Monthly Archives: October 2011

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Apologies for yet another pumpkin recipe today, but to be truthful this is about the extent of the Chez Foti diet of the last few days as everyone except me has been sick with a nasty flu bug!  This simple gentle soup has been the only thing anyone’s actually had an appetite for….good job we have lots of pumpkins!

Aside from illness, we seem to be eating some sort of squash or pumpkin soup every day for lunch these days.  This particular soup is lovely and extremely simple to make.  If you want to jazz up the flavour a little roast the pumpkin with half a chopped up chilli or some chilli flakes.  I tend to make this in pretty big batches so I can store in the fridge for the next few days, or in the freezer for a later lazy day.

As per previous blogs, a word of warning on using pumpkins.  Quite often when you buy the very big pumpkins in the UK for Halloween they can be very tasteless for cooking with, no matter how much roasting and flavouring you add they’ll never be great.  If you do have a pumpkin to use try roasting a little of it before using, just to have a taste check.  You always substitute Butternut squash as a more reliable tasty alternative.

To make enough for at least 2 family lunchtimes:                                                        

1 kg of pumpkin, skin removed and cut into roughly 2cm chunks

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 clove or garlic, finely sliced

500ml of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian soup)

2 heaped tbsp of creme fraiche

Begin by preheating the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark  .  Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and combine with about a tbsp of olive oil, a little salt and a generous grinding of black pepper (and some chilli if using).  Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes (turning the pumpkin about half way through) until soft and just starting to colour a little.

Meanwhile heat another tbsp of oil in a large high sided saucepan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes until softened a little, stir regularly to avoid catching.  Then add the roasted pumpkin, stir and cook for a further minute or two.  Poor in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.   Simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft.

Take off the heat and add the creme fraiche.  Blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy.


Kids 5-a-day Pasta Sauce

6-8 months +, Toddlers & Young Children

This is a great pasta sauce for babies, toddlers & kids.  It’s quick and easy to make, healthy, tasty and hides an umteen amount of veggies which has got to be good!  I literally throw in any veggies that happen to be lurking and handily clear out my fridge in doing so,  and as they’re all whizzed up with tomato and creme fraiche, they’ll never ever know exactly what you’ve put in it. Excellent if you have difficulty getting your kids to eat their veggies.

I tend to make my sauce in quite large quantities so that I can freeze all the leftovers (in tupperware portions that can be pulled out and made into almost instant dinners).

If making for young babies serve the sauce with an appropriate sized pasta, teeny weeny pasta stars are perfect for weening babies onto lumps in their food. Increase the size of the pasta as they get more accomplished and by the time they’re toddling around they should be eating grown up pasta sizes and shapes.

In this particular sauce I used a courgette, half an aubergine, a handful of french beans and surprise surprise a large slice of pumpkin (yep it really does go into anything and everything these days!).  You really can add a whole multitude of veg, peppers, carrots, squash, peas, celery, broccoli and mushrooms all work really well too.

Enough for several children’s meals
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
600g mixed veggies (see above list)
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
a bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp of tomato puree
100 ml water
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche

Add the oil, onion and garlic to a high sided saucepan and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is soft.  Meanwhile roughly chop your veggie selection into smallish chunks – don’t worry about them all being uniform and neat as you’re going to blitz the mixture later anyway.

Add the veggies to the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.  If they appear to be catching on the bottom add a splash of water to the pan.  After 5 minutes, stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 100 ml of water, bay leaf, oregano, pinch of sugar and maybe a little salt and pepper (if your child is very young then obviously don’t add any salt).

Cook the sauce for a further 15 to 20 minutes until all the veggies are soft and fully cooked through.  Take out your bay leaf, add the creme fraiche and blitz the sauce until smooth (and all veggies fully unidentifiable!) either with a stick blender in the saucepan or in a food processor.  Job done!  One huge pan of yummy pasta sauce.

Serve with whatever pasta your precious monsters like most and a sprinkling of cheese on the top.  And I promise you they’ll never guess what’s in it!

