I live in an unspoiled corner of France. Along with my family, horses and chickens, art and shows, we're restoring an 18th century farmhouse, we commute to Paris, enjoy an everyday café et croissant, paint, photograph, cook and write...life is never dull.
The courgettes are overflowing in the potager and we eat it every way we can, this time around as a courgette tart. I love salty tarts and this tart is right up my alley. I always have puff pastry in my freezer, so while the puff pastry defrosts, I make the preparation and the tart is assembled as soon as the courgettes have cooled down. It is really a no-fuss tart and it can be adapted to suit every taste. I hope you like it enough to try it.
Pinch of salt:
Add goats cheese instead of feta cheese.
Add slices of tomato to your preparation.
Oven roast the courgettes for a different taste.
Add pine nuts to your preparation.
The tart can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Reheat at 200 degr C for 10 minutes.
The tart can be frozen for later use.
Our potager is my husband’s kingdom. A potager is a lot of work and maintenance, so every morning he is out there, cleaning, planting, weeding or just paying attention. We have had some good rains lately, so the potager is green and lush and looking good, which means the weeds are looking good too. The following photos tell the story of life in a potager.
There are few things as enjoyable as dunking a rusk in that early morning cup of coffee. It being a very South African tradition, no home in SA is without a cookie tin of rusks. It requires no yeast or kneading and is quick to assemble and can easily be adapted to your own taste. This recipe is from a book by Myrna Robbins called, Bushveld banquets, a feast of Lowveld flavours.
I have about five varieties of different lavender in my garden. My favorite one is the lavandin Grosso with nice dark flowers and which grows about 70 cm tall. Behind the pool I have a large patch of the large lavendula Angustifolia, la vraie lavande, which adds a whiff of lavender all around the pool and lawn…it says Provence! How I love lavender!
These old fashioned cookies are from my childhood. My mom believed they were healthy so we ate them throughout the year. They are simple to make and delicious to eat. Everybody loves them.
Oats and coconut cookies
1 c butter
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp milk
1 c flour
4 c oats
3 c dessicated coconut
11/2 c sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a baking tin, 30x35cm with butter and and line with brown paper.
Mix the flour, oats, coconut, sugar and salt.
Melt the butter and sugar . Add the milk and bicarbote of soda.
Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Press the mixture into the greased baking tin and bake for about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cut into squares while warm and leave to cool beofre removing the squares from the baking tin.
Christmas in our house starts on 1 December. We play some christmas music while decorating the tree and finish off with a nice dinner en famille.
This is a very easy, very delicious, seasonal dessert.
280 g ground almonds
220 g sugar
200 g soft butter
100 g all purpose flour
2 tsp orange flower water
2 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 160degr C.
Grease a pan of 35x24cm.
Zest the one orange and lemon . Bueat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the zest.
Add the eggs one by one alternating with the ground almonds.
Add the flour.
Pour the preparation into the greased pan and even out the top.
Bake at 160 degr C for 30 minute or until a skewer comes out clean when piercing the cake.
Prepare the syrup: Mix the juice of the two oranges, the lemon and two tsp of orange flower water and 2 tsp of honey unntil the sugar has completely dissolved. Baste the cake with the syrup until all the syrup is absorbed by the cake.
Zest the an orange and sprinkle over the cake.
Serve with some whipped cream on the side.
How time has flown by. We are at the end of 2019 with a few weeks left before we start the new year. My garden also realizes that we are in December.
A few chicks made their appearance late in the season and now they have to grow fast to outrun the cold coming.
Some garden lantens not yet packed away, a broken pot with water and a forgotten garden bistro chair.
An ever so proud rooster on the garden table.
Seedlings to be covered soon, a wire basket to be filled with butternut from the potager and a garden lamp.
In the potager, late tomatoes , butternuts and rhubarb await action.
The geese are ever present in every corner of the garden.
And the horses are amused by what’s happening around them.