As it happened, on the first really hot day of the year, with temperatures over 30 C, I departed a little from the Mediterranean and went further north for my inspiration for cooking mussels, adding cream which would never be used by people making local food in the Languedoc. I just fancied a bit of a change. We bought a kilo of larger mussels, sold for stuffing, which meant we had 28 mussels, cooked in the usual way in a glass of white wine until all the shells had opened. I discarded the half of the shell without the mussel in it and put a teaspoon of crème fraîche into which I had added some chopped garlic, chopped oregano and ground pepper into each shell. I sprinkled some fresh breadcrumbs and some grated Cantal cheese (any hard cheese would work well) over them all and put them under the grill for five minutes or so until the cheese had browned. Then they were ready to eat. These 28 made a good lunch for two of us, with bread and salads, and they would make a first course for four, or they could be served as part of a selection of tapas.