Pork, Pumpkin & Pepper Stew

A gentle warming stew that’s perfect for these cooler Autumnal evenings.  And like most stews, so very very easy to put together.  And another great way to use up yet more pumpkin!  A word of warning on the pumpkin though.  Quite often when you buy the very big pumpkins in the UK for Halloween they can be very tasteless for cooking with, no matter how much roasting and flavouring you add they’ll never be great.  If you do have a pumpkin to use try roasting a little of it in the oven before using, just to have a taste check.  You could always substitute Butternut squash as a more reliable tasty alternative.

To add a bit of extra spark I tend to add a touch of chilli, but really it’s not necessary

Enough for four:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 small peppers or 1 very large one, preferably red, roughly chopped into big chunks
1/2 red chilli or good pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
600g pumpkin, cut into 2cm chunks
a small apple, peeled cored and chopped into fairly small pieces
500g pork (lean and boneless), cut into 2cm chunks
2 bay leaves
1½ tbsp fresh chopped sage leaves, or 2 tsp of dried sage
1½ tbsp tomato puree
250ml dry cider
450ml chicken stock
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan or casserole dish place the olive oil and onion, cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened a little.  Then add the peppers, chilli (if using), pumpkin, apple and pork. Stir fairly regularly so nothing catches and burns, cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the bay leaves, sage and tomato puree and cook for another moment or two before adding the cider.  Allow the cider to cook down for about 5 minutes or so before adding the stock.

Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pork and vegetables are all soft and very tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with plenty of mash, and maybe a nice steamed green vegetable on the side.

A couple of Pizzas: Salami, Courgette & Blue Cheese, Griddled Veggies & Goats Cheese

Griddled Veggies & Goats Cheese Pizza

We had our first pizza night in ages at Chez Foti last night. We’re very lucky to have an original bread oven in the house that makes the most excellent wood fired pizzas, though I have yet to use it to actually make bread – it’ll be this Winter’s challenge!  Over the summer it’s just too hot to fire up as it’s stays warm for days, so homemade pizza is a cold weather treat for us.  And the still hot oven is great the next day for warming up bread and croissants for breakfast, plus any lucky leftover pizza slices (an amazing hangover cure I find!).  I think we gorged ourselves on pizza virtually every Saturday night last winter!  It’s such a fun thing to do, and really not at all tricky.  I would say it’s great for kids too, but it doesn’t really work for ours, at least not yet anyway!  Francesca who’s three doesn’t like pizza, a very strange phenomenon for a child I know!  And little Jacques’s in bed by the time the oven’s hot and ready to bake (it takes about two hours of wood burning). I’m sure almost all other kids would love to help with the kneading, topping and scoffing though.

The roaring inside of our pizza oven

Obviously you can make pizzas equally well in a domestic oven, just make sure the oven is set to the highest temperature it will go it and has been preheated for a good while before.   Also important is that you bake the pizza on a pre-heated baking tray or special pizza stone….so that the dough starts cooking during assembly.

The great thing with pizzas is that you can put almost anything on them; you can keep them as simple or be as inventive as you want.  I find sticking to just two or three key ingredients in the toppings however usually works best.
Last night I made a couple of pizzas, the first a Salami, Courgette & Blue Cheese Pizza and the second Griddled Veggies & Goats Cheese – see my previous blog  for some blurb on griddled veggies.  If you don’t have a griddle pan, just roast the veggies in the oven instead.  I’ll blog lots more pizza topping suggestions after I’ve made and eaten them over the winter!

To make the pizza dough, enough for two largish pizzas:
350g strong white bread flour, plus a little extra for kneading and dusting
1 tsp salt
6g dried yeast
1 desert spoon of honey
about 220ml warm water

Place the salt and flour in a large bowl and combine.  Add the yeast, honey and water to a jug and mix. Leave for a few minutes for the yeast to act.  Once the yeast is bubbling start to add the wet mix to the flour, at first stirring with a fork, then using your hands.  Once the dough starts to come together place on a floured board or work surface and knead.  Knead until the dough is soft and springy, about 10 minutes.   Flour the dough all over and place in a bowl to rest.  Cover with cling film and put in a warm place for about 30 – 60 minutes.  The dough should be about double it’s original size.  Once risen divide in two and either immediately roll out into your pizza shapes, or place the dough in the fridge until you’re ready.

