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Feeling French

I have France on my mind. I miss my family, our home in France, and the quiet sunny summer days spent in our village.

As it gets closer and closer to my departure I am craving all of the tastes of France.  Rich cheese, local wine, country pate, figs picked off the tree and my dad's cooking.

This weekend felt like a bit of a tribute to Europe and all of the tastes I'm anticipating.

On Saturday morning we met freinds for brunch at Le Depanneur, a corner store meets cafe, meets event space, on the corner of College and Havelock.  It has a full brunch menu on the weekend and we enjoyed the day's tasting platter along with poached eggs, a big bed of greens and the works.  The service was slow, comfortable, and easy.  Just like Europe.  No rush.  Good conversation.  Good coffee.  I am thinking of hosting a dinner here in the fall, so if you'd be interested (maybe a French feast?) let me know.

After brunch I took off on a solo stroll through Kensington market and picked up just over 2lbs of mussels, some meat from my favourite butcher, a few specialty ingredients and a bottle of white wine on the way home.

That evening I re-created a little French bistro on our balcony with big steaming bowls of mussels in white wine and tomato sauce (see recipe here).

mussels

The next day I was obviously craving more.  I wanted my favourite French dish.  The simple, mediterranean, ratatouille.  Ratatouille originates from Nice and ecompasses all of the flavours I love from that region: olive oil, herbes, eggplant, tomato zucchini...

I made a giant batch, just as my mentor from our village taught me (Susan, more than three times my age, a stunning woman with long grey and white hair who knows every flower and every novel, moves like a young girl and cooks like a dream).

Untitled

I love this dish because it's good hot, it's good cold, it can be incorporated into any meal and it tastes like home.

After a few servings I felt a little more French, and even more ready to fly home.