I get three American magazines delivered to me here in France.
My Discover magazine, which is a science magazine, always arrives on time, regular as a Swiss clock.
My Saveur magazine, which is a food magazine, is somewhat less punctual.
I received the October issue two weeks ago…. and the November issue 3 days later. I consider the November issue on time.
My Cooking Light magazine is a free spirit with it's own agenda.
Last Thursday the October issue and the December issue arrived on the same day…. One in a brown envelope; one in the usual clear plastic.
Today the November issue showed up…. a little worn and bedraggled, but here.
I hope who ever read it first enjoyed it!
Sunday we decided it was time to be social.
Our little village has a social committee that organizes various events throughout the year.
So far, for various reasons, we have not participated.
When a nice man came to our house last week and hand delivered a personal invitation from the head of the committee we decided it was time.
We went to the lunch on Sunday.
It was nice. There were about 100 people there, all ages and a good mix between French and expats.
Here's the menu:
- Apero (mulled wine) with nibbles
- Pumpkin Soup
- Salad of Carrots, Celeriac and Beet Root
- Apple Sorbet with Calvados
- Cassoulet (not as good as mine)
- Cheese with Salad
- Dessert (Fall Fruit Salad)
Fortunately the menu was on the invitation.
Fortunately I double-checked the invitation before we left.
On the bottom, underneath the menu, was a little note telling us to bring a 'couvert complet' – table setting.
At first reading I thought, fine, 2 plates and 2 forks.
Then I read more closely…
I packed: 2 plates, 2 soup plates, 2 salad/bread/cheese/dessert plates, 2 forks, 2 knives, 2 soup spoons, 2 dessert / coffee spoons, 2 wine glasses, 2 coffee cups…. and I would not have been 'over-packed' had I added 2 more plates and 2 water glasses.
It's really a rather practical way of handling this type of event. It was held in the village hall which is small with a small kitchen. All the dirty dishes went home with the diners.
That, of course, presents it's own problem, and one I didn't think of: carrying the dirty dishes home.
And having to clean your plate.
There were no dogs under the table to help….
Our dogs didn't get to help with this pulled pork, either.
This was inspired by a recipe that Christine, of Christine Cooks posted a few years back.
This is not your typical tomato-based pasta sauce.
It is much, much more than that!
Pulled Pork Pasta Sauce
1 1/2 lb pork loin roast
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
3 tbs tomato paste
3 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tbs sage
1 tbs Worcestershire
1 tbs juniper berries plus 1 tsp black peppercorns in little bag
1 cup tomato sauce – optional
Brown the pork on all sides. Remove to a plate. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, sauté until tender. Return the pork to the pot and add the remaining ingredients, except tomato sauce and noodles. The liquid should come about half way up the sides of the pork. Cover and simmer slowly for 3 – 4 hours.
Remove the pork and pull apart with 2 forks. Remove bay leaves and sachet with juniper berries / peppercorns from the sauce. Add the pork to the sauce. I added a cup of tomato sauce to thin it to a reasonable pasta sauce consistency.
For the noodles, I bought fresh lasagne noodles and cut them into wide ribbons. Boil until done and serve with pork.
I had pork left over, as I expected…. as well as some of the fresh lasange noodles.
I made cannelloni….
2 cups pulled pork sauce
3/4 cup ricotta
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan
Cook the lasagne noodles, drain and cut in half the short way. Combine pork sauce and ricotta.
Place some of the filling on one end, roll and place in a baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over, sprinkly with Parmesan and bake until hot and bubbly.
The rest of the sauce is in the freezer…. waiting.