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eG Foodblog: Dave Hatfield - a food adventure!

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#31 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:23 AM

Here's what we did for Sunday lunch. We had four friends in and started at about 1:00PM, finshed about 5:00PM. Pretty typical for Sunday lunch around here. 

 

I'll apologise up front for goofing this up a bit. I got so involved in the lunch that I neglected to take pictures when I should have done so. Sorry guys & girls.

 

Anyway, after drinks & nibbles we started with baked tomatoes. (remember the tomato picture in the market?) For these I cut off the tops, cut out some of the core and filled the hole with a dab (less than a teaspoon) of balsamic vinegar, finely chopped garlic, some dried basil and Salt & pepper. These went into a hot (200 degree C) oven for about 45 minutes. They came out & had fresh basil put on then back into the oven to finish off. I garnished them with sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro).

They were served with the breads I'd bought that morning.

 

moussaka.jpg

 

This is the main course moussaka that Linda had made. (No after cooking picture I'm afraid) Her moussaka is fantastic, lamb, ground beef, aubergines (eggplant), tomato, a cheesy white sauce. Its incredible. This was served with broccoli.

 

Then came the cheeses.

 

all cheeses.jpg

 

As you can see there were 4 today. A somewhat different assortment to my usual choices.

 

vieux pane.jpg

 

Le Vieux Pané - Cows milk. 25% MG. Aged two weeks. from the Loire area.

 

chevre.jpg

 

Margalet Papillon - This is a sheep's milk cheese. Made by Papillon who are a large cheese producer. Despite its commercial origins it is a very nice tasting cheese.

 

brebis.jpg

 

Colline aux Chevre - a classic goats milk cheese from the Tarn region, Segla to be precise. The claim is that the open land & space give the milk extra good flavour. Run by the  ETEVENON family who are good marketeers as well as good cheese makers.

 

blue.jpg

 

Bleu d'Auvern - A cows milk cheese from as you will have guessed the Auvern region. Its a relatively new cheese having first been produced in the 50's. Interestingly it uses rye bread yeast and is 'needled' to improve aeration.

 

More bread with these of course.

 

After a break we had dessert.

 

TART.jpg

 

This was a plum (prune) tart using locally grown plums. We poured a little bit of cream over it.

 

Some coffee for those who wanted it.

 

I should mention the wines. Both the red & the white were from one of our favourite wineries. The white is a blend of varietals from the region, its very fruity, but very dry. The red which the vintner calls 'Traditional Prestige' is very smooth for it young age (2009) and perfect with the moussaka.

 

All in all a nice laid back lunch. Very typical of Sunday lunches here.

 

Tomorrow we're eating out. I'll let you guess as to the cuisine.

 


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#32 Shelby

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

That looks like my kind of lunch!  Everything is so beautiful.  I'm wishing that I had a few more eggplant from my garden left to make that mouthwatering moussaka.  Is lamb always used in that?



#33 rotuts

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

that bleu looks delicious.  if (  :huh: ) you have cheese left over, do you leave it 'out', separating the stronger cheeses from the lighter variety?  if so for how long?  or do you plan your selections only a few days in advance.

 

do the cheeses you buy need further time to develop 'at home' or are they more or less ready to eat near their peak when you buy them.

 

what sort of turn-over might you expect at the type of place you got those 4 above?



#34 Smithy

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:49 PM

I wonder how it is that I've never picked up on your engineer's sense of humor before? Si lly me.

I'm with Anna N on wondering where you grew up and whether it's an accidental or deliberate oversight.

Do the bakers make more bread for market day than on other days? Are their regular shops (boulangeries?) closed on market day, or would one find the shop open and stocked as normal on a market day?

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#35 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:40 PM

That looks like my kind of lunch!  Everything is so beautiful.  I'm wishing that I had a few more eggplant from my garden left to make that mouthwatering moussaka.  Is lamb always used in that?

Linda's always contains lamb. We had shoulder of lamb the other night & she saved some especially for her moussaka. 

