The elderflower season is up on us, a little late this year as the weather has been rubbish in France and the UK but the grand bushes/trees in our garden planted as pushed in twigs a few years ago are in their perfumed glory.
I have posted about Elderflowers before so you you want to know more about this lovely little shrub check out my post here.
The cooking window for the flowers is quite short, the trees have to be in flower! Dry, preferably in sun to encourage the aroma and picked midday or early afternoon when they are the most perfumed.
A basket of Elderflowers
I used the flowers in a variety of ways to make;
- Elderflower Cordial
- Elderflower Vinegar
- Elderflower Sorbet
- Elderflower Pannacotta
All the recipes are simple in there execution hence the rather impressive list.
So in descending order
It’s been a few years since I made Elderflower Champagne as I have preferred to make this cordial. It’s far more versatile than champagne as it can be drunk diluted to taste, added to a Gin and Tonic, used to flavour desserts or simply drizzled over ice cream. I posted a link to the recipe an old post, but here it is in all it’s glory.
- 1.5 litres water
- 1 kilo of white sugar
- 25 Elderflower heads
- Juice and zest of 4 lemons
- 55 grams citric acid – Finding citric acid can be a little problematic, traditionally stocked at chemists but many don’t stock it now. Try home brew shops (cheapest), Lakelands or other specialist cook shops.
Snip the flowers off the stalks using a pair of scissors. Bring the water to the boil and add the sugar, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Take the water off the boil and add the flowers, lemon juice, lemon zest and citric acid. Leave to steep overnight then strain through boiled or ironed muslim into sterilised bottles. Label and store in a dark place.
The muslim is boiled or ironed to sterilise the cloth, to sterilise the bottles pop into a low oven for 15 minutes of put them through a dishwasher wash cycle.
The cordial keeps very well at least a year.
Elderflower vinegar is an embarrassingly simple recipe that helps you to transform a light salad dressing into a breath of summer, something very welcome in the winter. The vinegar can also be drunk as a cordial by diluting with water and adding sugar to taste.
To make cram a wide bottomed jar with as many elderflowers as possible (snipped from there stalks with scissors), add enough white wine or cider vinegar to cover (about 750ml – 1 litre) leave to steep in a dark place for 3 weeks. Filter through muslim or a clean tea towel bottle and use as required. Keeps for ages.
Another simple recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream making machine. Truth be told it is pretty sweet a small glass is very nice but you won’t be wanting a bowl!
- 750 grams sugar
- 1 litre water
- 15 heads of Elderflower
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons.
Boil the water and add the sugar, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take the water of the boil and add the elderflowers (snipped of the stalks) the lemon juice and zest. Leave to steep over night in a non-reactive bowl or container.
The following day strain through muslim or a clean tea towel add the contents to an ice cream maker and follow the manufactures instructions, alternatively add the liquid to a freezer proof bowl freeze until crystals start to form, stir and repeat until the sorbet is set.
And finally……..Elderflower Pannacotta which is very nice indeed. TV chefs go on about this, getting the set, getting the wobble etc but truth be told Pannacotta is cream jelly. Don’t go mad on the gelatine and unlike the TV programmes give yourself more than a couple of hours between making it and eating it.
You can make this Pannacotta with your home made cordial but if available I prefer to use fresh flowers as I think the final result is more frag
Bottles of Cordial
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 3 sheets of gelatin
- 150 ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- 20 elderflowers
- 75g caster sugar
- A slug of gin
Soak the gelatin in warm water. Snip the flowers from the stalks and put into a pan with the milk and cream, bring gently to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, squeeze the water out of the softened gelatine and add to the pan with a good slug of gin, stir until the gelatine is dissolved.
Sieve the mixture through muslim or a clean tea towel into the a suitable large or individual moulds. Leave to cool then chill in a fridge until set (about 4 hours). That’s it, you can turn out the pannacotta onto a serving plate if you like, you’ll need to dip the mould into hot water or serve in glasses, teacups or whatever. It’s great served with summer fruits.
