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eG Foodblog: Dave Hatfield - a food adventure!

Dave Hatfield

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Hi Dave, I'm enjoying the blog immensely, thank you. When we stayed in France last year (not too far from you) I was especially struck by the quality of the fresh ingredients in the Hyper U, but I found myself wondering whether this will ultimately have the same detrimental effect on smaller local shops and markets as it has had elsewhere. Is there still a strong sense of buying from smaller, specialist shops among the younger generations?

Also, I notice you say comfit rather than confit. Are they different things or am I missing something here?

I really think I could live happily in rural France!

There is strong sense of buying locally. Every fresh food item must be labelled with its place of origion. That helps.

My mistake. you're right it should be CONFIT.

A supermarket!? Looks just like a Harris-Teeter (except the brains).

French shouldn't have supermarkets, just little shops and markets and guys with a cigarette selling stuff from a push cart.

Don't know what a Harris-Teeter is when its home.

They do have lots of little shops & markets. The guys with cigarettes are slowly dying away mores the pity.

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thanks for the pics of the HyperMarket. i went to one years ago in FR called Mammouth ( in Tours ) Ive never seen so much cheese line up in one place !

did yours segregate the meat by animal? Beef /// Lamb /// pig /// horse /// etc ? they had a big paper-mache model of the animal above each section ...

R eats Walnuts ? you shell them for him ? He still has molars? or are walnuts still soft ?

Yes, the meat is divided by type. No papier- mâche animals in the markets any more, but we have a plaster of Paris cows head hanging in our kitchen.

He loves walnuts and he needs no help in shelling them. He's very good at getting just the meat. The only reason we get any walnuts is because we gather them into a basket & he eats the one at time. He likes hazel nuts as well, but not peanuts.

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How about that Rupert! My beast in the avatar ignores walnuts unless they hit him while dozing under the tree.

Harris -Teeter is a SE US supermarket that looks much like yours in layout.

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This evening's post is going to be about the meeting our wine tasting group last night, but before that I want to introduce you to my mystery object. Here is is:

mys 3.jpg mys 2.jpg

It is a culinary object. Made & patented in England. The question is; what is its purpose in life?

Anyway on to the wine tasting. First Linda & I had a very simple supper. Just some BBQ'd ribs and a simple salad. The ribs has my patented rub on them & the salad a fresh batch of creamy vinaigrette.

vineg end.jpg

Off to our friends house for the tasting. We take turn hosting the event each month. We had a good turn out this month, 6 couples & two guys whose wives were off somewhere. The idea is that each couple bring a bottle. This month it was any favourite wine that cost under 10€.


A clever choice of Blanquette de Limoux. This pre-dates champaign and is a lot cheaper. Totally dry with nice fruit.


Here's a Chardonnay made down in the Miner-vois, but sold by Paul locally.

flowers.jpg Some nice flowers to brighten things up.

haut pez.jpg

Chateau de Haut Pezaud from the Loire, Our only rose .


Château des Places from the Graves area of Bordeaux,


A Gaillian. This is what we brought, Its from Domaine de Chanade in the nearby Gaillac region,

I think I've missed a wine. Its this one!


A very nice local wine from a very hospitable winery


Its a dessert wine to finish off the evening,


Next month? I'm not sure, but as always it will be a challenge to come up with something that everybody can find within the cost limit,.


st nick.jpg

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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Can I cheat and say 'cream maker'?

Ah yes - but now I know what it does - you add unsalted butter and milk and it produces cream - can you show it to us in action?

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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""" patented rub """

Id like to enjoy your sharing that Patent ## with me.

now that the Gov.org ( #RY#(TRR+@R$# %^@#%% ) fine Congressional Souls That They are:

have Gone Back To Work ( :blink::huh::wacko::laugh: )

Id like to look that number Up!

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Lovely, all of it.

I grew up with a walnut-eating dog. She was quite skilled at cracking the shells and delicately extracting all the meats.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Can I cheat and say 'cream maker'?

Ah yes - but now I know what it does - you add unsalted butter and milk and it produces cream - can you show it to us in action?

Kerry, you got it. I don't know why that's cheating, but perhaps you'll enlighten me. I'll try to see if I can make it work.

Can you share your creamy vinaigrette recipe please? It looks delicious.

Yes please! I need a new salad dressing recipe and that one looks tasty.

The dressing is simplicity itself. Make standard vinaigrette (Mine is 4 parts oil to 1 part white wine vinegar; a good glob of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and H de P) Having made the vinaigrette add roughly an equal amount of heavy cream & mix very well.

""" patented rub """

Maybe I should have said secret rub, A search of the patent off ice won't find it.

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Blogs like this are exactly the reason I joined this place! Thank You.

Me too, really enjoying this one and Kerry's and Anna N's as well.

Thank you so much for all the effort you guys put into this peek into another one's culinary life, it's very much appreciated!

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Can I cheat and say 'cream maker'?

Ah yes - but now I know what it does - you add unsalted butter and milk and it produces cream - can you show it to us in action?