 

 

that bleu looks delicious.  if (  :huh: ) you have cheese left over, do you leave it 'out', separating the stronger cheeses from the lighter variety?  if so for how long?  or do you plan your selections only a few days in advance.

 

do the cheeses you buy need further time to develop 'at home' or are they more or less ready to eat near their peak when you buy them.

 

what sort of turn-over might you expect at the type of place you got those 4 above?

Well mostly the cheeses are left 'out' except in summer when its too hot. They don't last long in any case because I rarely buy very much of a type.

 

Most are ready to eat with the exceptions of brie & Camembert both of which normally need some time at room temperature before being ready to eat.

 

The four above all came from a SuperMarket so the turnover is fairly rapid. As you'll see later in the week their cheese departments are large & sophisticated. 

 

I wonder how it is that I've never picked up on your engineer's sense of humor before? Si lly me.

I'm with Anna N on wondering where you grew up and whether it's an accidental or deliberate oversight.

Do the bakers make more bread for market day than on other days? Are their regular shops (boulangeries?) closed on market day, or would one find the shop open and stocked as normal on a market day?

 Well I'm sort of a failed engineer, spent most of my career in Marketing, Strategic planning & program management & general management all in very high tech companies where the engineering background was very helpful.

 

I'm not sure whether it was accidental or not, but its no secret I was born in Eugene, Oregon, but grew up in Santa Rosa, California. Lucky me.

 

I think they do make extra bread. Some of them have no regular shops, but only sell at market. (remember that they can show & sell their wares at a different market every day of the week all within easy driving distance.) I haven't really noticed whether or not they're normally stocked because if I go to my normal shop they're not in a town where there's a market. When I do go to market I normally don't go to my normal shops, but get something different from the market.

My usual practice is to buy our whole wheat bread for sandwiches from our village baker. For other breads I pop over the hill to Varen to the excellent baker there who does in addition to 'standard' loaves a different speciality bread each day. These are very good indeed.



#36 annabelle

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:28 PM

Does Linda care to share her moussaka recipe?  It looks fantastic.



#37 djyee100

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:29 PM

Love the cheese pix, loved the market pix, too.

So where and when was your "teaser" market pic taken? The one with the onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, plus some grungy pant bottoms and shoes. I thought I was in the mountains of Peru. Sure didn't look like France to me. Now your last market pix look like France...elegant abundance.

thanks for the blog. :smile:



#38 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:37 PM

Yes, and what was in that plastic basket, that looked kind of like bunnies on the hoof?


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#39 Smithy

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

I'm intrigued with the idea of an entire Sunday afternoon spent over lunch. Clearly there were breaks; I assume there was a lot of good conversation. But what else, if anything? Walks, games of Scrabble or tennis? Or is the pace over there such that y'all could linger for that many hours over good food and good conversation?

The papillon cheese above has a rounded wedgy shape that makes me think of butterflies. Is that a trademark for them, or just an accident of the cut and the photo?

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#40 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:46 AM

Does Linda care to share her moussaka recipe?  It looks fantastic.

She says yes & she'll write it up when she comes back from walking Rupert.

 

 

Love the cheese pix, loved the market pix, too.

So where and when was your "teaser" market pic taken? The one with the onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, plus some grungy pant bottoms and shoes. I thought I was in the mountains of Peru. Sure didn't look like France to me. Now your last market pix look like France...elegant abundance.

thanks for the blog. :smile:

 

Probably Caussade. Remember that some market vendors are in their dotage & their produce is straight from their 'potagers'. They mainly attend market for the gossip.

 

 

Yes, and what was in that plastic basket, that looked kind of like bunnies on the hoof?

 

Not sure, but it could have been bunnies on the hoof. There's a section of Caussade market where they sell not only live bunnies, but chickens, ducks and doves.

 

 

I'm intrigued with the idea of an entire Sunday afternoon spent over lunch. Clearly there were breaks; I assume there was a lot of good conversation. But what else, if anything? Walks, games of Scrabble or tennis? Or is the pace over there such that y'all could linger for that many hours over good food and good conversation?

