Day 7 Wednesday, October 1, 2014
There are three words that sum up today. BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER. There is no question and other birthdays need not apply.
We started cooking right after breakfast this morning to prepare for tonight’s dinner. We made a marbled savory bread with three kinds of olives, a caramelized leek tart, a pork roast with Camembert and apples over roasted vegetables, and teurgoule. Our instructor, Sinead, is just a stitch. She’s Irish, her husband is Belgian, and their two teenage daughters, who were born in France, speak French and English with an Irish accent. She has the best stories you could ever hope to hear. We laugh so hard that it is hard to not mess up whatever we’re cooking.
We broke for lunch and our host suggested a little lunch spot http://www.leptitbourg.com/ in the nearest town of any size, Les Pieux. The special today was a cheese and endive tart, roast pork over pasta with cheese, and a praline millefeuille (one with a candle). I’m not doing any of these items justice because describing them might make you starting licking your computer screens.
After lunch we went to use the wood-burning bread oven of a friend of our teacher. His place is about fifteen minutes away down narrow roads with lots of turns. The oven is large enough to hold three whole pigs. He showed us how it works and put in our roast from this morning, the teurgoule, and we each formed a loaf of bread and placed it in the oven using his long paddle.
He baked everything, brought it up to “our place,” and joined us for dinner. On Friday evening he is having an event at his place with jazz music, a whole roasted pig, and a bunch of French people. Jim and I were invited to attend. That should be fun, but I hope we get easier driving directions or we may never make it home.
One of the unique experiences at dinner tonight was blood pudding. Cindy had two helpings and Jim had even more. While we tried it to be polite, we have to admit it was tasty if you just don’t think about it.
In between all of this fun, we also went to a specialty grocer today http://www.maisondubiscuit.fr/fr/ and stocked up on Norman (non-food) goodies.
Then we went shopping and tried to find the big bowls used to make teurgoule so that we could bring one home, but our inquiries resulted in shrugged shoulders—our limited French met its match in small-town France. Oh well, we shall live to bake another day. Tomorrow we are off to the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula.