Cotriade, Chorizo and other Foolishness

From my "make again" list

Last Saturday I made cotriade again. I first followed this recipe by Marie-Pierre Moine in July 2011 and put it on my list of soups to make again. I went about it in a labour- and time-saving way, buying frozen pieces of cod and haddock rather than fresh fish, and using fish stock cubes. The spouse and I enjoyed the soup, but the younger offspring struggled to get through his portion. He eventually admitted he didn't really like fish, only shellfish. I can understand that.

Cherry tomatoes ready for roasting

Today I made Eric Treuille's sausage and bean soup for the second time (see 10th October 2010). The weather wasn't really suited to a spicy soup, but I went ahead anyway, only to be told by the younger offspring that he was going to his friend G-Banger's house when there was only twenty minutes' cooking time left. Grumpy face.

Well, let him go off to the cinema with his friend. All the more for the spouse and me. And it was delicious! But I will note that it's a winter soup.

Sausage and bean soup
Gooseberry fool

I recently said to the spouse that we don't see gooseberries very often these days. We once had access to that fruit in the garden of a house we lived in thirty years ago. We didn't appreciate the benefits of having fruit on your own doorstep in those days. Earlier this year the younger offspring and I were staying with one of my siblings who has access to plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. She had lots of frozen gooseberries from last year's harvest, so I made plenty of gooseberry crumble and tart for her.

When I spotted gooseberries in the supermarket yesterday, I thought, "I'll have them!" When I got home I rooted through a few of the old cookery books for a fool recipe. Good old Delia Smith! You can find her gooseberry yoghurt fool recipe here.
Gooseberry yoghurt fool

Labor omnia vincit

You may have noticed that I changed the picture on the website. The new picture was taken in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland, while I was on holiday last month. When I searched for source of the phrase labor omnia vincit, I found it was from Virgil's Georgics.

Bee reading 

Over the last few weeks I have been reading Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise. A former colleague recommended it a few years ago and when I saw it for sale at a bargain price, I couldn't resist. I had to persevere before I came to enjoy it and having read Helen Dunmore's review (at the link above) I understand why. It's modelled on Tolstoy's War and Peace. I haven't read the latter, by the way, but I did read Anna Karenina as a teenager.

There's an abundance of references to bees. I have chosen a few:
Pt 1, Ch 23 ... Monsieur Pericand-Maltete moved back in time to recall the life he had been given on this earth: ... Jeanne [his wife] thirty-five years earlier, just after their wedding, when some bees had come in through the open window and were gathering pollen from the lilies in her bridal bouquet and the garland of orange blossom thrown at the foot of the bed. Jeanne had rushed into his arms, laughing, so he could protect her ...
Pt 1, Ch 25  It was the time of year when all the roses were in bloom, so above every doorway beautiful flowers opened their petals, generously, happily, inviting the wasps and bumblebees to drink from deep inside their hearts
Pt 1, Ch 30  The heat had withered the daisies and the white carnations bordering the kitchen garden, but around the well the rose bushes were in full bloom; a scent of sugar, musk and honey wafted up from the clusters of small red roses next to the beehives.
Pt 2, Ch 9  Lucile began to embroider, but soon set down her work. The cherry blossom above her head was attracting wasps and bees; they were coming and going, darting about, diving into the centre of the flowers and drinking greedily, heads down and bodies trembling with a sort of spasmodic delight, while a great golden bumblebee, seemingly mocking these agile workers, swayed in the soft breeze as if on a hammock, barely moving and filling the air with its peaceful golden hum. 
Pt 2, Ch 12  A German officer (Bruno) says to Lucile: "Ah! Madame, this is the principal problem of our times: what is more important, the individual or society? ... We Germans believe in the communal spirit - the spirit one finds among bees, the spirit of the hive ..."
Pt 2, Ch 17  Sometimes [Lucile] even frightened and surprised herself at feeling such rebellion in her heart - against her husband, her mother-in-law, public opinion, this 'spirit of the hive' Bruno talked about. That evil grumbling swarm serving some unknown end. 
And that's it!

Until next time.



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