The papillon cheese above has a rounded wedgy shape that makes me think of butterflies. Is that a trademark for them, or just an accident of the cut and the photo?

Petty normal around here. Guests arrived at 1 PM, had drinks, talk & nibbles until nearly 2 PM, Sat down around 2 PM, we had four courses each taking around 30 minutes on average. (the gap between cheese & dessert being longer.) . then more gabbing & finally coffee. No interruptions for frivolities such as games. Many go for a walk after lunch. In this case after helping to clean up I had a great nap.

 

Well, yes, papillon means butterfly in French. And it is a trademark for that cheese company.



#41 haresfur

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:57 AM

My experience in Europe of this time frame is much more sparse and punctuated than yours.  I'm really interested to hear your perspective on the changes over time in different countries.


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#42 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:00 AM

Having read about possible outages to day I thought I'd better post this before more of the USA wakes up and starts fiddling.

 

 

Upon my return to the states I decided to rent an apartment in Emeryville, just across the bay from San Francisco. I contacted old friends and quickly started finding some of the great S.F. restaurants. Favourites were; Stars, Scott's for seafood, North China, Tadich Grill, Compton Place, plus others I can no longer remember. I do remember that the best deal for parking was to ,go to the Huntington Hotel & give the doormen $5 to park the car. They'd watch it all evening. The Big Four bar in the hotel was a convenient meeting place, a great bar in the S.F. tradition.

 

Trivia question: Who were the big four?

 

Living in the East bay as I did I quickly found foodie heaven on Shattuck Avenue! Pig By The Tail, The Cheese Place, Monterey Market and, of course, Chez Panisse just across the street. Visiting each of them became my Saturday ritual. Lunch upstairs then shopping.

 

I'd now started to try to cook. Being a real amateur I followed recipes pretty strictly. As with many others Julia Child was my mentor. I tried my hand at a number of her recipes. About this time I moved to a condo I'd bought in Mt View. (the commute to Santa Clara where I worked was getting to be a real bummer.) The condo had a much better kitchen and I was learning all the time so I started to give dinner parties for friends. I also discovered The Silver Palate Cookbook about this time. Lots of great recipes; some of which I still use.
The company I worked for was full of serious cooks, the President (a Greek), the VP of R&D, the director of Finance amongst others. It began to get competitive, but in all honesty the President was the best cook of the group ably assisted by his wife. They both wrote & privately published cook books. There were many memorable meals especially on Friday's when impromptu meals would spring up. My crowing achievement was a Christmas meal. Both the President & I had published our menus and were holding open houses a few days before the holiday. I ended up with more customers than he did! I was thrilled. Thank you Julia, Julee & Sheila!

 

About this time I bought a house for weekend use in Carmel Valley. Great views, but the house was un-updated 1950s. Still I loved it and did a lot of weekend cooking there. Food shopping was excellent. A favourite being the vegetable stand owned by a Mexican family located by Carmel Valley Road. Ultra fresh veggies, corn picked several times a day or to order during the season were hard to beat. Even the supermarkets stocked extra things. This led me to expand my cooking repertoire with an increasing amount of BBQ's as the stove wasn't very good.

 

In 1988 I was asked to return to Europe. This was the start of a great period in my life. I had a great job, remarried (Linda still puts up with me) and cooked and ate my way around Europe.

 

90's tomorrow.


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#43 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:03 AM

My experience in Europe of this time frame is much more sparse and punctuated than yours.  I'm really interested to hear your perspective on the changes over time in different countries.

 

I'm afraid that that's pretty off topic, but via PM perhaps. Its a big question with no simple or short answer. Sorry.



#44 haresfur

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:05 AM

After a break we had dessert.

 

attachicon.gifTART.jpg

 

This was a plum (prune) tart using locally grown plums. We poured a little bit of cream over it.