Kerry, you got it. I don't know why that's cheating, but perhaps you'll enlighten me. I'll try to see if I can make it work.

It's cheating because "Cream Maker" is written quite clearly in raised letters on the handle of the thing! To wit "BEL cream maker - made in England"

I'll second the request to see it in action, if you can get it to work!

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Can I cheat and say 'cream maker'?

Ah yes - but now I know what it does - you add unsalted butter and milk and it produces cream - can you show it to us in action?

Kerry, you got it. I don't know why that's cheating, but perhaps you'll enlighten me. I'll try to see if I can make it work.

It's cheating because "Cream Maker" is written quite clearly in raised letters on the handle of the thing! To wit "BEL cream maker - made in England"

I'll second the request to see it in action, if you can get it to work!

Senility is creeping up, possibly fast than I'd like.

I do have the excuse that I don't get my new glasses until next week. :sad:

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The idea behind selling was to downsize. We just didn't need all the expense or the space of a large farmhouse. At the same time we didn't want to leave this beautiful area or our friends here. Having sold we went into heavy duty search mode. Smaller, more modern, no major renovation. We were getting a bit anxious when friends came to our rescue. They were moving back to the UK to be closer to the grandkids. Modern house, nice views, nice garden, only 6 miles from the old house. Perfect! As a private sale we even saved on Real Estate agents fees.

The kitchen is OK, I'd prefer bigger and I'd prefer a gas stove, but with granite worktops, pull out drawer type refrigerators, an induction hob (which took some getting used to) and a good range of cabinets it works fine. (There are pictures of this kitchen on my last blog.)
The dining area is smaller than before, seats 10 at a pinch, but this is good thing as Linda tends to just keep inviting more & more people. (For instance our Sunday lunch for 6 tomorrow just grew to lunch for 8)

Cooking wise I've tried my hand at oven dried tomatoes, curing olives, making chutney and inventing new dishes or variations thereof. It continues to be fun. In the last few months I've taken up Chinese cooking. I wouldn't say I'm very good at it as of yet, but I'm learning and I'll be asking questions of eGullet's coterie of Chinese experts.

Although I haven't really talked about them our selection of nearby wine making areas is yet another pleasure. We have Cahors, Gaillac, Corbieres, Buzet, Madiran and Bordeaux all within a couple of hours drive. Who could ask for more?

Where else I ask could you play golf on a course owned by a Taiwanese and managed by a Japanese lady who feeds us delicious udon lunches?

So, that's me up to date. As I think you can tell I love our life in France and the great opportunities it offers in a culinary sense. We have great set of friends, almost all of whom cook well. We have a range of good restaurants. We can go to a different market each day of the week should we so wish. Life is good!

Thanks for reading this. I've enjoyed writing it.

Question time!

PS: Many thanks for all of your kind remarks. Should you ever be in 'La France Profund' you know where to go for a free meal.

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Finally, the confession of a food philistine. Here's a typical weekday lunch. No pretensions of culinary excellence, but I'm semi-addicted to this kind of simple meal.

soup_edited reduced.jpg

With apologies to my Chinese friends on eG. I just love these little dehydrated soups.

While the soup is cooking I make my sandwich.

bread cut reduced.jpg bread slices reduced.jpg

Now that the bread is ready (this bread is the 'cereal' from the local shop.) I can srart construcing.

mustard reduced.jpg

First a thin coating of Dijon mustard. I got this jar on special offer, Its hard to find the fancy Grey Poupon stuff.

cheese  reduced.jpg

Next the cheese goes on. Normally Cantal Entre deux. As you can see I buy it in large chunks.

Here it is on the bread.

on bread reduced.jpg

garlic saus reduced.jpg

Then the garlic sausage.

cornichons reduced.jpg

Next the cornichons

And here's the final assembly.

assembled reduced.jpg

finished reduced.jpg

And that's it. Delicious in my humble opinion. Sort of mid Atlantic with oriental leanings.

I've enjoyed indulging myself all week. I hope this will encourage others to contribute their culinary tales. I'll be watching & waiting.

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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It's been great. Thanks for taking the time. Your creamy salad dressing saved my bacon today (maybe not my bacon but certainly my lettuce and tomatoes!). I made it for a salad Kerry and I shared with her med student. Thanks.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Lovely experience following along with your life-long food odyssey through America, Spain, England, France and other parts of Europe.

I happen to have the exact same cream maker (and a couple of others) in my gadget collection and have actually experimented with using it the way the English had to during the post war decade when milk and butter was available but not heavy cream - except on or near dairy farms.

I am especially envious of the cheeses that are available to you in such abundance, even though I have had to reduce my consumption of this ambrosial food on orders from my doctor.

The outdoor market photos are lovely.

Thanks for the virtual trip to your part of France. I wish I could join you.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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(Tell Linda I am making her moussaka tomorrow.)

Linda is delighted and asks that you please take some better pictures than I did.

Also, as a final thought/recommendation. One of the best set of books I know of about true country French cooking is a series of books by Martin Walker who lives in the Dordogne. They're available on Amazon and are all about Bruno the chief of police in a small village. Give them a try.

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