Tuesday, 17 November 2015

See Food? Sea Food? Got to eat it!

Bonjour mes amis!
Ça va bien?
Il pleut chats et chien ici!

Nonetheless, we had an adventure this morning.
We went to an oyster farm, to buy some oysters,
because this evening we are having a seafood fiesta
with Elisabeth and Alain.

When I think of oysters, I think ‘rich man’s food’, don’t you?
You know, that échelon of society which has probably never savoured spam and salad-cream sandwiches,
or pie and liquor.
I mean, the man who queues up at the Kebambulance on a Friday night after a skinful at Wetherspoons is hardly going to ask for a bucket of oysters, is he?!

Anyway, I digress.
When you see where and how oysters are farmed,
it throws a whole new light on the subject.

If you ever think that you have got a rough job, just say to yourself,
“it could be worse - I could be cleaning oysters”

The next person at Clarity to moan about us not having a canteen at work is going to be sent to this place for a month.
On a sabbatical. 


Can we have some fresh oysters, please?
Certainly, Sir. Hang on, I’ll just go and pull them out of the sea.


But what a view!


Not that you’d look up often when you’re working 
with a knife like this!


That boat is out checking the baskets of oysters which are immersed.
And I can tell you, it was pretty bleak and windy out there today.


Baskets?
Well, these are oyster nets/baskets.


Not exactly what I expected.
Certainly not what I remember being served in a posh restaurant! 


Although when you look more closely...


Then our Alain showed us how to prepare 
oysters, langoustines and crab.


I was allowed to lay them out on the platter!
Bit different to the piddly prawn cocktail starters we treat ourselves to in good old Blighty on a special occasion!


Here we see Alain teaching Dave to open an oyster 
without stabbing yourself in the hand.


1 down, 23 to go...
Keep going!!
You know what they say about oysters being an aphrodisiac Dave...
this could be your lucky night,
so let’s not end up in A&E!!!

man on a mission....
Meanwhile, Elisabeth showed me how to make fresh Chestnut Paté.
Have always wondered what to do with marrons. 
Now I know. 

These good people have certainly opened our eyes today.
Never eaten a feast like it. 


I think what impressed me most,
apart from incredible hospitality and generosity, 
was the celebration of the meal.
It has really made me see how rushed, unadventurous and functional we are at home when it comes to food.
Mostly miss breakfast altogether, and lunch for that matter.
By 6pm I’m so hungry,
 I wolf down my food without even tasting it. 
Eat too much too fast too late;
something else I would like to do differently.

So there we are.
A culinary pleasure and a privilege.
And oh! What a lesson in joie de vivre!


See you tomorrow.

love and hugs,

42 comments:

  1. Have never tried oysters, just don't fancy the look of them. In fact not very adventurous with seafood which is a shame as I'm not that far from the coast. Have just finished watching the Great Pottery Throwdown, bit like bake off but with pots! I love watching. Pottery is one of the things I would love to try. Maybe one day I will do a course. Raining cats and dogs here too! Best to stay in the warm. Xx

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  2. Evening Brenda, Diane, Sheila, Pam and Dot. Hope you have all avoided the horrid weather today. Xx

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    1. Evening Donna I've have crafted today have you manage to craft did you try your distress inks on your parchment? Xxx

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    2. Hi Donna hi Sheila wet and windy for a bit thus morning then then sun came out this afternoon! What a day! I've had a lovely Groovi afternoon, tried a bookmark for a bit of fun, made a mistake at the end with my boxes but I was pleased with the rest of it. Hope you are both ok and are managing to keep safe and dry. Xxxxx

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    3. I coloured in my bookmark with the distress markers. I like the smoother finish they give, pencil can be a bit hard to blend. Haven't tried baby oil with the pencil as I know this can help with blending but not sure about doing it on parchment. Very windy and wet outside at the moment. Hoping it blows away soon. Xx

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    4. Ah, that's what I bought the baby oil for, thanks Donna. Yes it does work on parchment apparently, but just use the tiniest amount. I've seen people fold a piece of kitchen roll over and over to make a point, then touch the point onto a piece of sponge with a little baby oil soaked into it and use the tip to blend on the parchment. good for colouring with oil pastels on parchment too. I inherited a wee set of them but like everything else still unused in their box! xx

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    5. Aha, a secret baby oil expert in our midst! Xx

