Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kitchen Garden Day 2008 France

Ft Potager 01About 30 people turned up here on Sunday to celebrate Kitchen Garden day with me.

Kitchen Garden Day is a celebration of local food instigated by Kitchen Gardeners International. It takes place on the fourh Sunday in August and is celebrated all around the world.  I know that year it was celebrated in the USA, Pakistan, UK, Norway, and two states in Australia as well as here in France.Ft Potager 044

For our celebration, we organised a meal at lunchtime which was held in the garden.   Everyone who came brought some food to share, made either from produce from their garden or from something farmed locally.

On arrival, guests were served with a special KG Day cocktail which had been dreamed up by Michael, the photographer and myself.  I was looking for some connection with the earth and eventually came up with this crystal blue cocktail, which was deliciously lovely!!! but which also represented what our oceans would look like if they and the atmosphere were less polluted.  Continuing with the sea theme. we served aperitifs with farmed smoked salmon.

Ft Potager 102Here in France people tend to organise their food into distinct course and I have started to think that way myself... So although I broke the dishes down into courses, really it was just a superb buffet.  There was so much good food it's impossible to list it all and I may well have forgotten something.. but it was all very tasty and very beautifully presented.Ft Potager 011



One of the things that the Perigord region is famous for is duck.  So for our local starter we had a duck liver mousse served with some homemade multigrain and muesli bread....

Guests arrived from all directions and even the gardener turned up.

The meal continued with barbecued pork for the omnivores Ft Potager 023amongst us and a delicious mushroom  and aubergine quiche.  The quiche was made by one of our guests and the pork was reared, slaughtered and cured right here in our little community.

I was surprised at the range of ages of people attending with the seniors in their 80's happily joining in the fun Ft Potager 090 with some of those a fraction of their age.  The youngest person in attendance was minus 3 months but seemed to be enjoying the food pretty well!!!!

The meal finished off about 6pm after everyone had eaten some of the delicious range of desserts, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, rhubarb crumble, fruit tart, rhum baba, cherries in juice and of course, all home made....

Thanks to Roger Doiron of Kitchen Gardeners International setting aside this day to give people all round the world the chance to celebrate together and get just a little bit closer to the planet we live on... and to think, I almost forgot my friend Bernard, who provided the wine, Bergerac AOC Rouge 2007 from his vineyard less than ten miles down the road

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Kate said...

There is something rather special, I think, about all of us, everywhere, celebrating what is local,in different time zones but on the same day. It is a very fine idea and makes us all part of a community based firmly on the theme "think global, act local". I am glad it was a lovely day for you Ian, and done in your usual, gourmet style!

chaiselongue said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful day, Ian. I love the idea of the sea blue cocktail - maybe one day all our seas will be unpolluted like this, I hope, but in the meantime - enjoy the cocktail as well as all the delicious south-west France food!

Maggie said...

Sounds pretty good to me Ian. But I would love to hear more about your local French food and the food trends in France.
Do you mean that each course is served separately eg starter, entrée, main, salad, dessert even at a buffet?
I am really interested in learning how to use different vegetables from our global friends.
Ting from our group (who grew up in Taiwan) has introduced us to stinging nettle bread and stinging nettle steamed rice cakes as well as different ways to prepare daikon.
I think food is a great way to share cultures and gardening experiences.
Last night I prepared Indian Bharjias with coriander, fenugreek(methi) leaves, garlic, onions and spices, mostly from our garden. Delicious served with a mint, coriander yoghurt.
So once again I think about how I shall serve what I grow.

Ian said...

Hi Kate, thanks for the comment and I agree with you.. there is something wonderful about us celebrating this all over the world on the same day...As you say, it is truly "think global, act local".
Chaiselongue..I'm glad you liked the idea behind the cocktail and of course, this is south west France so the food was superb.
Maggie.. I have been to buffet suppers here where each course has been served separately and others where everything is served at one time... What I find fascinating is that if everything is served at a single table, ,the local people here will actually choose a particular dish as a starter and eat that and then return to choose another course and eat that and then return...etc. Whereas, certainly in the UK before I moved here to France, people used to just choose a bit of everything they fancied and put it all on their plate.
I'm afraid, I'm still learning about local food though and can't say too much about it yet....maybe by next KG Day...