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bleudauvergne

eG Foodblog: bleudauvergne

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About a year ago I blindly hurled myself through a week of food blog for the first time. It was a pretty intense experience, opening home and heart to my eGullet friends about one of the most important subjects of my life. But once the week got going, I fell into the rhythm and things generally took care of themselves. It was a little bit like having a guest.

At any given point in your life, depending on where you are and what you do, you have special friends who come often. These are friends who know a whole lot about you and accept you even if you’re far from perfect. They know where the sheets are and have their favorite pillow case which you always save just for them. These are the friends I sometimes pamper but sometimes can’t. They bring their own tisane of the hour, they have their own teapot in the cupboard, they fall into the rhythm of the household seamlessly and without fanfare. Sometimes this kind guest alerts me of arrival a day in advance, sometimes a week. There’s no worry that this guest will have a good time. I don’t have to shop and menu plan because I know they’ll have their ideas about what they want to do and eat, and they’ll probably even shop for food or even bring the contents of their own fridges and jugs of things and samples of this and that to add to my larder.

They've had my best and also been subject to a few failed experiments, and they're generally ok with whatever's coming out of the kitchen, even if it's plain and simple food. We’ll share stories and wine and food as we while away the evenings talking and cooking.

Thank you so much for coming to see me! I'm so glad you're here! :smile:

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A lot of things have changed since last year. One very basic thing is that I have begun to eat breakfast daily. I began eating all three meals last June, when I took on some better eating habits. A chonicle of how that began can be found here in my forays into cooking the Montignac way.

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Today's breakfast is pretty much identical to yesterday's. There is something about a quiet moment in the morning, after the cat's been fed, and the town isn't yet completely up and moving. During the last year, I also obtained European (French) nationality. To commemorate this monumental change in my life, I have begun drinking out of bowls in the morning. I never thought I would do that. But slowly these habits begin to creep in.

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This morning’s breakfast cheese is Bleu d’Auvergne. :smile:gallery_15176_977_40968.jpg

I like to have a slab on warm nut bread when we have some leftover. While the water's heating, I put slices of the bread in the oven for a few minutes. I'll tartine the rest with butter. This one's a butter from the Alpes from a fromagerie called Fleuron les Glieres. I could swear I tasted a hint of herbs. But I think maybe it was because I ate the cheese first and it readjusted my palette in some way.

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It's time to start the day.

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c'est magnifique! Lucy, you can be sure that I'll be following along, this will be exciting!

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Thanks again for doing this, Lucy.

Words cannot begin to describe how much I've been looking forward to this installment.

I'm sure folks will agree. :smile:

Soba

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Lucy, your opening is almost.......poetic! :smile: I'm sure I'll be a guest who overstays her welcome.

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Thanks for the invitation, Lucy!

But slowly these habits begin to creep in.... and it readjusted my palette in some way. 

Palette? (or: I see what you mean :biggrin:)

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Those of you who weren't here last year or missed Lucy's first blog (linked above in Post #1) really owe it to yourselves to read through it. The reason we're so excited that she's blogging again is that her first blog set a new standard for excellence in writing and photography in a foodblog.

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Ooh la la, Bleu, the sequel! I haven't been this excited about a sequel since Godfather Part II. :cool:

OK, maybe since The Return of the King :wink: I just hope that I can keep up.

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Oh Bleu...the cheese, the bread, le café pressé, the window, the view, the bowl....I am so going to enjoy this blog. Thank you for inviting us!

And merci to Pan for suggesting we visit your first blog. Off I am!

Bonne journée!

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I don't know what to say. Thank you ever so much, guys.

I’ve been to the market and while lunch is in the oven I’ll share with you what I saw there.

This year’s winter was harsh, there was tons of snow all though the Rhone Alpes region, and it was cold and dark for ages. I was talking to the man who usually sells me his strawberries and eggs, and he said that last year was two weeks ahead of schedule, and this year is two weeks behind schedule. So we’re basically a month behind last year at the same time, and that's 2 weeks calendar date before last year's food blog. Got it? Good. :raz:

Things took a quick turn for the better in the last week, when the Rhone Alpes Valley opened up like a flower to the sun for a few glorious days. But in the past couple of days mother nature is closing her fist again and a damp and chilly haze has fallen over everything, not as bad as before, but a stern reprimand nonetheless. I don’t mind, sometimes we should appreciate it for what it is, a chance to think carefully and slow down and maybe take a day off. It’s also a chance to take pictures no matter what the measly offerings, since I think pictures are always better on cloudy days.

On Tuesday, the market is a shadow of what it is on the weekends. Prices of some certain things are high and the herbs and green leafy vegetables have suffered badly. The lettuce is 1/3 the size it normally is and twice the price this year. The producers have dry looking bunches of scrappy winter-hardy thyme right now and not much more.

Salsify. It's delicious. gallery_15176_977_9736.jpg

The lady ahead of me asked for enough of this mushroom for an "omlette for two" and got 200 grams.

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I heard on the radio the other day that Dandilions got their French name from the words meaning 'wet the bed' because this is a natural diruretic. I plan to use it in a soup. I sprung for it even though it's not really local for two reasons, Loic is in torino (which sounds like Thurins) right now working on Physics, and I am a sucker for trying out all those things they bring the experts in to talk about at the radio station.

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These looked positively alluring. It's a potato cake with sausage meat wrapped in bacon, the covered with chevre and a walnut and rolled in parsley. I was thinking of going out for lunch at a favorite tea house, but after seeing this... hmmm.

