January 01, 2008
I love the little celebrations of a New Year's Day best of all. I wake these foggy mornings on the Julia Hoyt to a pair of poule d'eau (moor hens) splash landing outside the galley window; the smoke from the salon stove mingling with a drift of fog; the cushioned quiet of French holiday in the country. Even the distant TGV from Paris is muffled as la Mere Garonne reminds us of her atmospheric influence as she weaves a magic spell of fog and mist far from Paris city lights.
This is 'Gloomy Gascony' at its winter best. Winter doesn't last long here. There'll be time enough in February for early spring breakthroughs, March plum blossoms and April wisteria. Summer begins with May roses heralding the growing season before June and July paper the countryside with sunflowers; The potager-garden loves August and spills a carpet of tomatoes from garden to market before September and October fatten the pantry with wine, mushrooms and other wild things. By the time that November rolls around we are all ready for a rest; chocolate earth is turned in fat lumpy furrows of clay and river silt. We tie the year with a December ribbon of good food and fêtes before we look behind and ahead at yet another New Year to come.
Best wishes for a 2008 of great pleasure and little celebrations in your kitchens, at your tables and in your hearts. Bacon and I return to the farm today for a celebration with his Chapolard family and the beginning of a year of 'Butcher, Baker and Armagnac-maker'- and all the good food from the French Kitchen table.
Posted by Kate Hill at Tuesday, January 01, 2008