victuals from the land and the sea
January 30, 2011
The scallops are starting to look sumptuous and soon they will be at their peak celebrated at the local scallop festival. Today I choose the rope grown mussels instead of the scallops so that the scallops remain tantalising for a couple more weeks. The mussels get tipped onto a plate and as yet uncleaned – they glisten with promise . . .
. . . the sea today . . . . heavy and leaden on the surface but complex with layers of wonderful events and nature beneath.
The bread to dunk in the sauce was coming from the Lighthouse Bakery School. The course on Saturday was on French Baking. It was a good day . . . first off, ingredients were mixed for the differing doughs – this is Elizabeth explaining about the mixes and the methods . . .
. . and then the mixes need to prove in the cabinet in attractive willow baskets which leave an indentation around the loaf . . . the loaves are Pain de Campagne . . .
. . and then they are tested to see if they are ready for the next stage.
Croissant being folded before going through the ‘mangle’!
And then exiting the oven. . . .
. . and more mouth-watering stuff as the Pain au Chocolat are taken out – you can almost smell the aroma!
So much was learnt, digested and enjoyed. An array of beautiful breads and pastries were brought back from the day . . .
Brioche, Pain de Campagne and Pain de Méteil . . .
. . and croissant, both plain and almond, with Pain au Chocolat . . . .
. . but back to the last meal of the day – food from the sea and the land – a composition of flavours and textures – mussels cooked with a little cream and dill, sliced potatoes with nutmeg and the bread made the same day – mmm! Bread making is evidently a sensuous activity hence the choice of poem!
Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.
Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;
they held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.
They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;
their happiness is a transparent tower.
The air and wine accompany the lovers.
The night delights them with its joyous petals.
They have a right to all the carnations.
Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,
they are born, they die, many times while they live:
they have the eternal life of the Natural. Pablo Neruda Sonnet XLV111