Salami, Courgette & Blue Cheese Pizza

To make the tomato sauce, enough for two large pizzas:
olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh basil leaves
a pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

Add the oil and garlic to a saucepan and cook very gently for a moment or two, ensuring you do not burn the garlic.  Add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes then stir in the basil, sugar, a good grinding of pepper and a pinch of salt.  Taste and adjust seasoning to suit.

Salami, Courgette & Blue Cheese Pizza
½ the above pizza dough quantity
½ the above tomato sauce quantity
90g salami or french saucisse seche, sliced thinly
60g strongish blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Saint Agur, Roquefort, Stilton for example), cut or torn into small chunks
½ ball of Mozzarella, sliced thinly
1 small courgette, cut lengthways into 4mm strips (if griddling), or halfed lengthways and sliced into  4mm pieces (if roasting)
handful of black olives
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 250°C/gas 9, or as hot as it will go.  Once hot preheat your pizza stone or baking sheet.

Firstly prep your courgette by cooking the strips in a very hot griddle pan.  Cook on both sides until they are charred.  Marinade the courgette in a little olive oil, good grinding of pepper and a pinch of salt.  If you’re roasting the courgette instead, rub the slices with a little oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet in a hot oven for about 10 minutes or so.

Roll out your pizza dough to form a large circle.  Place either on the pre-heated pizza stone or tray, it should sizzle a little as the dough starts to cook.  You should now quickly assemble your pizza, as you don’t want the stone or tray to cool down much.

Spread the tomato sauce, evenly place the salami, then the courgette and finally the cheeses and olives.  Add some extra pepper if you wish.  Place in the hot oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until the pizza looks golden and crispy.   The underside of the pizza should look a little golden.  Slice and serve immediately!

Griddled Veggies and Goats Cheese Pizza

½ the above pizza dough quantity
½ the above tomato sauce quantity
1 small courgette, cut lengthways into 4mm strips (if griddling), or halfed lengthways and sliced into 4mm pieces (if roasting)
½ small aubergine, cut lengthways into 4mm strips (if griddling ), or quartered lengthways an sliced into 4mm pieces (if roasting)
½ red pepper, cut lengthways into narrow strips (if griddling or roasting)
90g goats cheese, sliced thinly
½ ball of Mozzarella, sliced thinly
olive oil
a good squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper
a few torn basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 250°C/gas 9, or as hot as it will go.  Once hot preheat your pizza stone or baking sheet.
Firstly prep your veggies by cooking the strips in a very hot griddle pan.  Cook on both sides until you have charred stripes. Marinade them in a little olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon, a large pinch of freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt.  If you’re roasting the veggies instead, rub them with a little oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet in a hot oven for about 15 minutes or so.  Add a squeeze of lemon once roasted
Roll out your pizza dough to form a large circle.  Place either on the pre-heated pizza stone or tray, it should sizzle a little as the dough starts to cook.  You should now quickly assemble your pizza, as you don’t want the stone or tray to cool down much.
Spread the tomato sauce, evenly place the veggies and cheeses, and then scatter the basil leaves.  Add some extra pepper if you wish.  Place in the hot oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until the pizza looks golden and crispy.   The underside of the pizza should look a little golden.  Slice and serve immediately.

Griddled Veggies

Not really a recipe as such, more an idea of a different way of cooking and serving veggies.  I have to be a little more inventive than most with veg, as my husband has a distinct aversion to “school dinners” plain boiled or steamed veggies, I think it’s the Italian and French in him!.

I’ve recently starting griddling my veggies which seems to bring out their flavours incredibly well.  Courgettes, aubergines, peppers, french beans and fennel all work superbly.  All you do is slice them lengthways to about a 4-5mm thickness; peppers I just cut in narrow strips lengthways, and beans are left whole but are best blanched for a couple of mins in boiling water first) and place them in a very hot griddle pan for a few minutes, turning them over to cook on the other side when they have lots of nicely charred strips.  I then marinade the cooked veggies in a good splosh of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of black pepper and sea salt, quantities obviously depending on how many veggies you are griddling. You could also add to the marinade a finely chopped chilli for a bit of punch, or a handful of chopped fresh herbs….like thyme, basil or parsley.

