Dear French Market Shoppers,
Valentine’s Day is next Friday the 14th and I hear that there are lots of romantic evenings being planned. In France Valentine’s Day is called Le Saint Valentin and is celebrated in the same way as the rest of the globe. Paris has long been perceived as the most romantic capital in the world where lovers walk hand in hand along the Seine whispering “Je t’aime”. However if you just cannot get away next weekend to Paris then you can create a romantic French evening for your beloved here in Cape Town. You can start by writing them a Valentine’s card and use a French phrase telling them how much you love them and giving them some beautiful roses.
Candlelight dinners have to be the most romantic setting for a Valentine’s evening. You can plan a romantic evening at home by creating a beautiful but simple setting either indoors or outdoors: decorate a table with flowers, set out your best china and glasses and of course some candles. Your dinner does not need to be complicated. Here is an idea for a menu which is easy to prepare: Start with a slice of French terrine served with baguette or small toasts, followed by some confit de canard (cooked French duck from my shop) and sauté potatoes. The confit just needs to be heated up and the sauté potatoes just need peeling, slicing and frying in a pan. Follow this by a light green salad dressed with walnut or Hazelnut oil. Then a small platter of some tasty French cheeses and baguette. Finish with a cake from Cassis de Paris or a box of chocolates. All to be accompanied by a bottle of bubbly or some good wine. This is much less stressful than fighting for places in busy restaurants and you can peacefully talk together and enjoy each others company.
I am delighted that I will have about 150kgs of cheese arriving tomorrow in time for your Valentine’s dinners, it was delayed 24 hours due to the flights but it should be in the shop by midday today. I will have my gold medal Brie de Meaux , Camembert maxi bocage from Normandie, Cantal entre deux, Tomme de Savoie, Petits Suisse,Mont D’Or vacherin, Morbier and Roquefort to mention just a few.
I expect to get in some more Coeur de Neufchatel (Cheese hearts) which make a wonderful Valentine’s gift, please let me know if you wish to reserve one. I might even receive some Fromage Frais but this has not been confirmed yet.
I always seem to end up with bits and pieces of cheese left over from a meal; I never throw them out as I can use them in a recipe. This weekend I needed to make something for a picnic so I decided to make some savoury muffins. I checked out my food stock to see what I could use. I found some well smoked “lardons” bacon pieces, an onion, some really old, hard Tomme de Savoie and some Fromage frais in the fridge. I reckoned that if I added some Herbes de Provence, this was going to make some tasty muffins. I was delighted by the result, the aroma of the Herbes floated out of the cooked muffins and we enjoyed them while we sipped some bubbles and listened to the Opera in the Garden at Springfield. I froze a few and had them a few days later, heated up with a slice of butter, they were equally delicious. I will try to load the recipe on the site – I am still learning how to do this.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and look forward to seeing you at La Crémerie French market shop again soon.