A Gastronomic Day

It began with Francine getting excited about being able to do laundry. There is a washing machine on site but it requires le guardien also to be on site to kick it off; yesterday he wasn’t. Today was also sunny so Francine’s laundry would dry well.

While the machine was on its 1-hour cycle, we went on a swift bike trip to look at a former orchid field just outside the Parc Ornithologique, a bird park featuring the birds of the Marais Poitevin. We’d seen the orchids one year, then taken someone else to see them but in the intervening 24 hours the field had been faucharged [mowed]. Sad. When we got there today, it had suffered the save fate. Sometimes the French pay attention to their orchids and protect them, sometimes they don’t.

20240611_114226While we were sitting waiting for lunchtime, the laundry safely on the line, our French voisin [neighbour], who seems to have no English but enjoys talking to all and sundry, asked if we liked oysters. Bien sûr. He asked for a plate and proceeded to load it up with 10 large oysters, apparently from La Rochelle. Who says the French aren’t friendly?

20240611_115436Now I’d got an opening conundrum. I pressed the foil cutter of a corkscrew into service and that worked quite well. We were soon tucking in to an unexpected seafood feast. Our neighbour seemed to like his with vinegar. Had we had a lemon we may have had a squeeze of lemon juice but really, we just like the taste of the sea.

20240611_192528After another afternoon bike ride we had to decide what to do for dinner with pairs of chicken legs and wings. We’d got a remaining half portion of paella rice so needed some more, if paella was to be the answer (as it often is). The little local shop had risotto rice but no paella rice. Still, they’re both short grained rice so how bad could a mixture be? For a vegetable we used the seasonal white asparagus that everyone loves so much over here. In a nod to its mixed heritage, we christened the new gastronomic feast risella and very good it was, too.

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Posted in 2024 Summer