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It's time to travel!

I’m afraid the mint died back some time ago. In the past few days I noticed a fresh green leaf poking through the soil but it will be some time before I can go back to home-made mint sauce.

Unfortunately Colman’s stopped producing their mint jars and only produce mint sauce and the mint level is dismally low. This sauce is Sainsbury’s which has the highest proportion of mint I could find.

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Georgian food is wonderful. Quince stuffed with lamb mince, gorgeous khachapouri, chestnut plov … all yum. Any cuisine featuring blue fenugreek gets a thumbs-up from me :smiley:

If you want a representative, try khachapouri - not that difficult to make at home if you have the right cheese, and easy to find a wine match.

Edit - try this or this if you want to explore.

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Thanks, @Martyn. You had me going until I read the word cheese.

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This weekend was Brittany & Normandy.

Starting off with a little camembert, followed by galette jambon fromage, Crepe aux poires et chocolat, all finished off with some biscuits from La Mere Poulard (which are almost impossible to find in the UK!).

If there was one meal to take you there, this would be it. One taste of the buckwheat and you couldn’t be anywhere else!


All washed down with

You can still taste the farm - the perfect cidre de Normandie.

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Having just unpacked (what?!? It’s only been a month, OK) my copy of Elizebeth David, I think I may have a jaunt around each French region. I am tempted to steal the Georgian idea too though.

I actually had Saucisson Toulouse with white beans last night, but didn’t have any wine to go with it.

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That’s very good going. I can only imagine what was whirling round the wine-selection part of your brain while cooking that!

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As my dad cautioned me, don’t worry too much about stuff, you’ll still be ‘unpacking’ it from the loft in about ten years time. He wasn’t wrong :smiley:

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Not forgetting all the stuff that will go straight from one loft to the next.

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The horror! The Horror!

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Unpacking was the last box of books (Food and Booze 2). I now just have stuff that needs the arrival of new furniture to do.

Wine wise I’d have been great with anything Grenache-y (and while the wrong side of the Pays D’Oc, I have a Society’s Corbières that’d have worked a treat) or I could have braved an Irouleguy!). The whole not drinking so much thing is not much fun, but needs must. The main learning is that my local butchers Saucisson Toulouse are very good, and also massive, we only needed one each.

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That looks delicious. Recipe please!

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There are some decent Saperavi’s out there. I also had a really good Mtsvane at the weekend. It’s quite often blended with Rkatsiteli but works really well in the hands of the more renowned producers who are using traditional Qveri.
I would recommend wines from Iago Bitarishvili from the Kartli region or Pheasants Tears from Khaketi (where 77% of all grapes are grown.
(Disclaimer… I used to live in Baku, Azerbaijan, pretty much ALL the wine I consumed was Georgian.)

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All measurements are approx as it’s not a recipe from anywhere.

A medium onion
a couple of carrots
two cloves of garlic
(any other aromatic veg you happen to have lying around)
~some~ smoked bacon/pork (in this cased cubed pancetta - 1 supermarket pack)
a tin/equivalent of white beans (here I used dried butter beans which I soaked and boiled as it’s what I had in, smaller white beans like cannellini work better though)
a bag of curly kale/cavallo nero
two people’s worth of sausages (in this case that’s two. I asked for six so have another couple of meals worth of sausages to go, which given how good they were, I am very excited about).
A glass of something dry and white (in this case the dregs of a bagnum of le grappin rose)
stock (I used one of those knorr pot things and topped the pan up with water to the right level)
herbs of choice (new garden has massive rosemary and thyme bushes and I pilfered a bay leaf from next door’s tree - normally I’d just use whatever dried herb mix I have in)

I fried off the sausages in my psuedo-non-le-creuset, took them out. I rendered some of the fat out of the bacon and then added the rest of aromatic stuff and softened/caramelised them. After that it’s a case of adding the wine, adding the beans and kale then the “stock” until it just covers everything, bring to a simmer, put the sausages on top and stick in the oven at 140ish (I forgot to preheat, but given the time scales that’s not too much of an issue) for at least a couple of hours with a lid on, but until you’re sort of ready to eat it, take the lid off for a while to give it a nice crust. If you leave it in for a really long time, top up with water at some point.

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Any left over bean goop makes an excellent soup blitzed up and reheated it turns out.

We ticked off another country in our World Lockdown Tour with France being No. 8.

The food was cassoulet, maybe not the classic recipe although there are many versions described on the web, but it had the essentials of meat - in this case chicken- and beans which were mostly cannellini. And my secret ingredients of which Mrs M is unaware but finds their effect very pleasing. :slight_smile:

20210224_cassoulet

with it we had a super delicious southern French Syrah blend from Languedoc.

2016 Château Saint-Jean D’Aumières l’Alchimiste Black Edition (France, Terrasses du Larzac

where to for No 9?

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Must resist… :speak_no_evil:

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MDMA?

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That wine is a beauty :~}

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Our Lockdown Tour of The World continues with Country 9 being India. It’s a huge country with many cuisines, but the dish I chose was curry and rice - in particular a mixed vegetable curry in a sauce combining Jalfrezi heat and the tomato richness of Rogan Josh.

The curry had a base of sautéed onions and spices, with cubed sweet potato and butternut providing the bulk, accompanied with quartered button mushrooms, halved baby sweetcorn, cauliflower florets, French beans and peas.

With it, we had an Indian wine

2018 Sula Vineyards Shiraz Dindori Reserve (India, Nashik)

Estate bottled, from grapes grown in the Dindori Vineyard in Nashik, Maharashtra State and aged in French and American oak barrels for more than a year.

The wine was excellent, with a deep colour, smooth taste, and soft tannins.

(later edit: The stick on seal boasting of 92 points from Wine Enthusiast was unlikely to be for this wine unless Wine Enthusiast has at time machine, as it dated December 2015 and this wine is the 2018 vintage)

Country 8 was France

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In India LBW can stand for “large bottle of wine”.