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eG Foodblog: Abra and Chufi in SW France - Tantalizing Tales of Tripe

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#1 Chufi

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 03:48 PM

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eGulleters meet in the strangest of places. So how did it happen that Chufi from Amsterdam and Abra from Seattle find themselves in a charming little winebar in a charming little town in the South West of France, where the bill is scrawled in marker on the zinc counter top? Because, well, can you think of any better place to meet?

Chufi to Abra: "So, here we are together in a wine bar in France, just you and me and a Spanish ham. "
Abra to Chufi: "Hey, what about my husband? Are you calling him a ham? Ok, yeah, he is a ham, but he's an American ham."
Chufi: "Well, I'm kind of nervous that just being in France and cooking with you and going to cool French towns and tasting all the wine in sight will be kind of, well, you know, boring."
Abra: "Hey, I know, maybe we should do an eG food blog about your visit."
Chufi: "But we've both already done lots of food blogs, would anyone even want to read another one?"
Abra: "Hmmm, you might be right. Just to liven things up we could invite bleudauvergne down to cook with us, and by the way that would be a great excuse to make her bring us some of that gorgeous cheese she's always posting pictures of."
Chufi: "Maybe we could cook something totally weird that I'd never make at home, like how about some......"
Abra: "There's this recipe for a stew of pigs feet and tripe that I've been dying to make."
Chufi: "Uh....."
Abra "Come on, we'll stay up late drinking tons of wine and then have tripe and pigs feet at 2:00 a.m."
Chufi:"Can we drink a lot of wine BEFORE we have to eat the pigs feet?"
Abra:"Come on, you'll love it, it's gelatinous."
Chufi: "My husband will never believe this!!"
Abra: "And there's no way my husband will even eat a bite of it, we'll have to cook a whole separate meal for him. I have a freshly killed chicken in the fridge with its head still on, we could cook him that."
Chufi:"Let's be nice to him. What would he really like?"
Abra:"Cheese enchiladas and something chocolate!"

So that's what we had tonight. For your first meal in France with us, we bring you, ta da, cheese enchiladas, which is actually quite an exotic dish, in France.
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And mini buchettes de Nöel, just to prove that we really are in France.

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And to further prove that we're in France, we're going to bed right now, even though most of you are barely waking up. Rest assured that as soon as we get up in the morning we're going to rub those pigs feet. At least one of us is. We'll let you guess which one will be doing the rubbing and which one will be hiding behind her camera. And a trip to a gigantic French supermarket will be necessary, and if they don't throw us out for taking pictures, we'll show you how many different kinds of yogurt will tempt Chufi into buying them. There's a LOT of yogurt in France.

#2 prasantrin

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:03 PM

I'll have you know I'm wide awake, and very jealous!

It's really not kind to force people to be jealous so early in the workday. My poor students will be paying for your mean-ness all day!

This is going to be a good one!

#3 Kerry Beal

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:28 PM

This should be a blast.

#4 Marlene

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:30 PM

Looking forward to this one, and it will be nice to see Lucy again too! You go, ladies!

Edited by Marlene, 09 December 2007 - 04:30 PM.

Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#5 snowangel

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:32 PM

Hmmm. I'm seeing a Canon camera, a lot of wine, and a very wonderful impromtu Tag Team blog (although not really, since our bloggers are in the same location). Sometimes the best is the stuff that isn't planned.

Drink wine for us, ladies, and cook all sorts of things our husbands wouldn't eat!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#6 Peter the eater

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:34 PM

How spontaneous and exciting . . . spare no delicious details!

No teasers, no problem but I'm still going to guess. Are you near Carcassonne?
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#7 lucylou95816

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:52 PM

please, eat lots of cheese, especially since Lucy knows the good stuff.

#8 heidih

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:15 PM

I think I am actually blinking back tears of joy! Thank you ladies.

#9 MagFoodGuy

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:53 PM

Yeah! What a great early Christmas present. Look forward to reading what happens this week.