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Or maybe quail...gallery_15176_977_26279.jpg

Behind that are tubs of duck fat. I picked up a large and a small tub since I've been looking for this at a reasonable price. The large tub was €1.50 The lady says it can be frozen. If anyone has any experience freezing duck fat and can let me know if I should be using this quickly or not, it would be greatly appreciated.

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I got a filet de Rascasse for later. I asked the guy if it was really rascasse, because my husband tells me that what is sold as filet de rascasse is not actually that. He heard this somewhere. Anyway the man pointed out the fish whole and indeed it does look like it does come from that kind of fish. It always tastes divine. The one filet was €3.20. Pretty steep.

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A stop for bread, you have seen the inside of my boulangerie in the first blog. :rolleyes:

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And home.

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Even though I was terrified of being "tagged" for the first installment of this blog, I believe I piped up anyway to say how much I enjoyed reading and seeing everything. This time I can say it without fear! Thank you Bleu! I'm really looking forward to my visit to France!

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Lucy, merci en avance for blogging again, the first one was so wonderful. I freeze duck fat all the time with no problem as it is sometimes hard to find at a reasonable price. I have kept it frozen for maybe as long as 3 months in the past with good results.

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Not only can duck fat be frozen, but if you have some ice cube trays you can freeze it in small amounts that are pretty handy to have around. Once it is hard frozen, you can just dump the trays into a container. It works great.

Lord, I sound like Heloise. Sorry about that.

Lucy, I have been looking forward to a trip to France. This promises to be a good one with a friendly guide. Do we have to tip the driver?

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what a beautiful blog: the pictures of your home,

the view from your window, the produce, why oh why

can't we all live like this......

hanging on every word and picture

milagai

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Lunch pretty much clinched the fact that I have not picked up all of the French habits, like the one the women are supposed to have of not gobbling their food.

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It was whatever that wonderful meat cake was, some salsify, a turnip, and some carrots, which I steamed and added for the last few minutes to the dish in the oven. I laid down the linen cloth and poured myself a glass of wine, and took relish in my frame of mind today, while at the same time I feel kind of melancholy (It had begun to rain, and I miss Loic), it's accompanied by that nice feeling of clarity of mind. I felt incredibly at peace with the world. However after taking the first bite, chewing it slowly and allowing the wonderful aroma of the chevre lift and bring forth the sausage with just the right amount of salt and oh the creamy delicious potato cake echoing in, I took another, larger and less discriminating bite, which I did not chew as many times, and then it all composure was lost. The next thing I knew, it was all gone. :wub: I then drank the glass of wine, I hadn't taken a sip!

I could not rest until I knew what it was, did it have a name. I called the number which was on the paper and reached a woman who explained to me that she was retired and of course had absolutley no idea what I bought at the market that day, and that she simply could not help me. We went over it several times, I was thinking that if she was related to the people who sold it to me, she must have some familiarity with what they're selling. But she was still coming up at a loss. "I have not worked the market for many years, madame." She finally came up with a great idea and gave me the portable phone of her daughter in law who was working the Quai St. Antoine today.

I called the number and explained that I was the lady taking the photos, and that I'd bought all the duck fat, she remembered immediately, and I asked her what was the cake (I was using the word "gateau"). She corrected me immediately, it was not a gateau, but a galette, a Galette Fromagere. The "sausage" I describe is a turkey paupiette.

I told her it was excellent, that I appreciated it for lunch today. She was quite pleased.

Now I know. I must get some of these for Loic to try.

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Bleu,

It's 10 am here in Ottawa, Canada. I'm reading your lunch experience and salivating. Sigh....

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Lucy, I have been looking forward to a trip to France. This promises to be a good one with a friendly guide. Do we have to tip the driver?

Brooks, You can take the driver out to dinner next time you come. :raz:

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... a galette, a Galette Fromagere.  The "sausage" I describe is a turkey paupiette. 

looks lovely. how did you cook it?

also, is that black salsify or the brown one? I have a vague memory of someone telling me that the way to prepare black salsify is slightly different from the brown one. either that or the taste differs. somebody shoot me! I am getting old!

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Fabulous, a week in France is just what the doctor ordered! This will be so interestingly different from your last blog, with the seasonal differences in what's available. You take the best pictures of anyone on eG, I'm pretty sure.

I'd swim a mile for a nice piece of rascasse for my lunch.


Edited by Abra (log)

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Lucy-

It's a pleasure for me to go back home with you. Your photographs of the produce are still life's of the terroir. They capture the golden light and textured shadows of Lyon.

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Ok, I *think* I know what this means but I wanted to ask anyway...

What does "aperetif" mean, and is this regularly practiced throughout France?

Soba

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... a galette, a Galette Fromagere.  The "sausage" I describe is a turkey paupiette. 

looks lovely. how did you cook it?

I put in in a moderate oven (around 190c/375f) until it started smelling done. (18 minutes to be exact)

also, is that black salsify or the brown one? I have a vague memory of someone telling me that the way to prepare black salsify is slightly different from the brown one. either that or the taste differs. somebody shoot me! I am getting old!

It's brown. In fact this salsify seemed more fleshy than other salsify I've had in the past, which may have been the black kind, It peeled well and if I'd had the patience, I could have brushed the skin off, because it came off with a little scrubbing. My main problem with salsify in the past has been that once it's peeled, there's barely anything left. But this was fine, like a slender carrot and lots of meat left after peeling. There is a sticky kind of juice that comes off of it when you peel it. I simply steamed it and tossed it in the juices of the Galette. If I'd had a lemon I would have squeezed it over the root before I steamed it.

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Another week of pure, unadulterated food porn from bleudauvergne?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU food gods...THANK YOU..

:wub::wub::wub:

K, in ecstasies.

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