Full moon sorcery

The place behind the church in Neffiès was transformed from its everyday use as a playground and pétanque ground, and from the night before too, when it had been the scene of a fantastic lively concert by Occitan musicians Du Bartas. Last night it was filled with small low tables surrounded by cushions and long tables covered with pretty cloths, laid with wine glasses glinting in the light, netting floated from the trees and candelabras hung from the branches.

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A group of eight or nine women, all dressed in white, had prepared a supper for eighty people to follow a tasting of local wines. Las Mascas – female sorcerers in Occitan – had conjured all this from the space and the food made entirely from local ingredients. And in between cooking and serving they toured the tables singing Occitan songs too. It was a memorable evening.

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And the food? A delicious and inventive four-course supper:

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A tortilla-like concoction of egg and nettle leaves, tapenade made with olives from the village, and salad made from locally grown chick peas with tomatoes, onions and wild herbs from the garrigue.

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Mutton sausage with vegetables and aioli made with wild garlic.

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Goats’ cheese from a farm near the village, served on a vine leaf and with rosemary syrup.

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And chocolate gateau decorated with a mallow flower, just before midnight as the full moon rose above the plane trees.

9 thoughts on “Full moon sorcery

  1. What an event! I couldn’t have wished for anything more suitable and satisfying for you and LoJ. You are definitely in the right place, at the right time, with the right connections. It’s rare and wonderful for all the elements to come together as they have for you.

  2. Wonderful and what colors! I love nettles – tricky to “harvest” but I’ve cooked them like any other greens and they’re awfully good! Wish they grew here… only because I love “edible weeds”! Mmm… I *do* have mallow in my yard but I don’t know if the flowers are edible. I shall research it!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful evening. Seeing the tables set and the cushions surrounding them, I bet you knew you were in for a special evening the moment you saw the space. Judging by the dinner you shared, you would have been right.

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