They’re great to serve as an antipasto just on their own, as a topping for bruschetta or pizza, or as an accompaniment to a main meal.  I made these last night to go on a couple of pizzas (pizza recipe to follow on my next blog!).

Sausage & Courgette Risotto

Yep, it’s been two risottos for us this week but I make no apology, having not made any for quite some time I’ve had a bit of a resurgence of interest in my favourite cold weather comfort food!.  I tend to make up my risotto recipes and ingredients as I go along, based on what happens to be lurking in the fridge.  I find that most of my favourite ingredients I’d use to make up a pasta sauce work equally as well, or better, cooked with rice in a risotto. This sausage and courgette risotto is the first time I’ve made this, normally it’s my staple sauce for a quick penne pasta supper (just making a sauce out of the shallots, garlic, chilli, sausage, courgette and passata).

Enough for two very hungry or greedy adults:
2 x shallots
a clove of garlic
pinch of dried chilli flakes
a small knob of butter
olive oil
a medium sized courgette
arborio rice – 200g
a small glass of white wine
hot chicken stock – 700ml
3 tbsp of tomato passata, or 1 tbsp tom puree
Italian salami or French saucisse seche – 100g
a handful of grated Parmesan, plus a little extra to finish
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
a handful of stoned black olives (optional)
salt and pepper

Start the risotto base, by finally chopping the shallots and garlic, and slicing the courgettes (first in quarter lengthways, then sliced to a thickness of a pound coin).  Place the garlic, shallots and chilli in a heavy based pan with a good glug of olive oil and the knob of butter.  Fry until softened then add the courgettes and salami/saucisse for a minute or two.  Now stir in the rice, ensuring the grains get a good coating of the oil/butter.  Pour the wine and tomato passata into the rice and stir well.  Once the liquid has evaporated add a ladleful of the hot stock.  Continue to stir fairly regularly, and once the stock has been absorbed by the rice add another ladleful.  Continue adding the stock until the rice is plumped up and tender, but still has a tiny bit of bit to it.

Stir in the parmesan, parsley and olives if using them, and cook for a moment or two more.  Season to taste and serve with a grating of parmesan over the top.

October in the garden…..

October is all about the pumpkin and squash, and there’s been lots of them!  These are the last of the harvest I picked this morning as there’s a threat of frost tonight.  Whilst initially cursing planting so many, mainly because they took up so much precious space with their wild and abandoned growth, I am indeed a very happy lady now with my more than substantial  harvest.  We’ve been eating the delicious squash, in all their various and strange shapes and sizes, all summer, and now it’s time for the majestic pumpkin to take the glory.  I have to say I had no idea squash and pumpkins could taste this good until I tried our homegrown Chez Foti ones, other than the ever so popular and tasty Butternut anyway.
Needless to say squash or pumpkin are appearing every day in our food in one form or another.  There’s nearly always pumpkin soup on the offering, and it’s a tasty sweet addition to nearly all my curries, stews and casseroles, pasta sauces, stir frys and risottos.  I’ve even made some rather yummie squash muffins!  Rest assured they’ll be lots more squash and pumpkin recipes in the next few weeks!

Most of my summer crops are still amazingly holding strong in the garden.  I’m still picking the french beans daily, and regularly have peppers, chillis (albeit disappointingly mild ones), aubergines, sweetcorn, broccoli, courgettes and carrots.  I thought my courgettes had finally given up for the year, until I found six a couple of days ago, plus lots of flowers and babies!  The celery’s also now finally ready for the picking, so I’m  looking forward to using it in lots of soups and stews.
The chilli’s and peppers continue to do well
The aubergines are still going great guns!
My second harvest of sweetcorn has just began, I planted these about Mid July and they’re utterly delicious, and so so easy to grow.  I can honestly say it’s the best sweetcorn I’ve ever eaten, but then that’s probably because there’s usually less than fifteen minutes between picking and cooking!

