My French Heaven


Category: Farmers’ Market

Of Spring, flowers, color and decadent sweetness…



Pastries and flowers, bordeaux wine tours, Food and lifestyle photography

First let me apologize for the splash of color today. It is quite loud and quite out of character for My French Heaven. Spring is here and with it the sun, the birds and the primroses on my lawn. I just feel happy and couldn’t resist…



Pastries and flowers, bordeaux wine tours, Food and lifestyle photography

I also wanted to share with you the incredible work of one of my favorite pastry chefs in town. He worked in New York for many many years and settled here a few years back with his lovely family. I will introduce him to you when you come visit and we go to the market…

Pastries and flowers, bordeaux wine tours, Food and lifestyle photography

Pastries and flowers, bordeaux wine tours, Food and lifestyle photography

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Straight from the Farmers’ Market – Purée de potiron

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I went to the Farmers’ Market as I always do on Sunday (and Tuesday, and Friday and Saturday and…). I found beautiful organic Brussels sprouts and bought a slice of pumpkin… The sprouts were uneven in size and their leaves had a few spots on them. That was the guaranty of organic growth. I also know the vendor and he’d never dare selling me industrial crap.IMG_9656IMG_9643IMG_9614IMG_9635

But what I’d like to focus on today, is the pumpkin purée. It ended up being the highlight of the dish. Plus, boiling sprouts and searing veal is not either hard or very interesting.

Purée for 2:

  1. Chop an onion and a slice of pumpkin in small dices (quarter of an inch) and color them lightly in a pan with a tiny bit of canola oil
  2. Add salt, pepper and a dash (half a teaspoon maybe) of Colombo seasoning (curry powder)
  3. Add a tall glass of water and let it simmer over medium heat. When the liquid is gone, add another glass of water and let it evaporate as well. This whole process takes about 10 minutes during which you can take care of your meat.
  4. Crush the pumpkin with a fork (DO NOT USE A BLENDER PLEASE) and serve with any protein you’d like. This goes best (to my taste) with poultry and white meats such as veal or pork.

Note: I deglazed the bottom of the pan in which I had seared the veal with 3 tablespoons of Port and a small glass of veal stock. I poured this lovely gravy all over the purée and meat.

Note: I would not serve this purée with beef or any kind of fish. It is a little too sweet for that.



J’ai trouvé de beaux choux de Bruxelles et une belle tranche de potiron au marché… Les choux étaient tous de tailles différentes et leurs feuilles n’étaient pas de couleur uniforme; preuve qu’ils ne provenaient pas de la culture industrielle. 

Mais la recette que je voudrais partager aujourd’hui, c’est celle de ma purée de potiron. Elle fut en effet la star incontestable de mon plat! De plus, faire bouillir des choux et sauter du veau n’est ni compliqué, ni très intéressant.

Purée pour 2 personnes:

  1. Coupez un oignon et une tranche de potiron en petits dés (1cm de coté environ) et les colorer légèrement dans une poêle avec un petit peu d’huile de colza
  2. Salez, poivrez et ajoutez 2 ou 3 grosses pincées de Colombo 
  3. Ajoutez un grand verre d’eau et laissez mijoter à feu moyen. Lorsque le liquide est évaporé, ajoutez un second verre d’eau et laisser le s’évaporer à nouveau. Ce processus prend environ 10 minutes au cours desquelles vous pouvez prendre soin de votre viande .
  4. Ecrasez le potiron avec une fourchette (NE PAS UTILISER LE ROBOT S’IL VOUS PLAÎT) et servir avec de la volaille ou une viande blanche de votre choix. que vous souhaitez . 

Note: J’ai déglacé le fond de la poêle dans laquelle j’avais cuit le veau avec 3 cuillères à soupe de Porto et un petit verre de fond de veau. J’ai versé cette belle sauce sur la purée juste avant de servir.

