Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Going to the market in Léon

Shopping for food for pleasure... that is going to the local market in summer in the southwest of France... we do that alot but I seldom write about it... sounds too trivial....  after this little stop we went home with cheese, cakes, armagnac, fruit and vegetables. The strawberries were among the best I had ever had...








Most will let you try: a piece of cheese, a bit of cake, a drop of armagnac...




Beautiful to look at but not my favorites...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Midsummer and marinated salmon.... a Swedish tradition

 I had made a whole Swedish menu to celebrate midsummer, an important tradition in Sweden. It shows what  you can make of the things you buy in the IKEA food shop! Marinated salmon, potato gratin with anchovies, hareng and Kalles kaviar... accompanied by an assortiment of vodkas and beer... I had also made elk meatballs (sorry I missed to take a photo).... served with cream sauce and lingonberry jam.

The salmon needs 48 hours to be ready, but it's fast to prepare... and delicious! You start with asking in the fish shop to have the filets (keep the skin) cut out from a fresh beautiful salmon. You dry them with paper and cover with 0,5 dl salt, 0,5 dl sugar, heaps of dill and a bit of white pepper. Put the two meat sides together and cover in a plastic film or a plastic bag in a container and put in the fridge for two days. Turn two times every day. When ready, take away the spices and cut in very thin slices. Enjoy! We have it with a mustard sweet sauce and potatoes...

After two days in the fridge....


Pascal doing the slicing...


Another way to serve the salmon: grated horseradish mixed with cream cheese on Swedish flatbread to form a roll...


Lumpfish roe cream on hard boiled eggs!


And the compulsory herring!!! You serve them with boiled potatoes, chopped chives and cream. And vodka.


Tastes better than it looks though...


Twelve vodkas spiced differently..


My favorite: OP!!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Course landaise in our village


School and the municipality joined forces to organise a demonstration of course landaise for the students at the Castets primary school and their parents. Excellent initiative since this is an old tradition here and really belongs to their cultural heritage.... and not all parents bring their children to learn what it is all about. We asked if we could bring our lunch guests, a mixed Swedish-Taiwanese-American family. I hope they found it as fun as we did!!


Photo: Fred Huang


He looks very solemn....

... but that's because he has somebody jumping up and down behind him to provoce the cow to attack!

The Angel Jump Photo: Fred Huang




Clara and her class mates

Photo: Fred Huang. One of the crazy men was a father with a pregnant wife...



Other articles about Course landaise, raising cows for the course landaise or the hugely popular cow games:
Spectacular cow jumping
Ganaderia de Buros - a passion for wild cows
Toropiscine


Monday, June 20, 2011

Going to the beach again.... (Moliets)


Playing at the beach and then some mussels... a routine that the whole family enjoys and we never seem to get tired of it...










Mussels in a spicy sauce!



The place: Cave aux Moules

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Back to Saint Jean Pied de Port


We had already been here in Saint Jean Pied de Port (link here) but this was the first time with the children. They appreciated the winding roads and the small shops almost as much as we did. And then our weekend was over....

We parked the car up high by the citadel




And took a pretty steep stair down to the centre (on the way back we took an easier way)


Stripes are very Basque!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hiking in the Aldudes valley


The Aldudes valley is where Oteiza brings up his Basque pigs and makes that great ham... but it is also a very beautiful valley and the site for our family mountain hiking! I had found a family adapted 3 hour hike in the Pyrenees Magazine. We took the car up to the Eihartze pass, great because the trek was less tiring and the landscape was incredible right from the start! We followed the ridge, softly walking up and down, facing great pasture areas, following a fence, through a forest.... the pottoks, the half wild mountain hourses, and the sheep had their bells on and the soft tingling sound followed us along the trail....

Bjorn asked when we are coming back.... his father, who loves the mountain, was very happy to hear that...

We followed this fence for a good part - perfect to not get lost!



This picture is supposed to show how steep it was...






Took me a while to get it... this is a view point for the traditional pigeon hunting.....


... and behind Clara you see what is called a palombière, a pigeon hunting hut.


A pottok


This pasture landscape is amazingly beatiful... the little dots are sheep....







According to the legend is was Roland who threw this stone here... to destroy Pamplona?! And it's supposed to tremble when you step on it... I tried to make it move but to no avail...

First a stroll in Espelette....


Espelette is a Basque village known for its red chilis!!! If you miss the sign saying Espelette you know you're there when you see the red chilis hanging to dry everywhere... 
We just walked around a bit, had some lunch and bought makilas - the wooden sticks you use when you're hiking in the mountains.







Red chili in powder, jelly, mustard... you name it.


We just went inside the first restaurant we found. Always works fine in Pays Basque. Food is great always. This is avocado cream and Banka trout tartar...


Axoa, a traditional veal meal with Espelette red chili of course.

Mountain cheese and the traditional cherry jam
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