Francesca enjoying her corn on the cob treat
We’re also eating some lovely rocket, that I sowed earlier in the month.  Much faster at growing and somehow much tastier than earlier crops I tried in the Spring.  
The potatoes have all finally been dug up and stored for the winter, though unfortunately I don’t think we’ll have enough to see us through.  I grew various new potatoes earlier in the year, but these are the Desiree maincrop ones.  They make great roasties, mash and chips, which pretty much covers our potato consumption!
The apples and pears have all been picked; the apples stored in boxes and pears cooked and frozen for later use in pies, sauces and crumbles.  I’ve also been busy collecting some of the many squillions of chestnuts we have, but as yet have failed to do too much with them.  Shelling chestnuts appears to be a very time consuming and tedious exercise!

This month I’ve planted a few more lettuce though I’m not sure they’ll make it through the inevitable frosts, but thought I’d give them a go anyway.  More carrots have also sowed (probably rather late too, but so far doing very well), as have beetroot, winter cabbages and Swiss Chard.  The latter has shot up and is already being picked and eaten (it can be used much like spinach, but is a much hardier and easier crop to grow).
The beetroot babies
The herbs are all still doing marvellously, though I have a huge abundance of basil that I really must busy myself to making into pesto very soon.   I’ve made it several times before and is soooooooooo good compared to anything you can buy.  I’ll put the recipe on here shortly.
Well that’s all my garden news for this month.  Next job is to get busy sowing more over wintering crops, which is another big learning curve for me!
Hope you enjoyed the garden catch up,
Lou x

Salmon Fishcakes with Herby Garlicky Mayo

Yesterday we all greedily tucked into a baked salmon for our sunday dinner (baked in foil in the oven), along with a garlicky herby mayo, the last of the new potatoes, and lots of steamed veggies.  It was an absolutely delicious treat, but left us with lots of fishy leftovers… today it was salmon fishcakes for tea!  They were a huge success, Jacques ate two (he’ll be 18 months this month!) Luckily for us both our children love fish, but if yours don’t how about trying some homemade fishcakes as the buttery potato inner and the crunchy breadcrumbed outer go a long way to disguise the fishiness.  And you can even further disguise by serving them with something dippy, like my herby garlicky mayo, a classic tartare, or just a squirt of good old Heinz Tommie K.
I tend to make my own breadcrumbs from leftover bits of white bread that we always seem to have lying around, and store them in the freezer.  Mixing breadcrumbs with polenta makes for an extra crispy crumb.

Makes about 8 fishcakes:
about 400g cold mashed potato (mashed with plenty of butter, but no milk)
418g tin of salmon, or about the same of home cooked leftovers
a heaped tbsp creme fraiche
1 egg, beaten
zest of a lemon
salt and pepper

For the crunchy outer fishcake layer:
2 eggs, beaten
fine breadcrumbs, or mix of breadcrumbs and polenta
sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl mix all the fishcake ingredients, preferably by hand.  Shape into little rounded flat patties and place on a layer of cling film on a baking sheet.  Cool them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the outer layer, place the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in two shallow bowls.  Dip each fishcake in the egg, ensuring it gets a good coating, then the breadcrumbs.

Place enough oil in a frying pan to just cover the base, and heat.  Place the fishcakes in the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides.  Serve immediately.

For the kids I served these up with some baked beans and a few steamed veg.  For us with slices of lemon, lots of herby mayo (recipe below) and a rocket (straight from the garden) salad.  Yum.

