Ice pellets on the glass roof of our greenhouse yesterday afternoon
The house already felt cold because the wind had been howling for nearly 24 hours. What do you do when the weather is miserable and the house is chilly, despite the central heating system keeping the radiators hot? Well, you build a fire in the fireplace, or you cook some hot, nourishing comfort food. It had been my plan to do that anyway. On Saturday I went to the new produce market(Terre Y Fruits) in Saint-Aignan, which features vegetables grown in the Loire Valley, and picked up the makings for what's called a pot au feu [puh-toh-feuh] — "a pot on the fire" — which is a kind of pot roast or boiled dinner.
The vegetables I found included some unfamiliar ones along with others that have made a comeback over the past few years and are called légumes oubliés. Into that category I'd put parsnips, called panais. Ten years ago we couldn't find them here in Saint-Aignan.
Into the category of unfamiliar vegetables, I'd put the two turnips you see here. We get purple turnips, but not shaped like or as heavy as this one. And I'd never seen a red turnip before. (Carrots are something nobody has ever forgotten...)
Walt had come home from a trip to the SuperU on Friday with a piece of beef that was sold as viande pour pot au feu, à mijoter — meat for a pot roast, to be stewed (simmered). I don't know what cut of beef it is, but we are hoping it will be good. It has now cooked with the vegetables overnight in the slow-cooker. That will be lunch today. We'll eat some of the meat with the little pickled gherkins called cornichons in France, and with some moutarde de Dijon, and of course some vegetables, maybe with melted butter.