Cooking in France

….One of Kevin’s must do experiences

With all the wonderful produce and selections of meat Kevin really wanted to cook an authentic French meal. The area in and around Tours is known for it’s pork so after some thoughtful research he decided to cook Medallions of pork in a port mushrooms sauce.

We took a trip to the market and bought the most expensive cut of pork behind the counter. Over at the vegetable stall we picked up mushrooms and green beans and from the wine store we purchased a port and local bottle of Envol wine.

Back in the apartment the challenge began and I mean challenge. We had a two burner cooktop a two smallish pans to prepare a dinner for five.

Suces sur!

The Food in France

…..we’re on a culinary adventure

Before venturing out on this trip I lost 12 pounds. I’ve been walking anywhere from 10 000 to 16 000 steps every day. Both these things are good because the food here is amazing. There are cafés everywhere and boulangeries and patisseries on every street.

Right below our apartment there are at least five outdoor restaurants and across the street there are five more.

The market is about a ten minute walk from our place and it takes us through a lovely treed boulevard.

We’ve quickly learned that a lot of shops and/or vendors here don’t open on Monday and Tuesday, especially smaller places. Larger main stream stores are open all the time. Here are just a few delights from the market.

Paté de Pacque….an Easter specialty
The best croissants in town
…..and of course coffee
…..and lots of wine

Whatsoever is Lovely – Week 6

….thanks to Kate for hosting the Whatsoever is Lovely Challenge https://www.thesquirrelchase.com/2022/02/14/whatsoever-is-lovely-2022-week-6/

One week after Kevin’s hip replacement surgery he decided he couldn’t let Valentine’s Day go by without doing something special for me. So he got on his phone and ordered a special Valentine’s Day dinner that was delivered to the house. It was beautifully boxed and only required some reheating or final minutes in the oven.

I set up the little table in the basement kitchen, where Kevin was recovering, with a cloth and candles. A day earlier I went out and picked up a special wine that Kevin wanted to have with the dinner. Since the beginning of COVID we have had date nights where we would get dressed up and share a gourmet meal at home. Kevin wanted this to be one of those date nights so he insisted on putting on a white shirt and one of his bowties.

It was an amazing meal. There was so much food that we saved our dessert for the next day.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Basically Two Colours

…..thanks to Cee for hosting CFFC https://ceenphotography.com/2021/12/07/cffc-basically-two-colors/

This week’s fun foto challenge involves finding photos with no more than two dominant colours.

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Green and red
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reds and greens
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blue and beige
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Yellow and red
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Pink and white
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Purple and white
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Red and Brown

National Bowtie Day, National Red Wine Day and My Birthday

….last Saturday was all those things and Saturday Sloth was a little more animated than normal

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It was a wonderful birthday that ended up spreading over three days with family and friends dropping by for wine and food. Thanks for all the lovely flowers and gifts but most of all your company.

A Short Visit to Wine Country

after the shock of losing my Dad and having to deal with the immediate paperwork we decided we needed a break

We were surprised that some of our favourite places outside the city were booked in the middle of the week, even during COVID. Toronto and the Greater Toronto area has more restrictions in place because of higher positive test cases so I guess people were looking for places, like us, to get away to.

We finally found a great old mill that was converted into an inn in the outskirts of St. Catharines. It was very close to all the places we wanted to visit and it had a fantastic restaurant on the premises. The Stone Mill Inn was located in a once very industrial area and my husband immediately recognized it because one of his father’s favourite drinking establishments was just around the corner. That’s a story for another time.

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We had dinner at the Italian restaurant in the Inn that evening and were pleased and relieved that the place was not busy. All the safety protocols were in place and the servers all wore masks. The food was fantastic.

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We decided to forgo the outlet mall on our first full day of exploring. We headed straight for Niagara-on-the Lake and made our first stop at the Wayne Gretzky Winery. A lot of wineries are now expanding their inventory to include beer and spirits and interestingly enough it was the whiskey here that we preferred. I’m not much of a whisky drinker but I loved the salted caramel whiskey. I guess some people would argue that salted caramel is an abomination to that classic spirit but it was flying off the shelf.

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Our next stop was the old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. We walked down the main street and browsed through some of the stores and of course we had to stop in the local bakery and pick up my husband’s favourite pastry, eccles cakes.

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Back to the Inn for another amazing meal and more adventures the next day……..

End of Part 1.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – A Sense of Tasting

…thanks to Cee for hosting The Fun Foto Challenge

Is anyone else as obsessed with food as I am during COVID-19? I suspect that most of us are if all the posts and Tweets and Facebook entries are any indication. We all started with a fetish for baking bread and then buying yeast and flour became a challenge. When we discovered that we could still buy bread and our waistlines were beginning to expand we backed off the bread baking craze for awhile (fresh baked bread is so much more tempting than store bought).

Many people were more concerned with having enough alcohol in the house. We’re not huge drinkers but I have to admit that I bought into the need for wine at the beginning and braved going out to buy several bottles. I wasn’t comfortable going into such a busy place even though the distancing rules were being followed. I wiped down all the bottles as soon as I got home.

Now that the those bottles are long gone I decided to try and order wine on line from two of our local wineries and my husband ordered beer from a local craft brewery. Both arrived within days and much faster than our grocery orders.

One way to combat boredom is to try and make our meals more interesting. My husband is the cook and I’m the baker. I haven’t done a lot of baking but I’m itching to do more. On the other hand my husband has made some fabulous meals during all of this. Here are just a few.

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In Search of Food

….our presence brought them closer than I expected

Normally the geese and ducks at the pond swim away when I try to get closer to them for a good photo but today they came right up to the water’s edge and reached over as if they were expecting us to feed them. Judging by the number of empty plastic bread bags that were lying around I suspect that’s exactly what they were looking for.

Despite signs posted in the park not to feed the water foul bread the public does it anyway. Bread is not a natural food source for ducks, geese and swans and I’m sure that a diet with too much gluten is harmful for these beautiful birds.

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Day 23 – Food

….thanks to Leanne Cole for hosting the 30 Day at Home Challenge

On day 23 my husband and I were inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals and together we made a wonderful meal for the two of us. It consisted of a Wacky Summer Pasta, Arugula and Watercress Salad with Warm Pancetta and a Pear Meringue Tart.
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Christmas Tables

It’s been a busy week with lunches with friends, a volunteer Christmas lunch at the Inn, an open house, discovering a new brewery and Christmas dinners with old friends.qukn5u-Vk-Tu2-Z9-GBch0x-Di-A
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….and I still managed to lose six pounds.