 

 

 

Can you tell me more about the tart?  It looks a lot like one of my family recipes that we call plum cake - although the crust is more like a cookie dough than a cake or pie crust.


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#45 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:31 AM

 

After a break we had dessert.

 

attachicon.gifTART.jpg

 

This was a plum (prune) tart using locally grown plums. We poured a little bit of cream over it.

 

 

 

Can you tell me more about the tart?  It looks a lot like one of my family recipes that we call plum cake - although the crust is more like a cookie dough than a cake or pie crust.

 

 

Think I originally got the recipe from Jacques Pepin, but its been a number of years ago. In any case its a very easy tart to make.

 

You first make a pâte brisée and chill it in the fridge. Meanwhile cut the plums in half & remove the seeds. (By the way apricots are great for this tart when they're in season.). Next roll out the pastry into a large round about two inches larger than the size of tart you want to end up with, (I use an old perforated pizza pan to go underneath.) Make up a mixture of 1 part flour, two parts sugar and 3 parts ground almonds, mix well & spread evenly over the rolled out pastry, but leaving a 2 inch uncovered gap all around.. Place the plums, cut side down, on the pastry in concentric circles making sure the pastry is fully covered. You can add a second layer of plums if you have them. Next bring the uncovered pastry edges up around the plums pinching to to keep it up. Place in a 200 C oven on a baking sheet & bake until the pastry edges are browned & the plums are soft. Its best to let the tart cool for quite a while before cutting. Serve with cream or ice cream.

 

Pretty easy.



#46 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:07 AM

Last night we went to a 'pop up ' restaurant run by a couple of local friends. The cuisine was Indian. In other words we had a Curry Night.

 

(I'll apologise for the pictures. I was using my phone & the light wasn't that good. I'll also apologise for my pathetic knowledge of Indian food.)

 

There were around 30 people for the dinner. This was the 3rd and last dinner that the ladies were doing for this year. They had arranged the tables very nicely around the room and set them beautifully. (the idea was to make up 'parties' of friends, thus we were sharing a table with other couples we know well. Other tables were of up to 12 people.) We started with some kind of aperitif, I don't know what was in it, but I must say I didn't like it much. No problem as there were carafes of wine on each table. It was self service & you could ask for white, rose or red. Each table had a tray of several 'dips' & a chipati  to spread them on. Very nice, I liked to more piquant ones.

 

curry 1.jpg

 

Here's the first course.  Next;

 

curry 3.jpg      curry 5.jpg

 

More:

 

curry 6.jpg       curry 9.jpg

 

Finally Dessert

 

curry 8.jpg

 

 

It was all very nice even if I can't remember the names of all the dishes. The wine kept flowing as did the conversation. I even set up a golf date with my fried Nick who has finally recovered enough from a very bad accident to play.



#47 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:13 AM

Does Linda care to share her moussaka recipe?  It looks fantastic.

 

Here it is. Its just the thing for a cold winter's day.

 

Linda's Moussaka

 

1) Make a bolognaise sauce using a pound of ground beef. Be sure to use extra onion.

 

2) when cooked add left over cooked lamb cut very small. (We always save some from a Lamb shoulder or leg)

 

3) Add a Knorr lamb stock cube or any leftover lamb gravy or very concentrated lamb stock. Use about 1 cup of liquid here.

 

4) Use 2 large eggplants (aubergines) or 3 medium & slice into thin rings (About 1/8th inch thick) Cover liberally with salt then after ten minutes blot with paper kitchen towels. Turn the slices over and repeat the process.

 

5) Next brush eggplant both sides with vegetable oil. Place high in a very hot oven (220C) until golden. (keep checking underneath to prevent burning) This should take about 15 minutes.

 

6) Keep enough eggplant to completely cover the top of your dish & place the surplus in the bottom of the dish (As you can see from the picture I use a shallow casserole to cook the moussaka in.)

 

7) Cover with the bolognaise. Add top layer of eggplant to cover.