That’s it lots of ideas, the best thing about cooking with Elderflower is that it is great to do with kids, I gathered and made the pannacotta with Oscar my 6 year old nephew, we had a blast and when we finished Oscar took me to the pub for a cheeky half, Oscar had pop
Out and about in Nottingham with my two good friends Kevin and Maz. Plan A was a drift through down consuming enough IPA for me to forget about my head cold and finish off at The Navigation Nottingham’s gourmet burger bar. The beer part worked well though a bit of ducking and diving was required to cope with the wet British summer. However when arriving at The Navigation the nicest manager ever told us that we were to late to order a burger because of the 1 hour 40 minute waiting time on food orders. Setting aside our instinct thought of how long does it take to flip a burger! And we concluded that if you want to make a seriously good burger perhaps it does take longer than you think. In fact the manager was so nice we parted after sharing a beer and a chat about business and music with a request to ask for him by name when booking (which is clearly advised) so we can get the best seat etc etc..
Salgam or Turnip Water
Plan B – a few weeks earlier Kevin and I had eaten at Han Sofrasi a lovely Turkish cafe/restaurant on the unfashionable Alfreton Road. We were think of going to the Ethiopian restaurant but as we walked past we saw a queue of enthusiastic diners so we changed our plans and had a good meal in what was essentially an up-scale kebab shop. Lets give it another go? A short walk, a short taxi ride and we are in.
I’m glad we did, the restaurant had expanded into an upstairs dining room which was basic but thoughtfully put together and they were clearly doing good trade. Waitress told me that they had only been open 5 weeks and had needed to expand already, they had attracted a good cross section of customers in age and nationality, and that was certainly the case that evening.
I shared a Mezze with great flat bread a fresh salads and I had the dish of the day, I have no idea what it was called but was a baked aubergine filled with aromatically spiced lamb mince, very nice indeed.
Setting aside the excellent food I thought I write about the drinks, one a first and one a favourite.
The first is Salgam or Turnip Water. Well I’ve never drunk Turnip Water before so in the spirit of adventure I thought I’d give it ago. I should have course been alerted by the name and the gentle enquiry of the waitress who wanted to check that “I was sure”, but fools rush in
The turnip water arrived, a surprising deep red that tasted of fiery salty pickle. It could be described as refreshing, I would describe it as cleansing or even purgative, and definitely an acquired taste. I looked up Salgam to write this post and discovered that Salgam is made with the juice of pickled red carrot which is salted, spiced, flavoured with aromatic turnip then fermented in barrels with the addition of ground bulgur wheat. The resulting brew is Salgam and is commonly used as a hangover cure.Wht am I not surprised!
Moving on to safer ground we finished up with Turkish coffee, a bit of a treat as it is not something that I have the wherewithal to make at home as ideally you need a small narrow stove top coffee pot.
There’s a rich tradition for Turkish coffee across the Mediterranean and Arabic world. Turkish coffee is not a bean but a method of preparation. Coffee is pounded into a fine powder, the coffee is then added to hot water with sugar to taste. The coffee is reheated to just below boiling point, allowed to cool slightly then the process is repeated another couple of times.
The quality of the brew is in the size of the coffee foam, the thicker and deeper the better, this is achieved by pouring the coffee from a height. Other ways of helping to get a foam is to ensure you use soft fresh water either natural or filtered. You only drink two-thirds of the cup as the last third is mostly coffee grounds but the coffee is rich and unctuous in a unique way.
Well it’s been a long time coming but Coursera has finally come up with a start date for their Science of Gastronomy course that was subject to a blog posting back in November last year (you can read the original post here).
The course is scheduled to start on 10th July running for 6 weeks, the estimated weekly commitment is 3/4 hours per week. A few readers have contacted me to say they had read the original post and have signed up. If you are thinking of taking this course let me know, perhaps we can form a study group!
Well I’m off to polish some test tubes or whatever, and begin preparations for a science powered blog at the end of the summer.
Back in November I put up a blog post about MOOC’s (Massive Open On-line Courses) and a proposed Science and Gastronomy course run through the University of Hong Kong, the original post can be found here. A start date had not been announced but enrollments were open unfortunately there has been no movement on this course but another similar course has been offered through the edx site.
Registration is free and the course is scheduled to start in October 2013, it’s not clear from the publicity how long the course will run but the proposed learning objectives look very interesting.
“Topics will include: soft matter materials, such as emulsions, illustrated by aioli; elasticity, exemplified by the done-ness of a steak; and diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià.
