Friday, 30 November 2012

More about olives

Olives..from harvest to table ..or body products
Are you interested in visiting this place or anymore like it???
because if you are, send me a comment as one of my aims is to facilitate English speaking group visit in Northern Europe spring combined with other things ...

I was fortunate this morning to be taken to this mill by a friend who was dropping his small olive harvest from his property in order to have them "pressed" to get his supply of "home grown olive oil"
how decadent is that !... here I was SOOO proud of having bottled last nights the contents of 3 jars full of MY marinated olives from MY own harvest !!!.... I tell you 3 JARS..and I a
was happy, but my own olive oil........i would be thrilled to bits...

the olives are pressed as a wole in a gian "blender"before travelling to these gold containers

then into a "separter" where skin,flesh and pips are separated from the oil  to end up in this blue and gold drum,,,

from which the oils flows in those metal drums or..

these plastic containers....

or in these glass bottles...

Whether you have 10 or more kilos of your own olives you can bring them to this mill and your olives are mixed & blended with more and you can collect your"blended oil" bottled up days or week later,
If your production is over 100kl. then you can have your "own exclusive oil" extracted to take home
how exclusive would that be !!....

The end products are displayed in their gorgeous "specialite" little shop...

some for the table....

some for body products...

You can go home with bags full of goodies after "degustation sur place "
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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Provence betrayal and food

Provence has betrayed me today..

I am living in Provence now because Provence CLAIMs to offer on average 300 sunny days per my calculation that is 65 days not sunny....

Since my return beginning of September, Provence has delivered most of those 65 days within 3months, and to top it all today is a total disaster day in my book !...raining and windy and NO sun in between showers....

Since I woke up I went "on strike"as a protest to the CLAIM.. I stayed in bed until noon, refused to make my bed (a real event !..) and to get dressed....


All I could think of was FOOD !..

So here is some of the food I cooked to day
Moroccan dried figs, in red wine and honey

first mix wine /honey/cinamon or nutmeg/figs in a saucepan, just bring the wine to the boil and switch off .
 let it all sit for an hour or so to allow the figs to absorb the liquid
then, on low setting cooked all ingredients together until you get a syrupy texture
you can also used the tiny dried iranian or lebanese figs - if you dont have honey you can used brown sugar and sweeten the wine to your taste
when you are ready for dessert, on an individual platePosted by Picasadisplay 5 or so figs and drizzle fresh yoghourt or cream or ice cream and enjoy it
Bon appetit....

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

last of Provence autumn colours

I love Carpentras Sunday brocante market. The last time I was there was las february, it was so cold that the tip of my feet just "froze" a feeling i had not experience since my school days in Brittany... 
Love this street display, looks like a corner of a house set up against the brocanter's van, just waiting for lunch...

the last of the Autumn colours are now sitting in a group in my kitchen, love the Sarregemines Majolica fish dishes, their colours blend in with the autumn leaves colours of Provence 
 could not resist buying those earthenware terrines and pots...
 more of Autumn with the horse chestnuts picked on the ground along the street
Autumn is about to leave us and with it so are all those gorgeous colours...until next time!.
 Any body interested in buying any of the item on display , please contact me
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Sunday, 25 November 2012

salting mackerel fillets

Went to Saint Remy Intermarche and they had just received fresh mackerel fillets...

I was in the mood  for experimenting with food again

X -clean the fillets
X -dry them with paper towels

X -lay them in order in a small dish
each layer covered with "gros sel de Guerande"

X -keep them in the fridge covered for the night and no more than 24 hours -the longer you keep them in salt obviously the saltier they are going to be, so adjust it to your taste

X -then rinse them under cold tap water
X -dry them gently
X -separately you "infused" oil (same i did for the olives) with garlic, ginger, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds and a must chillies
X -return into a dish or into clean jars -----ready to eat in a couple of days

On each layer pour some of the infused oil (with the "bits) so all the content of the fish is completely covered

 Wait a couple of days and you can then start to "deguster" this lovely salted fish on toasts with aperetif, .....

.................with fresh steam potatoes, boiled eggs and lettuce as a starter salad

I would eat it all within one to 2 weeks sterilised jars, do try, i'll say it will keep it longer but i rather do a dozen small fillets at the time and eat them sooner...i cant wait anyway !!..too impatient and too greedy..

Enjoy it, that is a winner for me !!!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

let's try "olive time"

                                                                                                                                                                                      Everyone is harvesting their olive crops, well her is my first one and only olive tree..
 they look good on the branches, had to ask what the difference is between green and black ???i was told just a matter of ripeness???? not sure that is true !..
 here is the total of my harvesting , just as well because i am going to experiment with them now
 I read all i could find on internet about preparing the olives: beat them up with a wooden tool whilst on a wooden board: no metal to touch them; tick ok
Create a brine with tonne of course salt per small amount of water : tick ok
Then I have to add my bit (uncapable of following recipes)so herbes de provence, bay leaves, chilli (got to have chilli I am an addict) fresh thyme ...
 Was supposed to drain the salted water after a week, did that but did not like the taste of the olives, still too "bitter" so have re-salted them will taste each day now...
 shame they were not ready because i have already prepared the "infused"olive oil in which the olives will stand for one month and then be ready to eat; so basically they should be ready for Christmas

What is the oil infused with ?: tonnes of garlic, good lot of fresh ginger, chillies, thyme, fennel seeds, bay leaves and pepper : everything all chopped up finely

In a bowl submerge generously the mixture with neutral oil (what is neutral oil, have no idea so i used olive oil) warm the lot (i did it in microwave one minute at the time) do not boil, just hot enough for the oil to be infused , then let it go cold and pour over the olives which before hand need to be rinsed to rid of the salt

Problem is, the oil is ready but the olives are not !.....will let you know what happen but if anyone has some better recipes for preserving olives i would like to hear about it
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Friday, 23 November 2012

Provence in Autumn

 Eygalieres for morning coffee
                                                                                                                      olives ready to be picked  
 bridge on the Durance on my way to Vinon
 the yellow hues of autumn leaves and new flowers
 Vinon sur Chinon hautes provence after the mistral
                                                                            white snow on the Alps in the distance
  a fire smoke oozing from this remote bastide
 leaves looking like flowers from a distance
leaving in Australia all those years, I have forgotten those amazing colours nature can deliver in autumn and Provence certainly delivers a good show... 
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