 

8) Make a white sauce ( using milk, mustard, salt, pepper, flour, mix these together). When cooked, in a separate bowl add a very small amount of the white sauce at a time to a beaten egg, until all the sauce is incorporated. (this will avoid curdling)

 

9) Pour the white sauce over the eggplant.

 

10) Sprinkle grated  cheddar cheese over the top of the white sauce & sprinkle some paprika & freshly ground nutmeg over that.

 

11) Bake in a 200 degree C oven for about 45 minutes.

 

12) Serve piping hot with vegetables. You may want to wait a few minutes as it may be too hot. Linda says that you can also make it the day before & keep it in the fridge then bring it up to room temperature before  it goes into the oven.


Edited by Dave Hatfield, 15 October 2013 - 04:18 AM.

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#48 David Ross

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:28 AM

Dave I'm hoping you'll showcase one of your Tarte Tatin's seeing were in the midst of apple season.  What apple variety do the French prefer for a classic Tarte Tatin?



#49 weinoo

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:57 AM

Dave, Stars was always one of my favorites during its brilliant run under JT.  I lived in various south bay cities and also worked in Silicon Valley from 1978 - 1994; wouldn't be surprised if we ate and/or drank at some of the same places.  And like you, it's where I learned to shop, cook and eat like nobody's biz.

 

Anyway, I follow JT's ramblings and  For one night!

 

 

Twenty-nine dinner services from now, Foreign Cinema becomes Stars for one night.

Stars, the quintessential American brasserie of the 80’s and 90’s, was a watering hole for politico; home to the stars of opera, film and dance; and a classroom for young cooks, future restaurateurs, writers, artists.

 


Edited by weinoo, 15 October 2013 - 04:59 AM.

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#50 annabelle

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:27 AM

Thank you, Linda!  It sounds wonderful.



#51 Smithy

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:33 AM




My experience in Europe of this time frame is much more sparse and punctuated than yours.  I'm really interested to hear your perspective on the changes over time in different countries.

 
I'm afraid that that's pretty off topic, but via PM perhaps. Its a big question with no simple or short answer. Sorry.
Perhaps you could work in small snippets about changes as they relate to food: availability, whether modern agriculture has selected for more sturdy and less tasty produce, influence of immigrants, changes toward or away from meat, whether the EU has really helped to protect certain artisan foods and whether it makes a difference in daily life. I don't mean to be asking for essays, but I too am interested. FWIW my food blog (admittedly 8 years ago) discussed changes in my area, and nobody complained.

Edited for clarity.

Edited by Smithy, 15 October 2013 - 06:45 AM.

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#52 annabelle

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:39 AM

Personally, I'd rather Dave tell us about his week rather than delve into other realms.  His village is like a dream and a step back in time for me.



#53 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:02 AM

Dave I'm hoping you'll showcase one of your Tarte Tatin's seeing were in the midst of apple season.  What apple variety do the French prefer for a classic Tarte Tatin?

Funny you should ask. I'll be doing one later in the week.

Believe it or not despite the multitude of apple varieties available to me I still prefer the good old granny smith for tarte tatin.

 

 

Perhaps you could work in small snippets about changes as they relate to food: availability, whether modern agriculture has selected for more sturdy and less tasty produce, influence of immigrants, changes toward or away from meat, whether the EU has really helped to protect certain artisan foods and whether it makes a difference in daily life. I don't mean to be asking for essays, but I too am interested. FWIW my food blog (admittedly 8 years ago) discussed changes in my area, and nobody complained.

Edited for clarity.

 

 

Let me have a quick go at some of the food oriented changes in Europe over the past few years.

 

One of the big agricultural problem is the distortions in the market made by the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy)  Farmers have to submit their crop planting plans well over a year in advance and they'll do so based upon what the subsidies are. This year for instance we had sunflowers running out our ears, no doubt a safflower oil lake is in prospect. All this has led to consolidation of farms, the larger farms are more equipped to handle the paperwork & take full advantage of CAP. 