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    6. Hi Donna, Sheila, Diane, Brenda and Dot, hope you are well and have had a good day. We've had it stormy today, the wind has really got going this evening. Glad you've all been managing to craft. I found the Spectrum Noir Blending solution brilliant for blending on card and parchment. Also the packs of pointy things for blending and the sharpener for them are on the Clarity website. The Distress markers do a good job though less of a fiddle. Haven't tried the baby oil, but sounds like it could work. Hope you all get some sunshine tomorrow. Take care and hugs to you all.xx

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    7. Hi Pam, I enjoy using pencils so will have to have a look at the blending solution. The wind is so loud here at the moment. Hope it dies down soon. Xx

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    8. Thanks Emma :-). I just need to be getting myself doing all these crafts, any crafts, then maybe I'll be able to use all this knowledge I've soaked up!!! xx

      Pam, they're paper stumps. You can make your own from copy paper apparently. Not tried it yet though. The baby oil is a good alternative for anyone needing /wanting to avoid the VOCs in blending solutions. I have to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for MSDS for everything and then searching for safe alternatives as unfortunately I'm very sensitive to VOCs, even the paint you put on your walls! I think we're getting your storm tomorrow :-( xx

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  3. Oooo that looked a fantastic banquet. The weather here is pretty wild as well. Glad you relaxing and enjoying your break :-) xx

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  4. Stunning feast So pleased your enjoying your time away I haven't eaten meat for 27 years but I love my fish xxx

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    1. Evening Brenda Diane Dorothy pam hugs to all xxx

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  5. Hello Barbara

    Looks like a lovely day/evening was had by all. A coupke of centuries or so ago oysters were the food of the poor people! A big change there then.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  6. Hello Barbara

    Looks like a lovely day/evening was had by all. A coupke of centuries or so ago oysters were the food of the poor people! A big change there then.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  7. A marvellous-looking repast! Bet it tasted even better. First shucked (correct term, honestly) oysters on honeymoon in Jersey and have loved them ever since. LOL!! Just back from a little visit to Den Haag -it 'pleuted' there too - but enjoyed beautiful fresh food. Beats me why it's so hard to find here! Xx

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  8. Hi Barb,
    Wow that looks like a real feast! Those langoustines look beautiful. I like seafood, but I have to be really careful. It was in Brittany where I developed an allergy to mussels.i had eaten them loads of times over three weeks without a problem and then on our last night I had them and they must have been off or something because I was so ill - Dave had to take me to the doctors! Now if I eat one mussel or even a little of the juice they've been cooked in I am so violently sick, Mind you I do love fresh cockles. Anyway, it looks as though you had a fabulous evening with your wonderful friends and you never know what the night will bring - nudge,nudge, wink, wink!! Love Alison xxx

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  9. Hi Barbara
    You really are in a beautiful part of the world aren't you. What a feast too. Love the way you can trace the source of your food directly to the sea, that's fresh for you! Haha watch out for those oysters Dave! , good thing you are feeling better!
    Love Diane xxxx

    Hi Brenda, hi Pam, Hi Dot hope you are all ok and not being blown away with this awful weather. Take care xxxxxxx

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    1. Barbara, I hope you shared that mountain of food and weren't 'shellfish'! - sorry, couldn't resist! Xxxx

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  10. Wow you do get some experiences. I am not keen on shellfish, bit silly really because I have never
    tried them. Think it might be because my mum would never eat them so I never got to try. Hope you enjoyed your feast, especially the oysters!!!! xx

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  11. Bonsui.... hmm, och bonjour Barbara will suffice (trying to say good evening)!!!
    Je suis struggling big time, very very bad jour tomorrow!
    Il pleut chats et chiens ici too

    Looks like you've had another very pleasant day with your friends. :-) I've never even seen proper seafood for real, never mind tried it, doubt very much I'd be brave enough to! Is all that white yucky stuff inside the shell the oyster creature that you eat? I think I'd rather wait for the pearls!!! And these pink things looking at you with the wee sad eyes!!! You didn't have cook /eat anything that was alive did you? I wouldn't be able to handle that either as I feel it so badly for anything that gets killed especially if they've suffered. It's one of my Asperger's things, I've got a rare anomaly where I feel empathy way off the scale. The norm is not being able to or really struggling to feel empathy. I can't watch anything on telly where something gets killed! Also my brain can only see and feel everything as if it was happening to me, so for creatures with even the simplest nervous system, no brain /comprehension etc., I can't get that, I still feel like they suffer as much as I would if the same was happening to me. An Asperger's double whammy!

