25 November 2008

As usual

Our friends J & C arrived as planned Sunday evening. There was a train strike but it didn't start until 8:00 p.m., so they got down here from Paris just under the wire. We went to meet them at the TGV station over in Tours. We were surprised how many people were in the station lobby, waiting for trains to arrive or depart. And everybody dressed in black. I guess that's how young French people dress nowadays. It's not very colorful.

In the afternoon we took a drive over to Montrichard and walked through the outdoor market there. Montrichard has an afternoon market on Mondays and a morning market on Fridays. The Friday market has a better selection of fresh food products, while the Monday market is more clothes and household goods.

"As usual." As usual, I didn't actually get around to taking any pictures of the finished guinea hen. You'll have to take my word for it that it browned up very nicely in a hot oven and then finished cooking under foil until it was completely done but not dried out.

Stuffing on a cabbage leaf

When I took it out of the oven, I was in such a hurry to get it all carved up and then pour the port wine sauce over the pieces before it got cold that I never even thought of the camera again.

I did take a few pictures of the stuffed cabbage leaves I made, before I put them on to poach in broth. The stuffing was the same as the stuffing I put into the guinea hen — white bread moistened with milk, mixed with ground chicken, parsley, chervil, and a chopped shallot — but with some raw chicken livers added for texture and flavor. It cooked for 20 to 30 minutes at a low simmer and was very good.

Stuffed cabbage leaves tied up and ready for poaching

The port wine sauce was not syrupy or even sweet. That I was glad of. It was tasty but more meaty or chickeny than fruity. It was not overpowering but flavorful. I recommend the recipe.

For our first day with J & C, we asked the bread lady to deliver some croissants, a couple of pains aux raisins, and a multi-grain bread (pain aux céréales) in addition to our regular baguette. That's what we had for breakfast. Picture included.

Monday's breakfast, delivered by the baker's wife

France, eh? What a luxury it is to have fresh bread and other baked goods delivered to the front door five days a week — at only a nominal charge. At the bakery, a baguette costs 78 cents. We pay 81 cents for the same baguette, delivered.


  1. I'm sniffling here. In two days we'll have a complete Thanksgiving meal with turkey, ham, a dozen or more side dishes, and two pies. I'd trade it all for those browned croissants and pains au raisin.

  2. I'm not sure that I would sell my entire Thanksgiving feast for one of those croissants...but if that croissant was delivered to my door, I think I would!

    Those stuffed cabbage leaves look great and I suspect the guinea was also. BTW guineas make very good watch dogs I hear. They make a lot of fuss when strangers get in their territory.

  3. Boy, that all looks so good.

    I was in trial last week, and Thanksgiving has really crept up on me. There is so much to do before we head off later today to the Texas Hill Country for the rest of the week. Catching up here is at the top of the list.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. It's raining heavily in Boston today -- maybe 2 or 3 inches of rain -- but Wednesday, the big travel day before the holiday, is expected to be sunny and mild here, in the mid 40s.

    I join the others in saying that those pastries have me licking my chops. And delivered, no less.

    Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and Walt, Ken.

  5. If Thanksgiving dinner OR croissants were delivered to my door, I'd be ecstatic!

    No beets? ;-)


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