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eG Foodblog: Dave Hatfield - a food adventure!

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#1 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:27 AM

Here I am back again for my third food blog. I hope everybody will enjoy this one even though it going to be somewhat narcissistic. Please bear with me; I'll try not to be too boring.

 

This blog is going to give my food/cooking history over the years. Because I'm older than dirt that makes for a lot of history. Monday will have me born & my food history up to 1980. Then a decade a day up to Friday and a close off on Saturday. As this is my personal food history elements of my life outside food will have to be included. I'll keep these to a minimum, but they will be necessary to provide context to the food history.

 

 

What I'll do in answer to questions or comment is the following: (pretty standard, but I like things to be clear.)

 

- I'll answer if I can.

- If the subject is too personal or somewhat off topic I'll answer, but either deflect or steer back on topic in my answer.

- If really out of line I'll just ignore the question/comment.

 

Equally, I'll do my best to stay on topic.

 

I really don't think that PM's are appropriate when discussing a food blog so I'd like everything to be out in the open. If you have questions that are off topic in regard to food or my food history, but pertinent to France, living or visiting here then by all means PM me.

 

Enough about that.

 

In this blog I'm going to not only take you on a culinary journey, but a physical one as well. The USA to Spain then Spain back to the USA then the USA to Belgium then Belgium to England then England to the USA then back to England then back to the USA and finally to France. There's Japan and Asia squeezed in somewhere as well. I've travelled a bit.

 

At a class reunion a few years ago somebody asked me why I'd travelled so much? My answer then and now is: "I needed to keep one step ahead of the sheriff"

 

Until tomorrow. I'm going to have fun with this.

 

My autofoodography?  My cusineography? You name it.

 

PS: Having looked at what I've written I've decided that its too literary. Thus I'm going to post topical ( i.e.  what's happening this week) inputs which will be far more pictorial.

 

PPS: Yes, I do have a mystery object. Wait for it.


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#2 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

An autofoodography - I like that!



#3 Anna N

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

Am so looking forward to this, Dave.
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#4 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Excellent.



#5 Smithy

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:37 AM

You are far more peripatetic than I've been. I think this is going to be wonderful! Thanks for laying out the ground rules at the outset.

I already have a question that I hope isn't off-topic: what languages do you speak? Which, if any, did you study in school before starting to travel? How has your exposure to new countries changed your sense of what constitutes good food, good cookery, good food ethics? Okay, that's more than one question. I expect that the last will unfold during the course of the blog, if you care to address it.

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#6 annabelle

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:35 AM

How's Rupert?


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#7 Shelby

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:57 AM

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!  I'm so excited.  This will be great :)



#8 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

You are far more peripatetic than I've been. I think this is going to be wonderful! Thanks for laying out the ground rules at the outset.

I already have a question that I hope isn't off-topic: what languages do you speak? Which, if any, did you study in school before starting to travel? How has your exposure to new countries changed your sense of what constitutes good food, good cookery, good food ethics? Okay, that's more than one question. I expect that the last will unfold during the course of the blog, if you care to address it.

 

Gosh, I could write a whole blog just answering your 'question' Languages, I speak good English, good American, lousy French, have lost most of my once OK Spanish and  can be almost polite in German. Did French in High School because I had to do a language thinking I'd never use it. Dumb!

Its hard to answer about my food perceptions since I've spent so much time abroad that I can't remember what I originally thought. What I'd say now is that I like honest food honesty prepared and presented. I'm not quite sure what you mean by food ethics so can't really answer.

 

 

How's Rupert?

Don't think I'm supposed to spend too much time on Rupert, but I can say that he's fine in good health and has his own blog these days. (www.adoginfrance. blogspot.com) 


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#9 annabelle

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:59 PM

I'll have my dogs check out Rupert's blog tout de suite.



#10 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:26 PM

"""  Don't think I'm supposed to spend too much time on Rupert """

 

where does it say that?  having had 2 1/2 stunning dogs in my life, i bet for sure Rupert on his walks perfectly sets you up for your 

 

personal cuisine.   So, what does R' like to eat?  is he a fan of Domaine du Bresse?

