Kate, of Hills and Plains Seedsavers, is spending a couple of days here as part of her Vegetable Vagabond world tour.
Yesterday, Saturday, we went to Villereal for the weekly market. The market has quietened down a bit from the business of the height of the season and it was nice for Kate to meet and chat to some of the traders that I regularly visit.... I just had my usual weekly fruit and vegetable shop to complete but Kate had decided to cook dinner for us on Sunday evening and happily bought mussels, ginger, limes, lemons and other bits and pieces for her chosen recipe.
Before getting back to start some serious gardening, we paid a quick visit to my friend Bernard's vineyard where Kate was able to taste our local Monbazillac wine.... Kate doesn't drink that much wine but she certainly enjoyed the sweet dessert wine and tried two or three different vintages before deciding which year to purchase.
Later, we visited another friend with a large kitchen garden and Kate spent about an hour and half chatting happily about fruit and vegetables, taking in the way we do things here in the south west of France and passing on the differences and similarities to her own gardening experience in South Australia.
Our friends Michael and Mary met Kate on Friday evening and invited us all to go along on Saturday so that they could prepare a typical Perigordine dinner for us. Kate's love of food meant that this opportunity could not be refused so we ended the day at their house enjoying a great meal.
When we arrived we spent about an hour looking around her potager and fruit trees before strolling over to the "chook" house. In their household, Mary does the gardening and Michael looks after the chooks. Before we had been their many minutes Kate was inside the fenced enclosure moving about trying to get photographs for her blog while the chickens, and in particular the large cock, rushed about trying to avoid her whilst herding his girls.
Dinner started with a cocktail and Michael produced his cocktail "menu" for Kate to choose from.... a selection of 101 cocktails!!!
After the cocktail, served with duck boudin, home grown cherry tomatoes, prunes and apricots wrapped in bacon we moved to the table for dinner.
First a thick creamy garlic soup.... Then a plate of local cold meats including sliced dried breast of duck, Foie Gras, duck saucisson and various other local delicacies.... Next a "confit de canard" served with local potatoes sautéed in duck fat.... A cheese board with 5 different cheese from the south of France was then followed by Kate's apple pie and cream, made to her own special recipe.
It was a great traditional French evening with lots of good food, lots of good wine and most importantly, lots of good conversation and humour.