To help you make the link between cooking and science, an “equation of the week” will capture the core scientific concept being explored. You will also have the opportunity to be an experimental scientist in your very own laboratory — your kitchen. By following along with the engaging recipe of the week, taking measurements, and making observations, you will learn to think both like a cook and a scientist. The lab is also one of the most unique components of this course — after all, in what other science course do you get to eat your lab? “
I’ve signed up as well as a couple of friends, some readers of this blog have expressed an interest in the original course from my first blog entry on this topic, I’ll contact them direct so they are aware of this opportunity. If you do sign up let me know we could form a Frugal Gourmet study group
I made reference in an earlier post to studying a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC on the Science of Gastronomy, I’m still waiting for a start date but in the interim I have just started an Algebra course not because I am an uber geek (well not completely) but because I would like to study the MOOC astronomy courses but its 35 years since I was at school so my algebra is far too weak for success. Therefore if I want to study astronomy I need to sort my algebra, time to get busy doing some preparatory study. The algebra course gives 20% of the marks are from a weekly exam or test and I planned to spend Sunday, completing the first exam. Well that was the plan.
Julie had a fund raising dinner Saturday night with her keep fit group and got back in the early hours declaring that she was returning the following day to finish clearing up and to have lunch with the other committee members and their partners, my presence was expected. Yes dear, at least I could sort my exam before and after lunch. That would work!
Sunday morning nice and leisurely, listening to the radio, listening to the sound of barking dogs, lots and lots of barking dogs! Checked it out to find that some hunters’ dogs had cornered a wild boar in our garden, confusion reigned not helped by the fact that the boar and the dogs ended up in our pond. A little while later there’s a dead boar and a bunch of apologetic but triumphant hunters. A messy end to a hunt but don’t kid yourselves the boar got a better deal than most animals reared for meat and living in the heart of a rural community such things are ever present. By the time it was all sorted it was time to go for lunch and to clean the Salle de Fêtes, never mind I’ll do my exam after lunch.
Off to the Salle de Fetes to join a group of 16 for lunch, of course lunch is the main meal of the week so it wasn’t rushed! But it was a lesson in rural French dining.
Epine or Blackthorn Aperitif with Rillettes
Garden salad and cheese
Rouserolles with crème anglais
This is all well and good, the salad was particularly good, freshly picked from one of the diner’s greenhouse and the company was warm and welcoming and coincidentally several of the dishes I have written about in this blog, just click on the links for further details. The problem was drink, I do have some self-control and steered my way through the Epine, the Rose, a youthful and a mature Cotes du Rhone with some success. My undoing was the production of a basket of bottles containing assorted homemade eau de vie and Marc’s which were up to 30 years old! Now even if you are French this is a notable event and it would have been discourteous to not sample a representative range so a little tour through eau de vie de cerise (9 years), eau de vie de poire (18 years), eau de vie cidre and eau de vie prune 30 years and finally Marc (31 years), the oldest had become a wonderful nut brown and all where smooth, soft and full flavoured. Well that was the final nail in the exam coffin. I did manage to help tidy up but I noted that the cleaning of the sale de fetes only took about 20 minutes and even then most activity was focused on washing up after the lunch we had just enjoyed!
Then home for a little lie down.
a leg of fresh wild boar
To end the day one of the hunters called by with a leg of wild boar as a recompense for the inconvenience of earlier in the day, I don’t know whether to freeze it for roasting or stewing or make it into a dried ham. The idea of a dried wild boar ham is currently favourite, what do you think?
p.s. Just in case you are worried about the exam I missed, I am allowed to complete the exam late but with a 10% penalty. The final exam is 80% of the marks, interim tests or exams are 20% of the marks, therefore 10% of interim exams or tests = 2% ÷ 10 (the number of interim tests or exams) = 0.2% penalty, I can live with that.
It’s interesting how things come around, when I was at school I always preferred going for a drink over lessons and definitely over exams.
If you happen to read about me in the about page of this blog you will know that I work in education and it follows that I have a predisposition to learning activities. My brother Andrew (who is so bright his buttons shine) pointed me towards ‘MOOC’s’ – Massive Open On-Line Courses’ and I was interested.
MOOC’s enable anyone with an internet connection to study university level course units for free. In a world were higher education costs are becoming unaffordable to many and unaffordable and inaccessible to most in the developing world, MOOC’s could be a learning revolution. If you want to learn more about MOOC’s have a look at Daphne Koller’s TED presentation here.
