One of the lessons I learned early on in this gypsy existence of ours; never pack anything that you are unwilling to carry. I was a little hard headed about learning this lesson but eventually, I did. So when I boarded the train to go to Sens I had my carry on, my camera loaded hand bag and the cat bag. As this was sort of borderline and although I was slightly unwilling, it was doable but bringing my tripod was out of the question. I knew that Jade’s tripod was at the house and that I could use that. Which leads to a new lesson; never buy your child a tripod that would be annoying if you had to use it. Lesson learned. Jade gets a new tripod for Christmas.
Of course I intended to cook! After a couple of weeks in this crystal palace of a hotel, I needed the therapy. My fishmonger had Mont Saint Michel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Saint-Michel mussels on sale and there was a Wednesday market day. After shopping, I stopped by Jacques’ for a coffee and he gave me a pungent bulb of garlic. Perfect! I think I’ve mentioned before that I first had mussels with peppers in St. Malo which is not far from Mont Saint Michel.
Market Day Mussels
3 or 4 shallots, halved and thinly sliced vertically
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 long red chilli, seeds removed and sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves separated and stems chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bottle or 2 cups of drinkable white wine
2 quarts bouchot mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Saute the shallots, garlic, peppers, chilli and cilantro stems in the butter and olive oil until the shallots are soft. Add the white wine and boil for 3-5 minutes. Gently stir in the mussels, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the mussels are open. Stir in the cilantro leaves and serve immediately with slices of garlic baguette toast.