Burgers On The Grill


I know I don’t need to tell you that it’s Burger time.  I’m very pleased that, at last, I dusted off my grill and got back to what this blog was about. We sold beef burgers to our customers and I thought I should try out our burgers on the BBQ.  I’ve only ever tasted them in a hot pan.   So we got the grill going to see how our burgers held up.DSC_0891 Someone gave us a classic Weber Grill without legs.  The grill is in great condition.  I’m not sure what happened to the legs.  Sometimes what happened in ‘Nam, stays in ‘Nam.  Brent found some bricks with rounded tops that held it steady.  I think I shall call our new BBQ “Timmy.”


I’m used to lighting the charcoal with a chimney deal.  A bit of paper in the bottom and charcoal on the top.  Things get hot and then action pours onto the scene.  Instead, we lit it with a fire starter and made a little pile.DSC_0873

That seemed to do the trick.DSC_0882

After the burgers were about ready, we popped the cheese on.  Yes, yes, “American Cheese.”  We like the irony of living in the land of cheese and using milk product spread in plastic.  We also enjoy Comte, so don’t you worry.DSC_0892

Buns toasted.DSC_0899

Potatoes baked.DSC_0905

And an experimental pepper with Cantal Jeune and duck fat melted inside.DSC_0901

Peppers were okay.  Still need a bit of work.

The burgers were great.  I loved the charcoal touch to the flavor.  Below is Kevin’s burger.  Plenty of sun and bun.  Not a fan of the bun, he did the best he could with the French “Maxi Bun ”  by filling in with lettuce and condiments.DSC_0904



It’s very hot right now and the fruit is abundant.  Time for Pavlova!  Pavlova is my FAVORITE dessert.  I’ll spare you how much I love this food.


I use a recipe from a blogger friend of mine at The Kitchen’s Garden.  She shared with us Mama’s Pavlova.  This is a no fail Pavlova shell.  Though I’ve had variations on the outcome ( all my fault ), I’ve never had a disaster. 

You should read her recipe, but here’s what it looked like when I followed along.

I whipped my egg whites and friends until it could hold a spatula to attention.


Chucked it into a parchment lined round tin.  Smoosh it around with the idea that you will eventually put cream and fruit on it.DSC_0822

Placed in a preheated oven which is then turned down.  It cooks and puffs.DSC_0824

After it cools, I put some whip cream on it and peaches.  Any seasonal fruit will do.  Kiwi fruit, strawberries, nectarines ….


If you have friends in Australia, ask them to bring out some canned passion fruit syrup.  This acts as the area rug and pulls the pav together.  It is impossible to find in France, so I am very careful with each drop we use.  Hopefully you have better sources.DSC_0840

I added some grated milk chocolate.  It’s supposed to be crumbled Cadbury Flake, but we are in the land of Milka.  DSC_0842

I thought grated Flake was the tradition, but apparently after sample size n= 2 Australians, this is some fancy ass addition.

This Pav was a bit sloppy, but I was very pleased.DSC_0846

Mama’s Pavlova has never let me down!  Thanks Celi!

Duck Fat Toast and Shtuff


We don’t eat a lot of bread, but when runny cheese is on offer, it’s time to make some toast.

We were given a day old baguette, perfect for toasting.  I loaded up the frypan with duck fat and chucked some rounds in.


From there, you can add melty, runny cheese or other cheeses and paste ( pâté ) to top you off for the evening meal.  It’s hot again, you see, so evening meals tend to be light.


The vacherin was nice, but a bit bitter.  Next runny cheese shall be my favorite … Chaource.  Matched perfectly with pink Champagne!

Not Fond Of Fondant? Make Your Own


For me, using fondant for a fancy cake is a cheat.  I am WAY more impressed if you can make a beautiful cake with skill and fluff.  Lucy, my daughter, wanted to do a certain cupcake recipe that involved fondant.  She looked up the ingredients in fondant and was not impressed with all the extra crap included in this culinary play-dough.

So she watched a youtube video on how to make fondant and off she went.


Making fondant is a very sticky process.  There was a moment there where she thought, ” well, I blew it.”  There was no way this sticky marshmallow mess would arrive at something you could roll out and carve.

But, she kept going.  eventually, a dough ball came around.


After her cupcakes were cooled, she managed to complete her recipe.


Homemade fondant requires

  • marshmallow
  • water
  • powdered sugar


She used this recipe on Youtube … uh … which is in French, but you might be able to follow along or find an equivalent.

For me, I am excited to share that you can make this stuff!! And as I don’t like fondant, her fondant was wonderful.

Hot Out, Let’s Eat Some Duck With The Village!

Brat Like Me

DSC_0716 July, the time of the village parties.  In July, we prepare Duck Confit and Fries. … and salad and cheese and the rest. Very hot last night, but with the breeze we managed to keep things moving. DSC_0690 Guests arrived for a giggle and a drink before dinner.  Our kids each drank a can of coke.  ’tis the season! They don’t drink Coke very often, so a nice cold “Coca” on a hot day is even better than a treat. DSC_0698 The confit is prepared in a large round hot plate that has some name in French that escapes me.  Though, I’m sure in French it sounds better than “large round hot plate.”   I grabbed this rare shot of the villagers “blessing” the Large Round Hot Plate.  All arms in, a chant in Gascon before they put the confit into the large round hot plate to be cooked and offered to the…

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Chili Sauce


Emptied out the freezer today.  People throw hot peppers at me.  Peppers everywhere.  There are these pepper people who pass peppers around because people of France don’t use hot peppers in their food.  So us pepper people peddle peppers.

When I get enough peppers, I make chili sauce.  It all started with Substance P.  Substance P is a neuropeptide and an important element in pain reception in the brain.  Thus, my sauce.  I wanted to make something very, very hot.

Substance P wasn’t all that hot.  I took out the seeds.  It is important to wear gloves when you seed hot peppers.  I didn’t.  For a week my fingers were very sensitive to hot water.  My NK1-receptors were on fire.  Totally burnt out.

But the sauce was not that hot.  So I made other sauces as follows;

  • Substance P
  • P-Funk
  • P++
  • Cement Shithaus
  • and The Mothership

Each with their own ingredients.

Today, I share with you The Mothership.


Chuck this into a pot:

  • all your hot peppers without the tops
  • apple cidre vinegar, 1 cup
  • ginger nub
  • garlic
  • pepper corns
  • brown sugar, 2 tbs
  • water, 1.5 cups
  • salt

boil for thirty minutes or so

let it cool

blend it

You need to taste it to make sure it’s rounded out.  It will need more salt and maybe a dash of sugar.  I add a special ingredient, but I couldn’t possibly share.  For this is the Mothership.

Ameoba blender shot: