Muscles and mussels


We can certainly keep only one of these patterns that have been revealed when we removed a kitchen cupboard in the house where we used to spend our holidays before we lived here all the time. It’s been let for a few years and now that it’s empty Lo Jardinièr and our son have been busy beginning a complete renovation – knocking down walls and an old chimney, removing the existing tiny shower room and preparing to build a new bathroom on the first floor. We knew the lovely old floor tiles were there underneath the more modern lino tiles because some had been left on the stairs and now we’re looking forward to restoring the whole floor. I don’t think we’ll be keeping this wallpaper, though! It’s odd to peel away the layers of modernisation in a very old house such as this and to think that some of the additions must have seemed wonderful in their day.

We’re still eating well in our own house, of course, while the renovations are going on in the other one. After a few hours’ hard work this supper of moules farcies followed by risotto was very restorative.



Mussels cooked until they open in a glass of white wine, then with breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and herbs, a little olive oil and 5 minutes under a hot grill before serving.

Lo Jardinièr is the risotto expert in our house and luckily he still had enough energy left after demolishing part of an old chimney to make this one with green pepper and onions. He sautéed half the sliced green pepper with a sliced onion in a mix of olive oil and butter then added rice, white wine, salt, and water gradually, allowing the rice to cook while it was frequently stirred until cooked. Then he stirred in grated cheese and served the risotto garnished with the rest of the sliced pepper sautéed at the last moment and sliced cured ham.



10 thoughts on “Muscles and mussels

  1. What beautiful tiles: doing work like this must almost feel like being in a diggings thousands of years old . . . . Luvverly mussels of a different shape (more triangular) than I know . . . and proof one can make an appetizing risotto with wine and water . . . 🙂 !

  2. What a treasure to find those tiles! Lovely ones at that, sometimes they are a bit strange, odd colorways etc. Those are stellar. I have original tiles in my house, but they are under a very thick concrete slab done by a former owner. Fortunately they are not the encaustic ones, just the red clay square tomettes, had they been the beautiful ones you would have found me in the living room with my jackhammer …… Risotto sounds stellar too, I will try that one.

  3. We had those floor tiles in the house that we bought when we first came here. We sold the house and the new owner ( English) covered them with very unpleasant tiles from B&Q. They’re ruined forever I would imagine. The mussels look wonderful, but no surprise as you always produce proper food.

  4. You are the Source for all good mussel preparations. Whenever your post features them, I leave salivating. Today’s post is certainly no exception. And with that technique, it’s easy to see why “Lo Jardinièr is the risotto expert.” The 2 of you prepared quite a meal. It’s 8:00 AM and I’m craving mussels and risotto. This is so not fair!

  5. Isn’t it exciting when you find or rediscover something old and beautiful behind something else and am so glad that you will be trying to retain some of the older features. Some though, I guess you’ll find (like us) are better off forgotten! Not so with your delcious musselse and risotto. A proper meal does so much to restore sanity and perk you up 🙂

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