#10 eskay

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 06:02 PM

Oh man, this is going to be awesome :laugh: I like the dialogue.
Kate

#11 Luckylies

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 06:17 PM

Oh MAN! this is going to be the BEST foodblog EVER! who would dare blog after this? it's like when superman and batman teamed up....


I'm like WHOA...
does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

#12 snowangel

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 06:35 PM

So, Abra, you've packed it up (and either let go of or rented out your house in Washington) and moved to France for a year. Let us in on how you made your decision, and how different life is in France, please!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#13 SuzySushi

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:00 PM

This is like an early Christmas present!
SuzySushi

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My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

#14 faine

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:07 PM

Oooh, what's the enchilada recipe? Those look killer!

#15 Abra

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:09 PM

Although I'm officially sleeping, actually the excitement of having Chufi here and a fridge full of animal parts is keeping me awake. But not awake enough to retell the whole story of how I came to be in France, alas. Despair not, however, those of you who want to chase that rainbow can read all about it here.

#16 prasantrin

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:27 PM

France isn't known for its Mexican food, and I remember bleudauvergne having people bring ingredients for her. Where did you (Abra) get your stuff? Did you bring some chiles and stuff with you, or have you found a source?

#17 racheld

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:33 PM

Who can sleep? What time y'all gonna get up inna mornin'? I'll just wait right here---iced tea, comfy cat and me.

First I'll go load up the percolator with a good French-type coffee and set out my blue bowl.

:wub: :wub: :wub: one each.

Now hurry up.
Fairy tea has its own magic, for it never does run out;
And the flavour you imagine will come streaming from the spout.
Fairy Tea

My Blog--Thanksgiving and Goodwill

LAWN TEA

#18 mizducky

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:50 PM

This blog is totally going to rock.

The dialog cracked me up.

I'm majorly looking forward to the pig's feet and tripe cookery. Offal rules.

#19 Abra

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 12:56 AM

Good morning, world. We all slept in this morning, sorry 'bout that. Coffee, breakfast, offal, and shopping soon to follow.

#20 Chufi

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 01:53 AM

Good morning all! Thank you for the warm welcome. Well, I thought I'd never blog again but here I am, drinking coffee while typing away on Abra's computer.

As some of you may remember from my trip report about our vacation in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest last year, I met Abra and her husband before. The one thing that was missing from that wonderful visit was lots of time in the kitchen together, cooking and talking about recipes and groceryshopping together. So when Abra decided to pack up and go and live in France for a while, I was booking my plane ticket as soon as possible!

We have been cooking together, the giant French hypermarché is waiting for me, and more cooking (involving animal parts that I would never dare to handle all by myself) will start soon. For now I leave you with a little view of the countryside just outside the village, and ofcourse the obligatory pet shot:

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#21 bleudauvergne

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 02:44 AM

Do I smell tripes and pork trotters?

I'll be down tomorrow by lunchtime! :cool:

#22 Marneuse

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:44 AM

Have a great week, ladies. We will all be living vicariously (and quite "jealously") in France!! And at the holiday time to boot!!

Marsha

#23 markemorse

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:54 AM

let's see, if I leave now, i can be there by dinnertime or so..... :wink:
go Chufi, go Abra, go bleudauvergne (continue chant ad infinitum)!

Edited by markemorse, 10 December 2007 - 04:56 AM.


#24 Kim Shook

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:52 AM

This is just the best idea ever! Thank you so much for doing this. Early Christmas, indeed. How I wish that blogs were available verbally somehow. I listen to books on tape while I do my cooking, decorating, etc. This would be a great narrative for those chores!

