20 July 2010

St Benoit du Sault and Garam Masala Salmon with Zucchini

I got home Sunday night from La Creuse where I performed in 10 shows in 7 different villages in 15 days and, after sleeping 14-hours straight (I don't think I got more than five hours sleep maximum per night since I left), found that my blog had been taken over by the cats! Those crazy furry creatures!

I may have been eating badly - yuck school cafeteria food - but it was in all other aspects a wonderful experience. I acted in a French Medieval farce entitled Frère Guillebert, directed another entitled Naudet ou le Gentilhomme, and "coreographed" (and I use the term very lightly) the cabaret portion of a dinner theater evening. When we took the farces to a number of small villages (the smallest had 90 inhabitants), we did excerpts, teasers for the final show which took place in front of the church in St Benoit du Sault.

Despite the hot weather (worse when you're wearing at least three layers of skirts), it was a beautiful place to be. The town is gorgeous and it's close to a lake where, despite working 20-hour days most of the time, we managed to get some swimming in, in between memorizing lines the first couple of days.

The only interesting culinary moment was the afternoon where the entire troupe prepared the food for the dinner theater. I made fruit salad for 55 people - enough peaches and apples and kiwis and bananas to take a bath in - and hard boiled, iced and shelled at least that many eggs. The only frustrating thing was that we didn't get to eat anything we'd made!

Yesterday, I was thrilled to finally be able to cook for myself again and for lunch, I let thaw a salmon steak I had in the freezer, cooked some zucchini in olive oil and fresh thyme. I rubbed the salmon with garam masala, pushed the zucchini to the sides of the pan to let it slowly caramelize there and cooked the salmon. Then I served both with a simple tomato salad (no industrial dressing- yes!). It felt like the best meal in the whole world - until dinner when D. made my world a better place by making roast chicken and potatoes. It doesn't get any better than that.

11 July 2010

And Now a Word From the Cats...

Hello there foodie readers. Hopie is away dressing up in funny clothes and talking strangely somewhere that's not here. But we like food too!
Yes, we do, especially cat food.
Yes, I especially like food. Marcel, I'm telling this story, be quiet.
Edgar, these people can't pet us. Why are we talking to them?
Because, blog is Hopie's favorite TOY and I want to play! Anyway, there are all too many photos of human dinner already on this site and they would like to see some photos of something much prettier.
And softer too! Perfect for petting.

Here we are doing some research for our big blogpost.
Don't we look pettable?

And here's Edgar strategizing how to get the computer open. He's probably too busy to be pet. I'm not! I'm not!


I am the mastermind behind this blog post. And I want tuna.

Here we are resting and cleaning ourselves. We are very clean cats. Especially if someone gives us tuna.
Or pets us.
Hopie told us she would come back so she'll probably want to tell you about more human food. You don't have to tell her we played with her toy. She doesn't usually like that. You could tell her how well-behaved we are.
And how adorable.
We're off to take a nap. All this playing is tiring!

02 July 2010

Summer Salads and Two Week Workshop

For the next couple of weeks I will be in the beautiful village of St. Benoit du Sault in the center of France with no internet. I went on this workshop last year (you may remember me complaining about the food), but this year is going to be even more interesting because the director received financing from the region and we will be touring in a number of small villages doing medieval farce.

So while I'm busy singing, acting and directing (I feel a bit over my head on that one, but the director insists it will be alright), here are some summer salads to help keep you cool!

Gotta start with pasta salad. It's classic but oh-so-delicious. Perfect for anytime of year really, but one of the stars of summer barbecues and picnics. And of course anything with caramelized onions is on my list of favorites!

What picnic would be complete without a potato salad? Here, it is definitely picnic weather (dinner picnics mind you - too hot midday)!

Add fresh herbs to pretty much anything in the summer and you're good. This salad is a nice change, lighter than pasta, but a bit more hearty than lettuce-based salads.

This is one of the most cooling salads I know. Perfect for those days when you feel just too hot to eat anything. Also, fancy enough to serve to guests if you're looking for a light appetizer.

Last, but not least, you can serve this salad warm or cold so it's perfect for all seasons, but with fresh tomato and cucumber, it's definitely delicious in the summer.

I could go on and on about salads but I think this post is long enough and I need to go sit in front of a fan somewhere instead of in front of a hot computer! How about you guys? What are your favorite summer salads?