A Taste of Garlic

Robin Ellis - Midi-Pyrénées

midi pyrenees  Robin Ellis   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceToday’s review is going to be a little bit different from usual….

You see, normally I review expat blogs by people who have chucked in their humdrum lives in Surbiton or Basingstoke, have sold their granny and shoved the kids, the dogs and three months supply of Marmite into the back of the Volvo before heading off to the depths of French France to start a new life raising snails or commercially growing frogs legs (there are some exceptions to that admitted slight generalisation…)

Now, whilst I enjoy doing all that stuff, occasionally I get to review a blog by someone who was famous in their own right, prior to selling their granny, shoving the kids and dogs into the back of the Volvo and heading off to deepest France to start a new life….

And this is just one of those occasions!

You see, today I am reviewing Robin Ellis‘ blog and, as we all know…

Or should know if you’ve read The Robin Ellis Interview that I published yesterday!

Robin Ellis is a very famous actor!

You see, he starred (and that’s really too small a word for his magnificent performance) as the policeman in the first ever episode of Fawlty Towers!

And, as if that wasn’t enough….

He then went on to star as Ross Poldark in the long running television series of the same name!




The Diabetes Bits….

Now, Robin has Diabetes. I was going to say that he suffers from Diabetes but….

He doesn’t seem to be suffering very much from the look of all the great food he’s eating!

He explains that Diabetes cases rise to nearly 26 million in the US and then goes on to explain Glycemic Load – What is it?

The only thing I can do is repeat his words….

“Phew – it’s enough to give you indigestion!”

Thankfully, Robin goes on to explain in Defining Diabetes…? and then asks the question…. Are carbs the enemy?

Personally, I’ve always thought that carbohydrates were both my friends and my passion?

One thing that I do suffer from, even if I don’t suffer from Diabetes is Peckishness [hunger pangs].

Thoughtfully, Robin provides a recipe for Home Roasted Almonds.

And he shares his family history in the moving post….My Mother and Diabetes.

The Out and About Bits….

It would be wrong to think that Robin is busy chained to his wordprocessor, writing about new recipes, or banished to the kitchen, trying out those recipes…

He is allowed out sometimes!

Now, no self-respecting Life in France blog would be seen dead without an obligatory wild mushroom post!

And Robin has made sure that he has his obligatory wild mushroom post with Bee Happy!

And I guess that most people would be happy if they got given some morels to cook in Creme Fraiche!

Although I’d also be quite happy to have Lunch in a UFO!

But then, they’re a strange lot, that lot down in the Tarn!

Some of them even have to be told… Don’t eat the daisies…!

At least when Meredith (Robin’s wife) says… “I’ve just found lunch…!”

Shes holding 4 eggs….

Rather than a bunch of roses!

The Walking Bits….

Robin (when, presumably, he’s not eating daisies) enjoys Walking and shares a few thoughts on it.

And, during and early morning Walk with a Warbler, he reports that the Garlic is growing fast…

And that’s always nice to hear.

Especially if it’s to be…. “ready for the garlic festival in Lautrec on the first Friday of August. Ten thousand people mill through the narrow streets and there’s free garlic soup at noon.”

Mmmmmm….

Garlic soup – my favourite dish of all time!

And, in the Autumn, there’s Walking and Walnutting to keep you warm.

As he says….

“A night of high winds and torrential rain during this period can bring unexpected blessings, because there could be rich pickin’s, as they say in Cornwall, in the morning.”

The Seafood Bits…

Now Mackerel is probably my favourite fish of all time and…

I’m also rather fond of garlic!

I also used to know a girl called Rosemary by I’m not going to kiss and tell!

What I am going to do is advise you to take a look at Robin’s recipe for Sautéed Mackerel with garlic and rosemary.

Or even Molly’s smoked mackerel paté?

It might surprise you to learn that Pollack is my favourite fish of all time.

Such a practical fish that’s sustainable, tasty and…. cheap!

Robin seems to think so to as he cooks Pollock steak with rosemary and anchovy and then uses more Pollack for his Psaria plaki–baked fish a la gréque which looks absolutely heavenly….

As well it should, with 4 cloves of garlic in there to spice it up!

Now, I could go on and on ranting about the lovely recipes here…

Like the one for “no potato” fishcakes or the equally good Fabulous Festive Fish Curry!

But what I will do is mention the scrumptiolicious Sea Bream roasted on a bed of thyme or rosemary

Because Sea Bream is my favourite fish of all time!

And, did I ever mention.. I used to know a girl called Rosemary?

Funny girl?

The Market Bits…

A Life in France blog wouldn’t be quite right unless there was reference to that most wonderful of things… The French Market.

Robin obviously knows this as he has written a post about Market Envy – and then calmly explains that he misses the farmers markets in the UK.

Still he makes up for this by rushing (well, strolling, it wouldn’t be very French to rush, would it?) To Lautrec’s Friday Market where he….

Does all that… “Bonjour—ça va?” and “en forme” and “un de ces jours” stuff that it so important in what Robin calls… “An agreeable culture of politeness.”

And then it’s off to Realmont market where Spring is in the air.

And, so it would seem, inspiration is in the air as Robin comes up with a recipe for… Braised Fennel with Spicy Sausage.

The bits that aren’t about Diabetes, Seafood, Going out and about or Markets…

Robin shows that he is a man after my own heart as, as we can see in Pork chops and white beans baked in orange juice, he likes the Echine Chop (what he calls the Spare Rib chop) as much as me!

This porcine delicacy is often overlooked because it is slightly redder than the rest of the pork and can contain bones.

It does happen to be the juiciest part of a pig – and very good value too!

And what could be juicier or better value than Grilled Leeks with Thyme?

Especially if both ingredients are home grown!

Mind you, that Chicken with red cabbage looks pretty good too!

As does the Pot Roast Guinea Fowl with Cider, Fennel and Apples.

So, summing up….

A fantastically foodie blog by someone who obviously loves living in France!

I’d certainly advise you to rush down to Robin Ellis and tuck in to some to the recipes on offer.

Hey, you don’t even need to be diabetic to enjoy good Mediterranean food!

And if you haven’t read the The Robin Ellis Interview, I suggest that you slap yourself on the wrist and remedy that, straight away!

And me? Well, I’m going to take a little look at May Day in Cornwall – Many moons ago.

You see. and not a lot of people know this….

I was born in Cornwall…

And my Granny’s name was… May!

All the best

midi pyrenees  Robin Ellis   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

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KME

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