 

but I bet he Loves a 'bit of cheese'  probably not the "plonk"



#11 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:55 PM

Thought I'd start you off with a look at the Sunday market in St Antonin. I needed a few things for lunch so drove over. Let me apologise up front for the quality of the pictures. It was overcast this morning & I was using the camera in my phone, but I still think they give an impression of the market.

 

FLOWERS_edited.jpg

 

Bought some flowers here at L's request for the table.

 

BREAD 1_edited.jpg

 

Bread stand number one

 

BREAD 2_edited.jpg

 

Bread stand number two

 

BREAD 3_edited.jpg

 

Bread stand number three

 

BREAD 4_edited.jpg

 

Bread stand number four. Eat your heart out rotus

 

CAFE_edited.jpg

 

Can't go to market without stopping at the café.

 

CHEESES 1_edited.jpg

 

Some cheese

 

CHEVRES_edited.jpg

 

More cheese. These are little chevres coated with various herbs & spices.

 

CHICK GOOD_edited.jpg

 

Roast chicken for lunch?

 

CROWD_edited.jpg

 

People walking down the main street.

 

FLOWERS 2_edited.jpg

 

Some more flowers.

 

MACAROONS_edited.jpg

 

Do you like macaroons?

 

MORE CHEESE_edited.jpg

 

More cheese

 

MORE SAUSAGE_edited.jpg

 

Dry sausages.

 

OLIVES_edited.jpg

 

How about a few olives.

 

PATES_edited.jpg

 

Canned pâtes

 

SAUSAGES_edited.jpg

 

Yet more sausages

 

TRUMPETS_edited.jpg

 

Who can guess what these are?

 

WINE_edited.jpg

 

A bit of wine.

 

WOOD STUFF_edited.jpg

 

A bit of wood.SARAH_edited.jpg

 

My friend Sarah. She & her husband make organic wines. Their children raise free range turkeys for the holiday season. Wine flovoured turkey, yummy!

 

WAY HOME_edited.jpg

 

View from up the hill on the way home.

 

VIEW HOME_edited.jpg

 

View going down the other side of the hill. Our village d house above can barely be seen.

 

So, there's my little market foray. All I bought today were some loaves of bread, the flowers for Linda & some tomatoes to roast for lunch.

 

Because the software went a bit funny on me the tomato pic & the Rent a donkey sign got put in the wrong place. No big deal/

Attached Images

  • AINE SIGN_edited.jpg
  • TOMATOES_edited.jpg

Edited by Dave Hatfield, 13 October 2013 - 01:59 PM.

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#12 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:03 PM

"""  Don't think I'm supposed to spend too much time on Rupert """

 

where does it say that?  having had 2 1/2 stunning dogs in my life, i bet for sure Rupert on his walks perfectly sets you up for your 

 

personal cuisine.   So, what does R' like to eat?  is he a fan of Domaine du Bresse?

 

but I bet he Loves a 'bit of cheese'  probably not the "plonk"

R is my avatar. He mainly eats dog meal with roast chicken (the chicken coated with salt, pepper, garlic granules and herbs de province. He has yet to meet a cheese he doesn't like.


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#13 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:07 PM

Love those French roast chickens - I swear there is almost nothing better in the world

 

Mushrooms?  Trumpet? - or reindeer horns - it's kind of hard to see given the size of the pictures.

 

K


Edited by Kerry Beal, 13 October 2013 - 02:13 PM.


#14 heidih

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:11 PM

Lovely market. At this time of year what produce was available? The tomatoes are still producing?  In the cafe shot what was on the long table. It looks like a flatbread and wooden mortar and pestles????



#15 Shelby

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

Are they chanterelle mushrooms?

 

Lovely market.  Those tomatoes look like they actually have some flavor (as I sit here looking at my garden tomatoes dwindling in number on my counter).



