August 6, 2020


We have now been back in France for two weeks and what a joy it is to be here.
I haven't posted about any baking for a while but that doesn't mean it hasn't been going on!
Just before we left for France I made a smoked sausage, pea, tomato and goat's cheese quiche.
It was delicious and used up bits and pieces from the fridge.  You can see the general method for this kind of quiche here.
I also made a mango and raspberry upside down cake using this method here.
I used tinned mango slices for it and they worked really well, making a change from the more traditional pineapple upside down cake with cherries.
I made it again for a lunch party we hosted chez nous which you can read about here.  I also served a raspberry trifle and a plateful of raspberry puffs which you can see here.

Also, just before we left for France I used some rhubarb from our flourishing rhubarb patch and some strawberries that needed eating up to make a rhubarb and strawberry jumblefruit pie.
It's essentially fruit sprinkled with sugar to taste and covered with a layer of pastry trimmings frozen from all the quiches that have been made!  You can see the general idea here.
However, I'm not sure how much baking will be going on in the near future.  During lockdown I have definitely acquired a "lockdown waistline" due to spending too much time in the garden during the fine weather, drowning my sorrows with rosé wine and home made cake!  (I had no idea before this that the Italians made such a delicious Pinot Grigio rosé!)
On arriving here and meeting up with friends after what seems like forever it's noticeable that several of them have spent their time much more sensibly and lost a serious amount of weight.  Five of them have lost one and a half stone each - as opposed to the half stone I have gained, which I could ill afford to gain as I had intended to spend the winter losing weight, not gaining it!  Then along came something that turned our world upside down - a simple virus.  (It's probably a very complex virus for all I know but what havoc it has wrought.)   What with the virus, Brexit, and my elderly father to worry about I went in for stress eating and drinking big style.  I can forgive myself for it in some ways but on the other hand am kicking myself for not getting to grips, knuckling down and "taking back control" of my calorie intake.
"The time has come" as the walrus said and there may be fewer baking posts for a while!


  1. I'd not one across this idea for pastry trimmings before. But I'll be using it in the future. Thanks.

    1. Angela, save your pastry trimmings!
      I open freeze them then transfer to a poly bag where they stay separated so you can scatter a handful over the fruit. It's a very satisfying and easy way of making a pie as a change from a crumble.

    2. It's an idea from a Hairy Bikers cookbook, btw.

  2. I've put on at least 5 kg and have done a good deal of just sitting around, and baking.

    1. Susan, I think that if we come out of this still sane, having not murdered our other halves or died of chocolate poisoning, then we should congratulate ourselves. Who cares about a few extra kilos?
      Well I didn't until I saw how slender some of our friends have become and realise I have now run out of excuses to do something about it.
      Some people have definitely fared better than others in lockdown.

  3. Remember when Homer Simpson was putting together a barbecue from instructions printed in French. "A grill! What the hell is a grill?"

    What the hell is quiche? In France?

    Twas a joy to be in France, just two weeks ago. The linguistic tug-of-war, the butchers where the oh-so-pricey beef was kept in a glass-fronted cabinet as if in a museum, the Leffe ("Founded in 1152, Notre-Dame de Leffe was an abbey of Premonstratensian canons" - now there's an adjective you don't use every day).

    My only misgiving: who gets to mow that huge expanse of grass beyond the edited barn?

    1. Roderick, the grass is the farmland that surrounds the house. It's usually either wheat or rape but this year the field has been left fallow. Hence the six foot high weeds and grass right up to the walls that greeted us on our arrival.
      We have yet to find out what happens in the autumn, whether he will leave them to die back or cut them down before ploughing them in.