Despite a lot of talk I can't see much change in organics. Even though the Supermarkets now all have a small section they don't seem to do that well.Local market traders have always been pretty natural, they can't afford the chemicals. GM is still a dirty word in the EEC, but the big producers use crop varieties that 'market' well rather than those that taste good. 

There seems to be a trend away from meat towards vegetables, but the trend I find most disturbing is that towards pre-packaged meals. We were in the UK last week &I was amazed at the shelves and shelves full of ready made meals. It almost seemed hard to find any real food. Its not as bad here in France, but one can see it creeping in slowly.

I don't know whether overall the EEC has helped artisan producers. Certainly they are doing well.  I see no diminishment  of the Markets either in terms of number of stall holders or number of shoppers. I might have a different opinion if we lived in a more urban area.

It seems to me that the bureaucracy of the EEC and the European Parliament are largely wastes of money; certainly when it comes to food. Policies that hold up the price of foods to the consumer while paying farmers not to grow things seems daft, but that's what CAP does.

Food politics are as always fraught with duplicity, complexity, political posturing and plain stupidity. 



#54 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

The 90;s

 

Linda & I married the day after my birthday in 1989. We persuaded the owners of a very nice restaurant near Lambourne to open specially for us and had a superb meal with children, close family and selected friends. The next day we took off for (you guessed it) California for our honeymoon. We started in Carmel naturally, ate our way up to San Francisco, then Mendocino and on up to Eureka. This was Linda's first trip to the states. Although we had some great meals I think the American breakfasts were her favourites. She had trouble remembering whether she like her eggs easy over or over easy, but otherwise Linda picked up 'Americanisms' pretty quickly.
Back home in England we bought a cottage on a river near Newbury and did a lot of cooking and entertaining. We'd a gather the kids (the youngest being about 20 years old) for traditional English Sunday lunches with Linda as Chef & me as Sous Chef. We also started making our own sausages, comfit and pates. We ate very well. We used to drive over to Wells Stores which was at the time THE best cheese shop in England.
We also cooked a lot up in Linda's beloved Northumberland where she owned a house from before our marriage.

Meanwhile I was having the time of my life at work. We were mashing two companies together, 8 European subsidiaries plus Distributors. Many,many food experiences during this time. Here are just a few:

 

- Toit de Passey. This is a restaurant that was really really good. I took Linda there when we went to Paris to buy her wedding hat. The neighbourhood was nothing to brag about & you entered the restaurant via a small clunky elevator, but you walked out into a magnificent room where one wall was all glass framing the Eiffel Tower. The food & service lived up to the view.

 

- Group dinner with our French subsidiary. Yves our MD asked what apero I'd have. I said same as you. It came. Delicious. It was a 1910 port!

 

- We were set to go to Spain on vacation. A few days before we were due to leave my Swiss friend, Pierre, called; " Did we want to come over to have dinner at Girardet's near Lausanne? ". YES! I went home & told Linda who thought I was nuts, but went along with it & changed our reservations. She found out why. At that time Girardet was reckoned to be the best restaurant in the world. Its still the best restaurant I've ever been too.

 

- Another Pierre & Girardet story. We had a new product, sold for about $100K each. Pierre & his crew had sold more that I expected them to by about July. Pierre said that since they'd exceeded their quota they may as well quit selling. I said no, he said what incentive can you give us. I said lunch at Girardet for every 2 more you sell for a salesman & his companion. I hosted lunch for 14! Best ever incentive program! (Linda got to come as my 'companion')

 

