Finally a photo of all three of us from our grape stomping day at Grove Winery! Do you think we were having fun? Just a little bit... Maybe next fall we could rent ourselves out at the NC vineyards for their harvest festivals?
I have always loved dressing up in costumes. I am now working on Halloween. At school, a lot of the teachers dress up, as well as the kids. Mine is going to be incroyable. I got the idea last Halloween while in Arles. The French have attempted Halloween, but it just isn't French. Chef Érick did stop at a little vegetable market last fall and buy a pumpkin for me to carve with his sons, Leo and Jonas. Leo wasn't really into it, but Jonas came up with his own design, we carved it and then we proudly displayed it in the B&B window with a candle burning inside. One dad and his little boy came by all dressed up. Leo did help Jonas eat the leftover candy I had bought at Monoprix!
Eating and writing adventures continue here in Durham. I had dinner at Pop's with friends last week. Here are my mussels...
They were vraiment délicieuses. Brought back very nice memories of buying them at the Arles market and having them for lunch or dinner. I think I probably ate my weight in them while there for 6 months.
I am researching my next column for the Herald-Sun. I got up really early to drive out to Elodie Farms in Rougemont a couple of mornings ago to watch the goats being milked. More research this weekend! Yum! I love the homework for my writing assignments.
Last night, Dorette invited me to dinner at her house. She prepared Chef Érick's Fricôt des Barques, a meat dish that is divine. Just walking into her house tickled my nose! The savory aroma a mis de l'eau dans ma bouche (made my mouth water-- I just learned this expression!). She used boneless ribs to make it and the meat just fell apart it was so tender. She also made socca, a chickpea crêpe that is a speciality of Nice. We filled them with caramelized onions and the shoots from sweet peas (I didn't know they were even edible... my education continues!). Ben, Noah and Darryl from Fickle Creek Farm were there, too, as well as Dorette's husband Rich. I took a bottle of Vieux Clocher red wine as my contribution. This wine comes from the Ventoux region of France (the famous mountain that is climbed each year during the Tour de France-- it was covered in snow the last time I saw it in December 2008). It is a steal and available at Wine Authorities. The wine, not the mountain! We also had Tarte Tatin for dessert. I did not take a photo-- I lost all constraint and ate it along with a lovely little glass of Sauternes.
Fricôt des barques
Bon, mes amis. À bientôt!
Socca de Nice
300 grams or 1 1/4 cup chickpea flour
500 ml or 2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 300 F.Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. Mix thoroughly to remove any lumps. The batter should be slightly more runny than typical crêpe batter.
Lightly oil your pan. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.
Slide the pan into the pre-heated oven and cook until the top browns nicely, possibly even going black where the bubbles rise.
Remove, slice if you wish, and serve hot, peppering to taste.
I have also cooked them in my crêpe pan on top of the stove, too. Just oil the pan and cook them until browned, flipping over once. Keep them warm until you are ready to serve them.
(We ate them like crêpes, placing the filling in the middle and rolling them up!)