Why all this stuff about MOOC’s on a cooking blog? Well anyone with a passing interest in cooking knows that cooking is a form of applied chemistry and now MOOC’s gives anyone the opportunity to study – The Science of Gastronomy with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The course blurb says
This course introduces students to elements of science lying behind cooking and cuisine preparation. The ultimate goal is to help students recognize the importance of scientific principles being applied in everyday life, so that they will appreciate and be able to apply some of these principles in their future cooking practice.
Over 6 weeks the syllabus will cover;
- Gastronomy: cuisine preparation, the chemical and physical principles
- Enjoyment of Food: parameter of excellence – the basis of taste
- The Basis of Flavor: the aroma and taste-aroma interactions
- Aroma and Coloring: coloring-association and improvement of perception
- Texture of Food: the highlight of contrast
- Fruits and Vegetables: properties, nutrition and enhancement of quality in cooking
- Meat: properties, taste, aroma and texture
- Meat: ways to modify the texture, enhance the taste and smell of meat
- Meat: precision cooking – how to cook a perfect steak?
- Sauce: modification of the viscosity and flavor of sauce
- Dessert: manipulation of desired texture: gluten formation and protein denaturing
- Examples of Dessert Making: ice-cream with liquid nitrogen and ginger milk curd
The course start date has not been fixed yet but you can sign up for free here.
What’s not to like? If you read this blog and you sign up do let me know, we can meet in a virtual class room, hopefully soon.
I know my readers must be waiting with bated breath to learn how our return to O Comercial went, my other motivation for writing this post is that I like the restaurant which has new young team who are trying, and I think are well on the path of succeeding, in offering an accessible but fine dining experience in Porto, a place for celebration, indulgence and a bit of affordable luxury.
On this occasion Julie and I met the owner and Maître D and importantly his chef Samantha a young French woman who was quiet but proficient beyond her years in the Kitchen.
Once again the restaurant was not busy, the effects of a mid-week evening in February and the restrictions placed upon the team by their situation in the palace. This restaurant could be a great success, but it needs a combination of good cooking, good service (which it has) and word of mouth which must be constantly developed.
The room was still grand but with the lighting more romantic in the evening, with a soundtrack of cool jazz, which always works for me.
We don’t know Portuguese food and we wanted a treat on our last night so we opted for the Chefs tasting menu at 35 Euro’s which consisted of 7 courses that seemed well balanced and gave the chef the opportunity to show of her skills. The wine choice we left to our waiter to did not disappoint by choosing a bottle of Portal Colheita a Duoro wine from 2008 that drank like a mature Châteauneuf de Pape full flavoured with a spicy jammy finish.
To start was a little amuse-bouche of quenelles of tuna pate with good olive oil, and bread, nicely done, not remarkable but good.
Julie beating me to the Veal Carpiccio
The second course was remarkable, a Carpaccio of Veal topped with Rocket Leaves aged local Cheese and a Herb dressing, Carpaccio is always a winner for Julie, so I had to skirmish a little for my share but both of us enjoyed the fresh contrasting flavours of a dish that depends on the quality of the ingredients.
To follow was a simple Onion Soup served with a Cheese Toastie, the soup was delicate and light a contrast to the rustic winey joys of a French Onion soup, it was good but to be very good I think it needed something extra to broaden the flavour, possibly a little Star Anise or some finely chopped spring onion. Despite my ideas I would point out that the bowls went back empty!
The fourth course moved up several notches a delightful and pretty plate consisting of Black Pudding in a Pastry Case on a bed of lightly Caramelised Apples, some salad leaves and a Alheira De Caca which is a play on hunters sausage in which game is mixed with bread and spices wrapped in a thin filo pastry and topped with a fried quails egg. Yes it is as nice as it sounds, I’m a sucker for well-cooked game and I would have happily eaten, two, or three, or……..
Then a simple? Pretty palate cleanser before for the main course, a delicate glass layered with ‘drunk pears’ or pears cooked in wine, then a layer of black vodka topped with a passion fruit sorbet. The drunk pears managed to have a little bite to them a bit like a Nashi pear and the passion fruit sorbet was very smooth.