Note: Je ne conseille pas de servir cette purée avec du boeuf ou du poisson . Elle est un peu trop sucrée pour cela…IMG_9551_2

Heart and Soul – Coeur et âme

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(In English below)

J’ai toujours pensé qu’un marché traditionnel représentait le coeur et l’âme d’un pays:

  • Le marché et toujours au centre du village ou de la ville. Il est au centre de la communauté.
  • Le marché se tient souvent le samedi ou le dimanche. On ne fait pas ses courses (à la course), on fait son marché. On peut prendre son temps!
  • C’est un lieu ou les gens se rencontrent, se parlent, plaisantent, partagent
  • Les vrais producteurs présents connaissent bien leurs produits et son heureux de vous les venter. Passion, conseil et service qu’on ne peut pas retrouver sous les néons d’un supermarché
  • Les produits sont locaux, de saisons et bios pour la plupart

Chers amis, allez au marché! Soutenez votre région et vos producteurs. Plus cher? Peut être, mais rapport qualité prix toujours au rendez-vous!!sbsbsfb

I always thought that traditional Farmers’ markets represented the heart and soul of a country. Weather you are in France, in India or in Vietnam:

  • The market is at the center of the village or town. It is at the center of the community.
  • The market is often held on Saturday or Sunday (in France at least). You can take your time!
  • This is a place where people of all walks of life meet, talk, joke, share…
  • TMost vendors are really passionate about their products and are always very eager and excited to talk about them. Passion, advice and service that can not be found under the neon lights of a supermarket
  • The products are local, in season, fresh and mostly organic

Dear friends, do visit and promote your local Farmers’ market! Support your farmers, fishermen, cheesemongers… 




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Mimi & Me – When two foodies become instant friends…

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She is gorgeous, generous and cooks like a modern version of Julia Child. He is handsome, funny and takes the most amazing photos.

My friend Liz Thomas, one of the best photographers I know (Elizabeth Thomas Photography) introduced me to an amazing blog called “Manger“. It so happens that its author Mimi Thorisson, her husband Oddur, their four kids and 19 dogs live right across the river from me in a charming stately home in the Medoc nested between the woods, the vineyard and the ocean.

Mimi and Oddur decided to leave their busy Paris life and settle here to enjoy true French Country Living. She cooks and writes. He takes pictures and breeds the most adorable Fox Terriers you’ve ever seen (they said they’d give me one :0) Mimi just finished shooting the first 6 episodes of her new cooking show for French Cable.

Last Friday, they did me the great honor of visiting me in Saint Emilion with their friends from Iceland (where Oddur is from), his mom (the nicest and most gracious lady I have ever met), the kids (who got to skip school) and one of the dogs.

Of course we first went to the Farmers’ Market where we bought fresh foie gras and the most amazing Brie and home made truffle butter. We then went to my baker Sylvain (remember the post I wrote on him?) and bought tons of bread. I also got all of my favorite little cakes from Lopez while their backs were turned, which made for a lovely surprise at the end of our lunch.

I had prepared a very formal table in my dining room, but we started with an aperitif outside on the terrasse and ended up having our whole meal out there. What I had expected to be a formal affair turned into a wonderful bohemian style family thing, which I thought was an absolute delight…

I knew that Mimi liked garlic, duck and foie gras. I also knew her dad was Chinese. So I decided to cook, with Mimi’s assistance, my famous duck wontons in morel and port sauce (full recipe on her blog). I had also prepared my favorite appetizer (my very own salmon tartare) which I think they liked very much.

After this really great family lunch in the garden at the town house, we headed for my Bed & Breakfast and took a nice walk up the hill to the windmills. We then drove down to Saint Emilion, had a nice cool drink on a sunny café terrasse and called it a day.

They call it love at first sight when only two people are involved. I don’t know how you call it when you fall in love with a whole family…

Please go read what Mimi posted about that day we spent shopping, cooking and laughing together. I think you’ll fall in love with her style and Oddur’s incredible art work…

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