A weekend in France

Brits and Europeans are so lucky. The opportunity to simply ‘pop over’ to another country for a few days is a luxury Western Australians will never experience – one of the pitfalls of living in the world’s most isolated capital city (Perth). A girl can still dream though. As they say, “If the mountain will not come to Mohammed…”

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a taste (albeit brief) of cooler autumn temperatures amidst our seemingly endless summer – it even rained for the first time in 150 days or so (fancy that)! It was the perfect opportunity to dust off the casserole dishes that had been relegated to the back of the cupboard – forgotten – for 6-7 months, and revisit equally-neglected recipes that called for hours of slow cooking.

Enter my trusty French cookbook, which I picked up for under ten dollars through one of those Social Book Clubs at work several years back. It didn’t take long to decide the weekend’s menu – I’ve always wanted to try making a Bourguignon, so all that was left to do was choose a chicken dish that looked tasty (and not terribly complicated). Spotting a classic mix of thyme, tarragon and white wine, I instantly settled on Chicken Chasseur.

As hard as it was to bid farewell to all that wine (it was for a good cause, after all), I took great pleasure in preparing the marinade for the Bourguignon – right down to making my own bouquet garni – while the Chasseur simmered away. And the warm, delicious scents wafting through the house on Sunday afternoon while the wine-soaked beef cooked were to die for! Comfort food, indeed.

While it’s not quite the same as enjoying a weekend in Bordeaux, or a Provencial mini-break, it’s nice to know I can still enjoy cuisine fran├žaise…without the need to travel for 20 hours!

Bon appetit!