The main course was a choice between fish, Sole if I remember correctly and Pork, we went for Pork, a delicious braised piece of Black Pig served with a Wild Mushroom Risotto and Ratatouille. This is a dish that benefits from a slow kitchen because unless you have a dedicated member of staff or the time within the service to properly supervise the dish, Risotto is nearly impossible to make well in a commercial kitchen. Samantha nearly nailed it, I think the rice was slightly overcooked, but to compensate the risotto was overflowing with Cep mushrooms, the pork tasted great and the Ratatouille gave a taste of sunshine in the middle of winter.
Black Pork and Wild Mushroom Risotto Yum
Julie and I had different Desserts for the 7th and last course. Julie had a trio of Mousses – Peanut, Caramel and Chocolate. They were very elegantly presented in three pretty glasses and I managed to swipe a bit! Julie really enjoyed them though I think the Chocolate and Peanut mousses were really a crème (there’s no harm in that I like crème) and the caramel though it had a lighter texture was crying out for a point of Fleur de Sel to turn it from good to memorable.
I had a Chocolate Coulant served with a Chilli Chocolate sauce and Raspberry Sorbet, Samantha had got this one 100% correct, a delicate sponge hiding an oozing chocolate sauce completed by the Chilli sauce and the fresh sorbet, if I had more time and the money I would have had seconds!
So what’s my overall view? Well want to support such a young team in such a beautiful setting, the food and wine tried over the two days (lunch and dinner) was based on the best of Portuguese produce and culinary tradition with a French classical touch which given the nationality of the chef is no surprise. My criticism are quibbles, would I eat here again? Yes absolutely. Should you eat here? Yes absolutely. As the new chef and team settle I think it will be an interesting summer. You might be able to eat better in Porto but only in a handful of places, it will cost you twice as much and would probably involve eating in some indifferent places first.
I’m currently taking a much needed and dare I say deserved break in Porto with my lovely partner Julie, it’s a kind of joint Christmas and Birthday present to us both as Julie turns 27 (again) on Friday.
Being me this has to involve a few gastronomic delights. I am not going to give you a blow by blow account of every meal that we have eaten, I’m not quite that bad, but I will offer a couple of contrasts.
Showing a girl a good time
First up is an unnamed diner near the Bolhoa, a 1950’s paradise of Formica, plastic chairs and surprisingly acceptable food. I like to eat like and with ‘the locals’ and this was about as local as it gets, not because of a big plan but yesterday was Mardi Gras, so in Porto it was an unofficial holiday and many places were shut, we were lucky to find somewhere that wasn’t an obvious tourist trap open . Julie had a Brochette of Veal with a salad. The salad was a bit dodgy but the veal was pretty good. I had Tripes Porto a celebrated dish which gives rise to the nickname tripe eaters to people from Porto because it is so popular.
Tripes Porto is an unctuous mix of Tripe, Beans, Pig feet, sausage etc, and it was loverrrly, nursery food for grown ups!
The following day and a polar opposite, we went to visit O Comercial a restaurant housed in the Palacio da Bolsa which is a vast building that was formerly the Porto stock exchange.
Showing a girl an even better time
We arrived for lunch to find that Julie and I where the only diners, which can be a worrying sign but I knew by reputation that the restaurant was very good.
We had a lovely lunch the waiter from Mozambique was friendly, informative but not hovering as could have easily happened as the only customers. The room was lovely, in fact as part of a palace it was opulent but thankfully not stuffy ,this was helped by having a very funky soundtrack playing in the background.
We had the lunch time fixed price menu – to start a salad of crisp onions, rocket leaves, raisins and prunes with a balsamic reduction, together with some bread, oil and balsamic vinegar. A simple tasty but thoughtful dish, with texture, contrast and style.
For mains we shared the two available plats, one plat a Baccalau dish bursting with salt cod, rice, piment andwith a raw egg to add a lovely creaminess. The other plat was pig cheek, with potatoes and black pudding, galega and black pudding sauce. Both were great, both of us reluctantly swapping plats halfway through, thecCaldo verde was very tasty, it had a light kale type quality.
Dessert was an Orange cake with a wild berry sauce, (yeah I know that I suffer for my blogging but you just soldier on as best as I can) the orange cake was soaked in a reduced orange sauce and burst with sticky flavour and was complimented well by the sharpness of the berry sauce.
