually interesting, with tastes of this and that, but not too filling for the evening.

Before leaving Sens last December, I exchanged good-bye  presents with my neighbor Catherina; she got canned cranberry sauce and I got foie gras stuffed quail.  We were both happy.  Canned meat products from France are a major cut above our spam or vienna sausages and this quail stuffed with fois gras from a farm in Dordogne was a “delice”(delicacy).

The quail comes out of the can ready to be eaten at room temperature or lightly warmed in the can in simmering water before serving.  We chose room temperature.

The quail was preserved in a sauce of mushrooms, duck fat and herbs, maintaining the shape and keeping the meats moist and succulent.

There are no true baguettes in our part of the country.  They do sell a long, thin loaf with a gummy texture that while not what we’re looking for, toasts fine.

I made some butter, garlic and parsley croutons that are good with soup or as a fresh cracker for spreads or topping with slivers of meat or confits.

The deviled eggs, scented with dill never disappoint.  My herbs are slowly returning to the garden, even with the snow/cold/icy rain weather we’ve been having.  The plum trees are starting to bloom, along with the apple trees, dogwood, daffodils and tulips. My husband has planted a 4 types of vegetables in a small garden out of boredom.  Maybe it will work 🙂

A la French style, we stretched this meal our for several hours; eating, drinking, talking and laughing.  Disappointingly, the brie we found was tasteless, horrendous and took 30 minutes to soften in the oven.  How is it possible!?

Still it was a good day and restored our joy.  I’ll have to set up a gouter from time to time, even though this eating style reminds us of friends and fellow trenchermen/women whom we miss a lot 🙂


About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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17 Responses to Attitude Readjustment

  1. Laura McPherson says:

    Thinking of many gouters around the world with you all! Stay safe and enjoy springtime!

  2. Patricia Garfunkel says:

    My husband and I, like you, have resigned ourselves to the fact the France is out of the picture as well as anywhere else in Europe for this year. I am occupying my time by trying to perfect a Brioche recipe. I want to make those little individual rolls with the cute bubble on top. So far I give myself a “C” so I need to practice a bit more. But on the positive side I can at least eat the sad looking little rolls and along with a nice glass of Champagne then who cares what the rolls look like. Stay strong!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    You are doing a wonderful job with a glass half full!
    That quali looks even better (with foie gras) that the fabulous ones I get (unstuffed) in Barcelona. Very good looking croutons too!

  4. Stella says:

    We’ve turned to food here too as we’re not far behgind you in the stupidity of our government’s response to Covid-19 stakes, not anything to be proud of. The UK currently stands at around 10% of ALL deaths worldwide which is pretty good going (!) for a country of just over 60,000,000 people. I don’t think we’ll be going anywhere this year either so you have my sympathy and understanding. At least here in England we can still lay hands on good quality products.

    • Lucky you Stella. I wish sometimes that we were stuck in our house in France. But our house and garden here is so much bigger and prettier. I don’t know if that makes up for the loss of the ambiance of our small French town but this is what it is.

  5. Dr B says:

    Hmm , more irresponsible than China?

  6. Caroline says:

    Rosemary, you are a class act. 😘

  7. Michelle says:

    That looks exquisite.

  8. It’s a great way of keeping your memories of France as fresh as a daisy!! The apero hour is such a wonderful custom!

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