We have finally reached a stage in the renovation of our farmhouse that we could move in. We have temporarily lived in the barn for almost 7 years. So it is understandable that this was, and still is, a big occasion. The work is still plentiful, but it is absolutely wonderful being in our house! It floods with natural light and I fall asleep at night with the stars in my eyes.
A sunny spring salad is just the thing to initiate this story of ours from the move from Tours, to our life in the barn to finally our chapter which begins now in our house.
A spring salad of which I don’t have to give a recipe for. Just choose from the magnitude of spring vegetables available and assemble in individual plates with a nice vinaigrette.In my salad:
- Place a handful of young salad leaves in individual plates.
- Blanche some asparagus until JUST tender but still with bite.(drop in boiling water for about 3 minutes, remove and stop the cooking by placing the asparagus in cold water).
- Wash and clean baby carrots, chop the spring onions, boil 5 quail eggs per person for 2 minutes, remove from heat and leave in boiling water for another minute. Place immediately in cold water. Remove the shells and add to the salad.
- Cut stale bread in small cubes, sprinkle with olive oil and chopped herbs and oven roast until golden.
- Make an anchoide (recipe here) and add spoonfuls to the salad.
- Assemble the salad and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel and milled pepper.
- Serve with chunks of rustic country bread.
In Tours we lived right on the banks of the Loire with lovely views from our house onto the river. I loved the river and I loved our house.
The house was old and in constant need of attention and repair. If it wasn’t a leaking roof, it was a leaking pipe. We repaired the fireplaces; just to start working on the wooden floors. We tore off meters of wallpaper an then discovered moisture in the walls. It continued non-stop. But nonetheless, the memories are only good ones.
I remember: Our cats, my first chickens, the swallows that came back to the caves every year, the history of the house that we dug up in the caves.
I remember: The many cooking workshops that finally led to starting Myfrenchkitchen.
La Loire was the first thing we saw when we opened up our shutters every morning and the last thing we saw when closing up our shutters for the night.The river followed the cycle of the moons and we followed the cycles of the river.
I remember: We walked along the river with a morning coffee in hand, cycled the small footpaths and pique-niqued with champagne..We threw skipping stones on the surface and canoed downstream. We watched the birds leave for winter and come back in spring to nest on the islands. I sketched and painted by the river more than I can count.
Sometimes our plans and goals change completely and sometimes those changes turn out to be far better than our original plans. One day we decided to get a tiny cabin in the mountains. We ended up in the green hills of Correze, la vallée de la Dordogne, on the border of Quercy. We ended up with land and animals and woods. We ended up with an 1860’s stone house which needed impressive renovation. A dramatic change from our original little cabin in the mountains.
But once again… I love our hills. I love our house. And so the story began, from Touraine to Corréze.
To be continued…
à la prochaine