#16 annabelle

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:15 PM

Those are dried or very badly lit chanterelles, I believe.



#17 annabelle

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:15 PM

Jinx!  Shelby.


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#18 Smithy

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:21 PM

I too want to know about the mortar and pestle sets, and what look like salad bowls with servers. Are those olive wood?

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#19 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:26 PM

post-22910-0-73706000-1381695844.jpg

 

 

Trompette des Morts?


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#20 rotuts

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:07 PM

Well Ive come late here  I think they are Mushrooms  but its beyond me which kind

 

as Im Post-epileptic on the Bread, Bread, Bread  etc and the Cheese.  etc

 

Im very please to see that Mr. Rupert get his Chicken decently seasoned.

 

I also bet he like his cheese on a Nice Crust ??

 

good for Him !


Edited by rotuts, 13 October 2013 - 03:08 PM.


#21 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:45 AM

Lovely market. At this time of year what produce was available? The tomatoes are still producing?  In the cafe shot what was on the long table. It looks like a flatbread and wooden mortar and pestles????

 

Local produce at this time of the years includes; tomatoes (soon to be gone). salad, artichokes and the root vegetables are beginning to appear. (turnips, rutabaga, swedes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and early potatoes.) Apples are plentiful as are prunes (more like what we might call plums) These will feature in Sunday's lunch. I'm also seeing pomegranates (don't know if they're local) and quince.

 

I too want to know about the mortar and pestle sets, and what look like salad bowls with servers. Are those olive wood?

 

You're right. They are objects made from mainly olive wood. As noted mortar & pestle sets, salad bowls, serving boards plus wooden containers & utensils.  Did anyone notice the mini wine/cider presses in the other picture?

Unfortunately, the guy who sells Limoges china seconds by weight wasn't there yesterday. He only comes about once a month.

 

 

I also bet he like his cheese on a Nice Crust ??

 

good for Him !

 

 He's a bit of a philistine actually. He eats rind & all. He can't be bothered with bread unlike his owner.

 

 

I'm glad so many people got the mushrooms. Shows how knowledgeable you are and that you were paying attention.  


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#22 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:26 AM

Here's the first instalment of my autofoodography. Enjoy.

 

 

I was interested in food from an early age.

 

If my Mother is to be believed I was allergic to milk so was fed on whisky & orange juice. I rather doubt it, but she insisted that it was true. My earliest food memory is having warm unhomogenised milk at kindergarten. It had lumps in it which turned my stomach. We HAD to drink it, but if I was lucky I could snag one of the chocolate flavoured bottles which were somewhat drinkable.

My family were plain cooks in the English style. My Grandmother had been a cook in the lumber camps in Oregon; plain food, but lots of it. My Mother followed suit. I tried my hand early on with things like bacon & eggs and pancakes. Cookies of course.
Where I really started to take a real interest in food was at my friend's houses. Most of them were third generation Italian immigrants. Their Mom's or Grandmother's did the cooking, delicious! I learned about garlic & herbs. I also learned about wine. At first a bit of wine with lots of water then as the years passed more wine less water. The wine came from 2 gallon jugs from under the table and was made by  Dad, or Uncle or cousin or friends.

 

There were no particularly interesting food experiences all the way through school & college (food was fodder), but things got interesting after I joined the Air Force. I was lucky enough after lots of training to get posted to Madrid. That opened my eyes; beef, lamb, seafood, paella, wonderful vegetables, you name it. Madrid was so inexpensive at that time that even on a fairly paltry military salary one could afford to eat in the really good restaurants on a very frequent basis. I will never forget my first meal at Botin; baby eels & roast lamb.
During my service I was also lucky enough to spend two 3 month periods in France. Great stuff. A friend & I finally got to have a long weekend in Paris. I fell in love, who wouldn't! We were so broke that the best we could afford were the student cafes. The cheapest identifiable meat on the menu turned out to be horse meat. Another first.

