Saturday, August 29, 2015

Eating Around the World - France

A few times a year, we take a trip out to our favorite orchard in the next county over. We bring home strawberries, apples, or peaches depending on the season. This week they had Contender peaches, which are by far our favorite variety ever, so on Thursday we made the trip over. And since we were learning about France in school this week, we had a French style picnic on the way home.

We bought a bushel of peach seconds - half smalls for canning as as halves, half blemished for jam and immediate use. Friday morning I put up 14 pints of peach jam, and I've only made a small dent in the peach supply. The enormity of the task is making me a little bit stressed, but it's also making our kitchen smell amazing.

We stopped in a big beautiful city park in a town halfway home, our usual picnic spot when coming back from the orchard. For our French picnic, we had the requisite baguettes, along with cheese, an orchard-fresh apple, green bean and potato salad, and (one of my favorite harvest treats) tomato tart.

My big girls, making their characteristic faces.

Mmm. Tomato tart. Basically, it's a standard butter pie crust, filled with a couple caramelized onions cooked with rosemary, thyme, and garlic, then 2 oz of chevre (from Aldi), and lots of thin-sliced garden tomatoes and basil ribbons. It's so good, even my tomato-ambivalent husband likes it.

...Although he might not want to admit it.

Goofy faces abound when you start taking pictures during dinner. 
Also, Laurel looks a little bit like me...

On Friday we had our "official" French dinner, with coq au vin, mashed potatoes with parsley, garlic, and sage, a salad, and of course more bread and cheese. I didn't have any burgundy for the coq au vin, so I used Winking Owl shiraz, my favorite red cooking wine. I'm sure the substitution would have made any real Frenchman exclaim "sacre bleu!", but it tasted good to me. The only unfortunate side effect is that it's a really purple wine, so our chicken turned kind of an odd purplish color which wasn't particularly appealing.

We didn't serve the dinner in courses or linger over it for three hours, but we did give it three cheers for deliciousness. In the words of Annie, "Yummy yummy yummy!"


  1. Try peach butter for using up peaches. Pfeiffers did some last year and it was amazing :)

  2. Or peel, slice, and freeze with sugar and fruit fresh for pie filling. Thaw, cook with corn starch, fill pie :)

  3. These are great ideas, thanks!