It’s getting a bit late after another days inspirational cooking, but wanted to continue the theme of wonderment at the fantastic time we are all having at the French House Party Gourmet Experience.
I always consider, when booking these trips who else will be attending, it can be a nervous and challenging time but so far to date, I have to say its been an absolute delight.
The new friends I have made on this trip have been really lovely people from varied backgrounds, but all sharing a willingness to join in, learn, and share life experiences from all over the globe, which makes the trip so much more enjoyable.
Our host Moira, and her team of committed support staff are on hand to chauffeur, clean, teach, make tea, join in the banter and make the whole experience a really relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable break, from the challenges of daily life we are all trying to escape from.
We did do some significant cooking today, reminiscent of Rick Stein who passed through this area on the Canal du Midi, on the 130 ft 8 berth barge Rosa, whilst filming ‘Rock Stein’s French Odyssey’.
What was on the menu, how’s about Velouté of Carrots and Roasted Langoustine with Caraway, and Thigh of Guinea Fowl, de-boned (by us students), and stuffed with Mozzarella and Lime, served with Green Asparagus.
Robert Abraham, our lovely tutor for the first few days is an inspirational and patient tutor (he needs to be with us lot!), and took us steadily through the stages of making these amazing dishes.
The location of the French House Party couldn’t be better (in my humble opinion). Just up the road is Castelnaudry which was built around a castle in the 12th century, in the heart of the Pays Lauragais.
The nearby Canal du Midi was inaugurated in 1681, some 240km long an amazing constructional feat in its own right.
The 4th Foreign regiment of the French Foreign Legion has had a Garison here since 1976, and the town is the home to ‘Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary‘, the Brotherhood of Castelnaudary’s Cassoulet.
For me, one of the highlights of this short break will be a visit to Carcassonne, a medieval city and some great expectations as we visit a local restaurant.
Another busy day tomorrow so until next time…. L8ers……………..