For the Herby Garlicky Mayonnaise
You really can use any herbs here, depending on personal preference or like me use whatever you happen to have an abundance of.  Tarragon, basil, parsley and chives however work particularly well, either use individually or a mixture as I’ve done.  For a super quick result, add some finely chopped herbs to shop bought mayo

1 egg
1 tsp of mustard powder
½ clove garlic, chopped
¼ pint sunflower oil
1 tbsp of cider or white wine vinegar
a large bunch of flat leaved parsley, leaves removed and roughly chopped
a few sprigs of tarragon, leaves removed and roughly chopped
a bunch of chopped chives
a little lemon juice
salt and pepper

Place the egg, mustard powder, garlic and a good pinch of salt in a food processor and whiz a little.  Whilst the processor is whizzing drop by drop start to add the oil through the funnel at the top, ensuring you don’t add too much too soon (as the mix will curdle), as the mixture thickens you can add the oil in a steady stream.  Once all the oil is in, add the vinegar and all your herbs and continue to whiz until the herbs look well incorporated.  Add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

For a printable recipe, please click the following link  Salmon Fishcakes with Herby Garlicky Mayo

Hummus Hedgehogs!

The kids ate these for their lunch today, with homegrown carrots and cucumbers.  Hummus is a firm favourite in the Foti house, and I probably end up making it about once a week.  Obviously you can easily buy it if you want to (at least in the UK you can), but when you can make a big bowl full in less than 5 minutes why bother?!.  And you know exactly what good stuff has gone into it.  Jacques and Francesca just love a big dollop with lots of ‘dippy sticks’, even better if it’s shaped like a hedgehog.

To make a big bowl of hummus:
a 400g/14oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
a clove of garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
a heaped tbsp of Tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

All you do is is either throw all the ingredients in a food processor and blend for a few brief moments, or as I do put them in a high sided bowl and whiz up with a stick blender (the sort you normally use for soups) again for a few moments.  Once whizzed check the flavour, and add further lemon juice, salt or pepper if necessary.  Et voila, lots of quick and easy healthy hummus.

To make the hedgehogs:
On to a rounded dollop of hummus, add a few of the following as spines, depending on what your kids like most:
carrot sticks
cucumber sticks
pepper sticks
courgette sticks
absolutely anything else that’s healthy and stick like!

Add something for a head, I used an end of a sausage because we had some in the fridge, but you could use a grape, olive, cherry tomato, or even another dollop of hummus……and even add eyes!

And make sure the grown ups get to enjoy the leftovers!

The remains of the hummus!

Welcome to my new Blog!

Welcome to my new foodie blog!  Many of you may have been reading the Chez Foti blog ( for the last year all about my family’s new lives in South West France.  Quite a bit of this was about food, or at least the veggies I’ve been growing, and I now thought it was time to write a whole new blog focusing on just what we eat.  I’ll still be continuing with the original Chez Foti blog.

Few would deny that food is a big passion in my life, and I want to share with you my family recipes, inspirations and ideas.  In essence I want to blog about what we eat, be it a meal I’ve cooked just for the wee ones, a family dinner for us all or a quick evening supper I’ve made for my husband and I.  I want to blog my recipes as I cook them, both the ones I’ve made up myself over the years or those I’ve taken from books.  You won’t find too many fancy time consuming or intricate recipes here, just hearty, healthy and wholesome family grub that can be put together fairly quickly and simply.  Afterall I am myself a full time mum!

In case you don’t know I am writing from a little corner of South West France (in the department of Haute Pyrenees)  where I moved with my husband, Philipe, and two small children at the end of last year.  Our daughter, Francesca, is now three, and son Jacques a wee eighteen months (though with an appetite of an eighteen year old at times!); obviously these two are my biggest food critics.  Before our lives here we lived in London for a few years and in my previous unmarried life I lived primarily in Yorkshire though travelled extensively in Latin America, Asia and Australia.

Not a day has gone by without us rejoicing about our new lives in rural France, we love the space, the nature, the gentleness and the appreciation of a much simpler life.  My first project was to set up a veggie patch (or a ‘potager’ as they’re called in France) and grow all our own organic veggies….plus a little bit of fruit.  Philipe’s first was to get the house habitable for us all!  An ongoing matter that he still sees as more important than my wonderful veg.  At present we are still cooking and eating out of our ‘temporary’ basic, but fully functional kitchen.  One day next year, or the year after, we’re hoping to have a wonderful new kitchen in the barn at the back of our house.

The Patch

I really hope you enjoy my blog.  Please please give me feedback, comments or recipe ideas …… and pass on the blog details to your friends!

Louisa x

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