Add to that a glass of decent wine and a bottle of water and you have a delicious and romantic lunch for two. And how much did this opulence, fine food and drink cost……… well 15 Euros a person!
O Comercial is a reason to visit Porto all on its own, and what was our response to such a lovely lunch?
We booked for diner on our last night, they have a chef’s tasting menu we’re sure it will be memorable.
One of the pleasures of my simple life is visiting the market held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings for hundreds of years in the beautiful medieval town of Loches.
Browsing around the tempting markets stalls loaded with fresh produce, much of it produced within 50 kms of the Town.
The best day in my opinion is a Wednesday, fruit and veg on the larger stalls are at their freshest and as it is mid-week it has a slightly more functional feel, but perhaps that’s in my mind.
Below is a slideshow of images I took last weekend in the market. Is your mouth watering as much as mine?
Our close friends Sandra and Jim live a short drive from the lovely little village of Petit Pressigny notable for the beautiful river Aigronne and a Michelin starred restaurant La Promenade run by Jacky Dallais a well-known chef/restauranter in the Touraine were such skills are rightly revered. Julie and I have been in a permanent state of getting around to visiting, but cost and distant tend to conspire against us.
The girls sampling some wine
However once a year the restaurant team host a diner champêtre or open air diner for the local community and this year we decided to accompany our friends to what promised to be a culinary treat.
Diner champêtre’s tend to be held by all the villages and towns as part of the local fetes they range from quite simple affairs to potential quite gastronomic and are always good value. There’s no or very limited choice and to be honest it is not environment were vegetarians are going to thrive. As part of the fete entertainment is normally provided possibly a dance orchestra, singers or even a full cabaret complete with skimpy costumes, dodgy dancing and even dodgier singing, I won’t be giving out prizes if you guess which ones my favourite
Wine by the river
If you visit the Touraine or any other area of France which are hosting a diner champêtre you really should go. You will be made very welcome; you will have a great time, meet some locals and experience a genuine piece of French life.
The diner champêtre at Petit Pressigny is a refined affair starting with a small but popular wine festival in the mid-afternoon. The festival consists of about 10 stalls offering a range of wines to sample and buy mostly from the Touraine area, which gave our little party an opportunity, purely in the name of research to sample a range of wines from some excellent producers.
After which we had a bit of a sit down by the river.
In line for our diner
In the early evening we noticed the queue forming for diner, time to saunter over. Queuing for events like this is part of the experience, it gives you an opportunity to meet people, to chat and joke or catch up with friends. When you get served you will be served quite quickly but in the meantime enjoy another aperitif.
The service area is along line with many willing hands offering food and drink, but of course as the service was delivered by Jacky Dallias’s team the food is at a different level.
Pate Lapin avec Cornichons et Salade
Rosbif avec Purée du Pomme de Terre al à Ancienne
Café et Biscuit au Poitiers
A bottle of wine
A bottle of water
A souvenir wine glass
The pate lapin was excellent a great texture, moist and full of flavour, the richness balanced with the sharpness of the cornichon and the freshness of the salad.
Rosbif and Pomme de Terre a la Ancienne
The main course is served separately, a small team pulling beef from the oven, slice, slice on to the plate a couple of spoonful’s of pomme de terre, sauce and done.
As a Brit the French tease me about Rosbif, but the Promenade team showed how it should be done but it so rarely is. Moist succulent meat, potato puree that I think had been made with butter and cream to which had been added enough potato to hold the dish together and a sauce or gravy that had to have used alchemy to get that intensity of flavour.
The crème renversée had been pimped up! Using cream rather than milk and they had even bothered to use vanilla seeds rather than essence. Even more impressively they had properly aged the crème so that the caramel was liquid rather than thick and inadequate as is often the way when crème renversée is served.
We had a pair of strolling players singing French chanson’s, gypsy jazz or classic covers. I got Jim to sing much to the approval of the musician’s and surrounding diners. We had a perfect summers evening in convivial company with people I love, is there any way of beating that?
Well you can always go up for seconds!
Sometimes people ask me why I live in France, I don’t know really but I’m learning to cope.
And thinking frugally, how much did this evening cost; in total, 15 euros…..As I said Diner Champêtre often have good food, good times and good value make sure you go to one if you are ever get the chance.