>Olives and olive oil

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This morning we went Christmas shopping, but in a very non-commercial way as we’re avoiding shopping centres this year, buying food and presents from local shops, markets and the internet for the sake of the environment and because we enjoy it more than the desperate rush around city shops.  So today we went to the olive oil cooperative at Clermont-l’Hérault.

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The cooperative is easy to spot because of this lovely old olive press standing outside.  More modern equipment is used now, as in the new mill in Gabian

DSC00520 .Among other things, we bought some Lucques olives, and two varieties of olive oil including a Lucque ‘huile de Noël’, a lovely fresh-tasting oil which we’ll save for Christmas.

 

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We drove back in bright sunshine past vineyards which are almost leafless now, this stone shelter built into the terrace beneath an olive grove (left, above) and a mazet (vine workers’ shelter) (right, above) with a fig tree and a chestnut tree growing next to it.

Curing our Lucque olives

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DSC00539 I pricked each olive several times with a fork, mixed them in a bowl with some chopped dried oregano, bay leaves and salt.  Then covered them all with a good layer of salt.
I’ve left them in a cool place and they should be ready to eat in about ten days’ time.

This recipe comes from Max Lambert, L’Olivier et la Préparation des Olives.  I’m hoping the olives will be ready for our Christmas day aperitifs in the garden.

Mussels with cream and pastis sauce

As it’s one of the days when the coquillage producer comes to the village from Bouzigues, we had mussels for lunch, an experiment with crème fraiche and pastis – an experiment which worked very well!  Mussels and sauce were delicious.  We opened a bottle of Muscat sec, bought last week at Saint Preignan, which was the perfect accompaniment – not too dry and a lovely flavour.

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The recipe is on the Mediterranean cuisine blog.

>Fish from the market / poissons du marché

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Today its grey, cloudy, autumnal, a day for the market and the kitchen rather than the garden. We bought fresh anchovies for lunch – a rare treat – and a bream for Lo Jardinièr. We ate the anchovies with salsa made from tomatoes, capers, basil and sweet onion.



Aujourdhui il y a des nuages gris dautomne, le temps pour aller au marché et pour cuisiner plutôt que le jardin. Nous avons acheté des anchois pour notre déjeuner – un plaisir rare – et une dorade pour Lo Jardinièr. Nous avons mangé les anchois avec une salsa de tomates, câpres, basilique et oignon doux.

And a glass of muscat sec (dry muscat) from the Domaine des Pascales in Gabian went very well with this meal.

Et un verre du muscat sec du Domaine des Pascales à Gabian a accompagné très bien ce repas.



Click here for the recipes

Cliquez ici pour les recettes









From now on I shall put the recipes on a new blog – at mediterranean-food.blogspot.com – to make it easier to find them.



À partir daujourdhui je mettrai les recettes dans un nouveau blog –

mediterranean-food.blogspot.com – pour les faire plus facile à trouver.



We sowed seeds for celery and some salad plants which Kate brought us – which we hope will make salads and soups during the autumn and winter.



Nous avons semé des graines de céleri et de salades pour les salades et les soupes de lautomn et lhiver.

And a friend has given us some chestnuts which well roast in the oven this evening. Well keep some to cook on the barbecue when the weather improves.





Et un ami nous a donné des châtaignes que nous ferons cuire au four ce soir. Nous en garderons quelques-unes pour griller sur le barbecue quand le temps fera mieux.