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 🙂