Change of Wind

[Another rock reference but a bit twisted this time: a nod to The Scorp’s Wind of Change.]

There are actually two winds that blow from the east/southeast in the Languedoc, the Autan (in either of its two forms) and the Marin. We thought we’d been enjoying the Autan but we’ve been told it’s actually the Marin. Since both blow from the same direction I’m wondering how one tells the difference.

SardinesFood shopping being a regular occurrence, scouting around in the local supermarket my eye was taken by some absolutely perfectly sized sardines which would do very nicely over some hand-imported New Forest charcoal on our portable Weber barbecue. Sadly, our trusty little Weber is on its last legs; a modest (so far) hole has rusted through the base so I covered it with a few layers of foil before lighting up. Just in case, I also covered the ground beneath the barbie with more layers of foil and, given the dry conditions, stood by with a watering can just to be on the safe side. Nothing untoward happened and the sardines were every bit as delicious as expected.

Continuing the food theme, we’d been invited up to the farm house, along with a couple of other regulars here from Belgium, for an evening meal with Luc and Nadine. Luc was serving up one of his “surplus” lambs. Lambing takes place in late November/early December. The main product eventually being the ewes milk collected to make Roquefort cheese. This, of course, means that the poor ol’ lambs can’t have the milk. Some of the female lambs are kept to refresh the herd of ewes but the males are destined for the Christmas tables. He keeps a few lambs for personal use, some of which is what was now on his large electric griddle.

Much of southern France bans open flame barbecues in the summer but they’re usually OK here. However, I’ve now learned that only electric and gas barbecues are allowed here in this exceptional year so I’ll have to adjust my cooking choices and, therefore, my purchases. There’s really no other decent way to deal with sardines.

As well as his sheep, Luc raises two or three pigs for personal consumption. These, he shares with his family. I think the “personal” bit gets him around the normal regulation to use an abattoir for slaughtering them. He likes to try his hand producing things gastronomic and supplemented his lamb with some home made chorizo for a bit of variety, and very good it was, too.

As enjoyable though the evening was, the Wind of Change blew strongly as the evening finished on a more sombre note. News had been filtering through during the day that all was far from well at Balmoral so it came as little surprise when we learned that our much loved Queen Elizabeth II had passed away. I think the French, having lopped the heads off their royal family many years ago, find (most of) our love of the monarchy a little strange. We should remember, though, that we are not alone and that there are fully six EU countries also still with royal families: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and, of course, Holland. The Dutch are particular lovers of their royalty and we’ve been over to celebrate their “Queen’s Day”. We did sample some of their basically unpleasant orange liqueur but we drew the line at dressing in orange. So maybe we aren’t so strange after all.

The Queen is dead, long live the King.

Now, If I could only do something about our blasted National Anthem which sounds as though it were written by a 9-year old schoolboy.

Posted in 2022-09 France

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.