Thursday, March 27, 2008

Endive & Smoked Salmon Salad

I've been messing around with endive. Here we get the Belgian kind, nice tight heads and this time of the year at really great prices. So I was thinking salad since most other salad ingredients are either poor quality, expensive or both this time of year.

Here's what I came up with; it pretty simple. inexpensive and tastes great. Or at least Linda my wife & chief critic thinks so!

For 2 generous servings:

2 heads of endive
2-3 oz of smoked salmon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon Plus the zest from the lemon
A few springs of fresh dill
A couple of tablespoons of chopped chives
Sale & pepper to taste
  1. Put the olive oil , lemon juice & zest into a bowl & mix with a fork.
  2. Cut off the root end of the endive, remove any bad outer leaves & chop the endive into about 1/2 inch rounds. Separate the rounds well & place in the bowl.
  3. Mince the smoked salmon into small pieces & add to the bowl.
  4. Chop the dill then add it and the chopped chives to the bowl.
  5. Season with salt & pepper.
  6. Mix everything very well & let rest for a few minutes.
  7. Serve on plates at room temperature & garnish with a spring of dill & a chive flower if available.
This turns out to be a nice combination of flavors.

Enjoy & let me know what you think if you try it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Out with the old!

I talked a while ago about our local elections and how they work. Well last weekend and the one before the voting took place. Nationally, Mr Sarkozy got a lesson in humility as the nation turned left. Maybe he'll pay more attention to government now and a little less to his new wife.

Anyway none of that matters in our village. We threw out the old guard decisively! In the first round 9 of the 'new' candidates got in. Only 2 of the old guard made it; one of these was the old Mayor. Last weekend 3 of the 4 remaining seats were taken by the new comers.

I'm told that the new Mayor offered the Deputy Mayorship to the outgoing Mayor. (Apparently he's very good at the paperwork.) Don't know if he's accepted or not.

Now the new council will have to make good on their 19 point political agenda. I hope so as they seem to have some good ideas.

Hopefully they will do better at it than Mr. Sarkozy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


24! No, not the TV series, but the number of people we had over the other night. This started as a simple pot luck plus some singing with the people from Linda's conversation group. As is usual with my gregarious wife these thing tend to grow. It started with 12 people who might come & ended up at 24. I've come to expect it.

The conversation group is a mix of British & French. The idea being that the French help the Brits with their French and the Brits help the French with their English. Makes for some extremely lively conversation to say the least. The other night the numbers of each nationality were roughly equal; slightly more French than Brits I think. Anyway, a good time was had by all. The conversation (and the wine) flowed freely in both languages. Once the guitar came out and the singing started there was no stopping everyone. Linda had down loaded the lyrics of a number of songs in both French & English so as to help things along. Singing "Blowin in the Wind" in French is an interesting experience as is trying "Rain drops keep falling on my head". Most people finally left about 1:30 AM. All the Gendarmes had surely gone to bed by then!

As this was a pot luck we had an interesting range of food. Linda had done the main course; one of her dynamite mussaka's which everyone loved. The English mostly brought wine. From the French we had several nice salads and a range of desserts . The champion was Bernadette (she & Pierre were late due to having to get the cows taken care of.) She jokingly said the she'd killed the pig the day before & brought him with her today. She brought; friton de tete, ham, several pates and dry sausage. This along with the charcutière that Christine had brought made a great starter. We ate well. Fortunately we have a large room so with the folding table, both leaves in our regular table and lots of plastic chairs we were able to seat everyone.

We or somebody else will do this again in addition to the regular group meeting that is held every other week in a tea room. It was great fun and did a lot for local relations.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Well, I told you so!

Yes, I did warn about false spring a couple of posts ago. And I was right. Normally I hate "I told you so's", but just occasionally its nice to have been right and to have said so.

The wonderful few weeks of great weather we've been having ended today. Max temperature was 5C (41F) and we had our first snow in a year even though it didn't stick. The picture above shows the sleet that had accumulated on our BBQ. Unfortunately you can't really see the sleet coming down in the daff's picture, but it was. The other pictures just show so0me of the blossom and other flowers coming out in the garden.

Perhaps the old adage "March comes in like a lion & out like a lamb" has some merit. Or is that adage supposed to be the other way around?

Something amazing is that two weeks ago Linda was having tea with Collette & they were talking about the fine weather. Collette said; "don't worry by March the 5th it will be cold again!" How did she know? I wonder if there is a French equivalent of The Old Farmer's Almanac?

In any case the forecast is for unsettled & relatively cold weather for the next ten days.

My next forecast is an old one: "beware the ides of March!"