- Two stories about our nutty Greek company President. He didn't like England, thought the food was bad. When I finally enticed him over he insisted on staying in London even though our offices were an hour away be train. We had a good day, went home for cocktails & headed off to the 'The Waterside Inn' of Roux brothers fame. sat out by the river, had a great meal. As the meal drew to a close I could see that he was getting nervous about how he would get back to his hotel since it was the opposite direction. I was non committal. Eventually I paid the bill and we walked out to a waiting chauffer driven  Rolls Royce I'd hired. He never gave me any trouble about coming to England again.
Some years later he & his wife were over on a vacation visit & were staying with us. He really really wanted to buy dinner for us, but I kept saying there was nowhere good we could get into. Finally he persuaded Linda to call the 'Manior des Quatre Saisons' Raymond Blanc's place near Oxford. Low & behold they'd had a cancellation! Off we went. Again a superb meal. As Raymond came around to our table to see how things were we asked if it would be possible to visit the kitchen after dinner? No, we had to see the kitchen working. Raymond put our meal on hold & spent 30 minutes showing us around the kitchen & introducing us to the cooks. A truly memorable experience.

 

In 1993 I was again asked to return to the states to head up marketing. Away we went. After quite a bit of thought we decided to renovate the Carmel Valley house rather than buy something else. We rented for nearly a year before it was finished.

We had my dream kitchen. Two dishwashers, a solid wood maple work island 21/2 by 6 feet. My pride & joy was my Jade Dynasty stove.

6 burners, a griddle, a gas BBQ and 4 ovens. It had a custom built hood that was so powerful that if you turned on all the fans it sucked smoke from the fireplace at the other end of the house. Linda & I cooked many a meal in that kitchen.

As well as the cooking there were (and still are) a lot of great restaurants in the area. In the village itself the 'Running Iron' served great ribs; 'Plaza Linda' was superior Mexican and 'Wills Fargo' was a good place for steaks. My absolute favourite though was 'Rocky Point', perched on a cliff over the pacific it has great views and served superior steaks & seafood.

I tried to take early retirement, but was bored. It was too soon. Fortunately some industry friends asked me to start & head up a new Division of their company. The bad news was that it mean moving to Chicago. We did, made some great friends and ate very well. The weather sucked, however and Linda plus dogs were on the point of rebellion. Luckily for me we decided to move the Division HQ to Rhode Island where our factory was located. The weather was much better and the sea food was outstanding. We went to our first proper clam bake, learned to cook lobster and did a lot of entertaining.

Our favourite restaurant was called the 'Middle of Nowhere Diner'. It was a real dump, but they served the best ever fish & chips, the Friday special was $3.95 including a bowl of chowder. Great stuff.

 

Near the end of 1999 Linda persuaded me to retire, permanently this time. We'd planned to retire back to our Carmel Valley house, but a combination of an unbelievable offer for the house plus many illnesses & deaths in the family requiring trips to England made us reconsider moving 3000 miles further away.

 

Where to go? Back to Europe for sure. The English weather didn't appeal. We both loved France. Decision made!

 

I'll write the rest of this in French since that's where we've lived for the past 12 years.

 

No, just kidding. Besides it would probably take me several weeks to figure out the vocabulary, grammar and to write coherently.


  • Shelby likes this

#55 rotuts

rotuts
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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:15 AM

"""    Raymond put our meal on hold & spent 30 minutes showing us around the kitchen & introducing us to the cooks. """

 

you Dog you!  ( not Rupert )

 

:angry:

 

:laugh:



#56 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:18 AM

"""    Raymond put our meal on hold & spent 30 minutes showing us around the kitchen & introducing us to the cooks. """

 

you Dog you!  ( not Rupert )

 

:angry:

 

:laugh:

A pretty face, Linda's, will get you anywhere with a Frenchman.



#57 rotuts

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:19 AM

got it.    :biggrin:



#58 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:19 AM

As Raymond came around to our table to see how things were we asked if it would be possible to visit the kitchen after dinner? No, we had to see the kitchen working. Raymond put our meal on hold & spent 30 minutes showing us around the kitchen & introducing us to the cooks. A truly memorable experience.

 

That's awesome!


~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#59 Shelby

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:30 AM

I now have stove envy.  



#60 Anna N

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

That's an amazing and fascinating story, Dave. I envy most your long Sunday lunches. Equally long Danish lunches were once a part of my life but that circle of friends and family are no more and the younger generation in my family just don't get it. Loking forward to your next episode.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
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