 

We (I was married by now) returned to the states the day of Kennedy's assassination.  Welcome home! I found a job in the computer industry, but yet again no notable food experiences until in 1967

My employer asked me to join in opening an office in Brussels. The basis being that I was the only technical person who had ever been to Europe. The food in Brussels was wonderful; moules, superb beef, the mobile frites stand that came every Thursday. The beers of course.
Two years later we moved to England where I spent all of the 1970's. English food at the time was good if plain, Lots of steaks & chops, great meat pies, super fish & chips, but I never learned to like hot desserts. I still wasn't doing any cooking because my wife didn't like men in the kitchen. She was a cook in the style of my Mother & Grandmother, plain, but good. Luckily for me, however, I was travelling all over Europe building up the European operations of the Silicon Valley start up I'd joined. My associates quickly learned that I loved good food so I began to be shown the best restaurants in the major cities around Europe. What a lucky guy I was, they paid me to eat in all these great restaurants! I remember going to lunch (frequently) with the owner of our French distributor; his 'cafeteria' as he liked to call it was a Michelin 1 star where he had the same table every day.

 

At the end of the 70s my  marriage broke up, I returned to the states to head up Marketing of my company and I, finally, started to cook!

 

More on that tomorrow when I'll cover the 80s.

 

Questions so far?


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#23 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:26 AM

I did notice those lovely little fruit presses - if I had unlimited room - I'd have one!  As a kid growing up we had a much larger one that lived in the garage.  Dad and the neighbours used to squish the revolting labrusca (concord) grapes, which were the only ones you could buy at the time in southern Ontario.  

 

Which silicone valley start up were you working for in the 70's?



#24 Anna N

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:54 AM

Did I miss it or did you not tell us where in the US you were born and raised?
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#25 gfweb

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:01 AM

 


 

 

How's Rupert?

Don't think I'm supposed to spend too much time on Rupert, but I can say that he's fine in good health and has his own blog these days. (www.adoginfrance. blogspot.com) 

 

 

A man after my own heart. Tucker, the beast who is my avatar, has his own FB page. Very selective, only friends Airedales. Keeps out the bad element.


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#26 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:39 AM

I did notice those lovely little fruit presses - if I had unlimited room - I'd have one!  As a kid growing up we had a much larger one that lived in the garage.  Dad and the neighbours used to squish the revolting labrusca (concord) grapes, which were the only ones you could buy at the time in southern Ontario.  

 

Which silicone valley start up were you working for in the 70's?

 

Versatec. But let us not drift away too far or we'll end up inside somebody's bra. (Sorry, couldn't resist)


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#27 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:49 AM

 

Versatec. But let us not drift away too far or we'll end up inside somebody's bra. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

 

You will have to explain!


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#28 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:57 AM

 

 

Versatec. But let us not drift away too far or we'll end up inside somebody's bra. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

 

You will have to explain!

 

Silicon Valley vs. silicone valley.  silicone is what they use for a certain kind of implant. Pedantic, its the engineer in me.


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#29 cakewalk

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:37 AM

I've always loved your avatar. It's those ears, they're so cute. But all these years I always thought it was a bear cub!

 

About those bread stands: are the breads all different? (I notice that one stand has mostly flatbreads.) Does each stand come from an individual bakery? Do you prefer one over the other?

 

How large is the city where you live? What size population does the market serve?

 

Great blog. Thank you.



#30 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:54 AM

About those bread stands: are the breads all different? (I notice that one stand has mostly flatbreads.) Does each stand come from an individual bakery? Do you prefer one over the other?

 

How large is the city where you live? What size population does the market serve?

 

Great blog. Thank you.

 

 

The breads are different, but most have the standard types then their special loaves. Each comes from a different baker. And, yes, we have our favourites. Yesterday I bought a whole grain batard, an onion & olive stick and a raisin & nut stick. Actually, our favourite baker doesn't go to market. His shop is in Varen.

The village we live just outside of has a population of around 400. The market serves people in roughly a 20 mile radius, but remember there is a market somewhere nearby every day of the week. 







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