Kim

#25 Chufi

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:21 AM

We just got back from our pigs feet, tripe and freshly killed chicken photoshoot. There are some glamourshots for you to look forward to. But before we get to that (and before we get into pressing questions such as "shall we put the chickenhead into the soup or not?") let me give you an impression of our trip to the hypermarché.
Now you have to understand one thing: Dutch supermarkets suck. They are terrible, tiny, awful stores with very limited selections of anything. So anytime I go to a country with large supermarkets I want to visit them like I would visit a museum, just wandering around and feasting my eyes. Today's Carrefour visit did not disappoint.
This is just a portion of the buttersection:
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And then we got to the yoghurt. I love yoghurt. There is no shortage of yoghurt here:
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Besides yoghurt, we got a bunch of other stuff for tomorrow's dinner. And here I am after my visist, as happy as a Kylie:
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#26 Chufi

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:28 AM

Lunch: delicious paté from the local butcher, roasted beets, some cheese that we don't know the name of, cornichons and olives

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Abra's lunch was a bit more frugal with lots of broccoli...
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Here's the yoghurt selection we bought: caramel et sel, violette, maple pecan, rhubarb and sheep's yoghurt with vanilla:

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I promise you Beppo won't be in every food picture. But then again, he might be. He's just too cute!

we tried the caramel et sel and the violette. The caramel was very good but a bit too sweet, and the violet yoghurt was, according to Abra, subtle and a bit weird but still something she would eat again:
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Abra's been cutting up a chicken and rubbing some pigs feet. I'll see if she's ready to share her experiences with you all.

#27 Abra

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:43 AM

Let's get one thing clear at the outset: we love animals. We're the most tender-hearted pair you could imagine.

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See what I mean? But still, if you're going to make a dish of cow stomach and pig feet, not to mention entire chicken body, you have to, er, get really familiar with the animals in question.

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The pigs feet are rather disconcertingly like our hands. And if you've seen the Basque ham that lives with us, you'll be happy to see that he now has company.

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The tripe is easy, surprisingly so in fact. It's utterly gorgeous. We're making the recipe for tripe and pig's feet stew from The Cooking of SouthWest France, just in case you want to follow along. Before we got to the step about boiling the tripe, we received this email from bleudauvergne, who's lived in France for a long time:

"I looked at the recipe - it looks great. However one thing about the tripes & pigs feet here in France, because of the way that the butchers pre-treat their product here, step 2 would be a waste of time and would overprocess the tripes. That is, if the tripes are beigy white to white in color, it's been already pre-soaked and boiled - an it is ready for slicing and starting with step 3. The pigs feet should be already scrubbed clean and maybe parboiled by the butcher. They just need a good rinse before their day in the herb and salt. If you already have the pigs feet, no bother, but normally for a recipe like this I would have them cut in half by the butcher, lengthwise, which makes them easier to bone when the ragout is done."

Now, as you know, it was too late to have the pigs feet split. But look at this tripe.

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It's clearly been pre-treated by the butcher and is ready to go. In fact, it looks and smells so good already that it's almost a shame to cook it. Almost. Even Beppo agrees that it's ready to eat.

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The chicken was much more challenging. She lost her life on Friday, and has been aging gracefully in the fridge ever since. Maybe a little too gracefully for comfort.

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She's a real beauty, and destined for Poule au Pot, another delicious-looking recipe from CSWF. She even has "innard beauty."

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Chufi's in the kitchen simmering quince, her fruit specialty, in preparation for tomorrow's tart of quince and pruneaux d'Agen. Or maybe she's just in the kitchen sniffing the stock for the poule au pot, which smells better than Thanksgiving as it bubbles quietly on the stove. In fact, it's made from the turkey carcass and a pile of duck bones, and probably has a lot in common with Thanksgiving.

Amazingly enough, we still have to eat tonight, and since the tripe and pigs feet will be cooking from about 7:00 tonight (or 19:00 as we'd say here) we'll probably be having leftovers for dinner. However, Chufi promises to make us bread and butter pudding, for which we've been stockpiling bread for a couple of days, so I don't think you need to feel sorry for us.

#28 MelissaH

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:59 AM

Reading about this is the next-best thing to being there. What a treat!

MelissaH
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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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#29 malarkey

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:00 AM

oh yay!! This is great you guys!! So looking forward to all your posts & pictures!

Born Free, Now Expensive


#30 johnnyd

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:29 AM


La Tempête Parfaite du foodblog est arrivé!!


...not to, you know, put any more pressure on you guys or anything.

:raz:

Edited by johnnyd, 10 December 2007 - 02:10 PM.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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