I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
9/2 - This book is more of a travel guide with recipes than your average recipe book. The writers take you from region to region, throughout France, detailing the local food fairs and markets and giving you a few recipes from each area.
The first chapter looks at Southern France, focusing first on the tiny town of Bessieres-sur-Tarn where they make the world's largest omelette with 2000 eggs in a cast-iron pan three metres wide that had to be specially commissioned from the local blacksmith. What started as a normal omelette for a few local townspeople to celebrate the end of Lent, has now metamorphosed into an annual attraction that draws 1000s of tourists every year. Considering the size of their 'tiny' towns I imagine the tourists literally overflow the town (I don't think I'd want to be a local at that time of the year, I'd be tempted to take a week-long holiday in order to avoid the chaos). To be continued...
I have to share the updated Giant Easter Omelette recipe, it's amazing and hilarious. The one with 2000 eggs is a few years old and the festival has grown in the years since, so here it is.
Omelette Geante Pascale
(Giant Easter Omelette)
1 good-sized dead tree cut into logs 1 m (39 in) long
1 cast-iron frying pan, 4 m (13 ft) wide, fitted with a wooden telegraph-pole for a handle
24 canoe paddles and as many strong men
1 strimmer (weed whacker/weed eater/whipper snipper/line trimmer, depending on where you live)
5 litres (8 3/4 pints) sunflower oil
1 kg (2 lb) each salt and black pepper
Light the bonfire an hour ahead of time, less if it is a windy day. Load the pan on to the truck, drive it to the fire and position on top. Beat the eggs in the usual way, using the strimmer. Pour the oil into the pan when it is really hot and your 24 helpers are ready with their paddles. Tip in the eggs, season, and cook the omelette, stirring with the paddles when the eggs begin to set. Serve as best you can.
I love that list of utensils, so I just had to share it with you guys. To be continued...
27/9 - I last looked at this book back in February and it's been sitting on my currently reading shelf ever since, silently judging me for not finishing it. It's not like it's a long book or anything, I just find books I own (and therefore have no library due date to act as a deadline) take longer to read (and longer to get around to, to start with) than books I know I may only have three weeks with. So, that's my excuse for why it's taken me nearly eight months to read a book that's only 192 pages long.
This book has some interesting recipes, but it's more about the stories behind the different food producing regions of France than it is the recipes. The recipes almost seem to be in the book as a highlight to their accompanying region. There aren't even that many recipes, usually in a recipe book of this length you'd see between 150 and 200 recipes. For each chapter/region there are two recipes, indicative of what the chapter is discussing, what the region is known for producing food wise.
Some of the standout recipes (in terms of interest, I haven't actually cooked any of them) were:
Lapin aux Herbes (Rabbit Stuffed with Fresh Herbs); Fricot des Barques (Boatmen's Beef), which is a dish that was greatly enjoyed in local taverns by nineteenth century bargees working on the Rhone, after perhaps a return trip from Avignon to Lyon, which could take up to three weeks each way; Daube de Mouton Issaly (Rich Lamb Casserole), which needs to be started a day and a half before serving; Fleurs de Courgette Farcies (Stuffed Courgette Flowers); Croustillant de Chevre (Hot Crusted Goat's Cheese); Foie Gras Entier Mi-cuit (Terrine of Foie Gras); Truffles en Chausson (Truffles in Pastry).
I would recommend this to readers looking to learn about the regions of France more than readers who want a book with French recipes.