    Glad your friends and their way of life is helping you think about your own work /play balance.

    Nous l'adore tu (I hope I've not said anything inappropriate?!!!!!)
    Oh Barbara, not that I'm wishing your holiday away but are you coming home soon? This is hard work, and further dusty French archive raids are proving rather fruitless now!!!!

    Hope you have another great day tomorrow

    Love Brenda xx

    thinking about you Dot, feeling up to coming to say a wee hi to your friends yet xx

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    1. Bonjour Brenda, ca vas? Typing French is sending my auto correct crazy! That last bit was corrected to can gas? Honestly! Sometimes I know it helps but other times it is tree annoying! Xx

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    2. See, that was supposed to be TRES annoying not tree annoying! Fingers crossed tomorrow is better for you. Xx

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    3. I'm used to the autocorrect going daft everywhere, it often doesn't like me with all my wee Scots words, and occasional made up words!!! xx

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    4. My auto correct drives me mad too, takes three times as long to type anything. Wish I could speak French, never had the chance to learn it in school. Picked up a bit enough to get us by from those little books and dictionaries. Couldn't have a conversation though.xx

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  12. Ooooooh... what a feast Barbara, it looks fabulous! I must say I love seafood but have never had oysters and am not sure I could chomp one down straight out of the shell, but I suppose if you know they have literally just come out of the sea and are the freshest that they can be it is a definite plus! The one thing I am sure I could never eat is jellied eels. Alain and Elisabeth look like a really lovely couple and great hosts too. Hope the weather improves a bit for you tomorrow. x

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  13. Hi Barbara, your weather looks as bleak as ours today. We did loose the rain for a few hours this afternoon but it's blowing a gale now. Hope you get some sunshine tomorrow. That looks a great banquet, hubby would have been in his element, he loves seafood, always has mussels when in France. I'm not much of a seafood person, just stick to cod haddock and plaice. Picked up some leaves so going to have a go with the gelli plate tomorrow if they don't dry out too quickly. My stamp and stencil arrived today, love the acorn. Have fun.xxx

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  14. Looks delicious. My favourite food but I don't have it often. Enjoy they rest of your stay with your friends.
    X from Chris

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  15. Hiya Barbara. Not a fan of oysters. But like a bit of Partin. ( crab) Glad you are having fun. Hugs xxxxxx

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  16. Looks like another fab day had by all! Brilliant! xxx

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  17. How odd, Barbara, just met an oyster farmer for the first time today (he farms here in Ireland). We are going to the theatre next week so I will be able to ask him more questions about his work. I agree with you though, its a long - cold work day, standing a lot of cold water!

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  18. Wow what a feast that is. Well done Dave for remaining in one piece with that huge knife. Hmmm Oysters, never been keen on the idea of them really but do like most seafood - well other than squid and octopus but then I guess that's because I have never eaten them at a proper restaurant before - one day maybe. Glad you are both enjoying your down time with your lovely friends. Friends make the world go around don't they? And what fab friends you have too. Enjoy the rest of your break. xxxxxxxxxxx

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  19. Hi Barb, well that looks just fantastic, what a feast laid out, and never enjoyed more than when in good company. Glad you are having such a lovely time. bx

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  20. I'm not a fan of oysters but it all looks wonderful and what a fun way of doing things. It would be lovely to take time like that at least once a week to prepare a meal and eat with good friends. Those are a rare commodity these days so treasure them. x

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  21. Never had a feast like that looked brill love June Horrocks cxxxxx

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  22. Lovely post Barbara, I have only eaten Oysters cooked, done on a bed of salt, still in the shell, under a grill. Not sure if I could eat them raw. Did you?

    Making me feel hungry and its Wednesday nearly lunch time and what will I be having a peanut butter sandwich with bean chutney.

    Crafty hugs Pen x

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  23. Bon Appetit! Love that your friends even have beautiful square orange plates to enjoy your feast from, x.

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  24. Looks a lovely meal but don't know about the oysters Enjoy ,,,,,,xx

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  25. Hi Barbara
    Nice to see Dave looking so well and to here your break is going well.I must say the sea food feast looks absolutely scrumptious.

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x