The Weekly Shop: home from my French travels (with a very full belly)

Seafood velouté
Clam, mussel and dill velouté with basil oil and a fennel and anchovy parcel

Please allow me a moment to divert from the wonderful world of German food.  Having spent the last two and a half weeks driving all the way down to the Mediterranean coast and back again, I would just like to take a moment to say, oh France, how I love you.  My husband, the Mini Dietz and I travelled through Lorraine, Burgundy and breathtakingly beautiful Auvergne as well as all over Languedoc-Roussillon, stopping overnight in all sorts of wonderful locations, from chateaus to pig farms to converted barns as well as hotels and b&bs.  The meals we ate, the food markets we shopped at, the sunshine we sat in, the water in which we splashed: all of it was absolute heaven.

Over the course of the trip, I tasted the most incredibly cheeses, cured sausages and wines, enjoyed slow-cooked lamb, a seafood terrine and a bright yellow tumeric squid and potato stew.  My husband started each day with enormous, buttery croissants and the occasional pain au chocolat; I finished off my evening meals with crème brûlée and îles Flottantes.

The food at the wedding in Lautrec was divine: a creamy seafood velouté (pictured top) followed by a confit of duck that fell apart on my fork and a lemon tart to end all lemon tarts.  In the beautiful city of Metz, only a couple of hours from here, the little yellow mirabelle plum season is in full swing: I took full advantage of it at the end of last week, ordering pork fillet with a mirabelle and white wine sauce and bringing home to Wiesbaden a couple of mirabelle-stuffed ballotines of rabbit cook to for dinner when we got back on Saturday night.

Now we’re home, we’ll be concentrating on eating rather more simply again, but we have my sister-in-law’s wedding this Friday, my parents visiting from London the week after and another, much briefer international excursion coming up at the end of September for a family celebration, so I’m not sure we’ll manage to eat too frugally in the weeks ahead.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I thought there’d be a ton of food-related reading for me to share this week but it seems I was wrong – I can only assume that everyone’s on holiday or out in the garden with the grill on!  So here’s a few very choice pickings from the online world of food…

Food news from Germany:

Germany’s beer gardens: how it all got started
Restaurant review: Burrito Company in Munich (one to bookmark for Octoberfest!)
American man accidentally buys 10 litters of beer in Germany (I love this blog)

…and further afield:

The most common cooking mistakes (and how to fix them)
British Foods that non-Brits can’t understand
Confessions of a food photographer (including lots of great photography tips!)
Recipe for a classic peach pie

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