Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter in the gardening club


French Village Diaries Restaurant des Canards Chef Boutonne gardening club
Smoked trout at Restaurant des Canards
A cold morning complete with a crisp, sparkly frost that clung to the grass well after my mid morning coffee wasn’t the best of days for gardening. It was however the perfect day for the gardening club’s annual lunch. A roaring fire welcomed us at Restaurant des Canards where I feasted on delicious locally raised smoked trout fillet, followed by pork that seemed to melt as my knife and fork approached it, served with creamy potato gratin and asparagus. I was feeling very satisfied and content and then came the difficult bit, choosing from four delightful sounding desserts. I’m not the best decision maker and to choose one over the others seemed almost cruel. Thankfully they took pity on me, played to my greedy side and presented me with a plate containing a small taster of them all. The tart lemon meringue offset the sweet apple pie, the warmth of the cherry crumble was perfect with the cool of the Eton mess with it’s crunch of meringue adding texture and it was all brought to perfection by the espresso coffee. I truly enjoyed every mouthful.

French Village Diaries Restaurant des Canards Chef Boutonne gardening club
My personalised dessert platter
I will admit to having post good food heavy eyelids, but an afternoon on the sofa with a book wasn’t to be. The cat demanded feeding as I walked through the door, the dog sensed my overindulgence and dragged me out for a walk and when Ed got home from school he needed taxiing to his music lesson before being fed this evening. Never mind, at least I'd had a lovely time with great food and lots of chat and laughter. It really helped up my enthusiasm levels for getting back out in our potager patch where the weeds seem to have taken over, again.

I’ve been a member of this local club since they asked me to be the guest speaker at their AGM last year, something that would have been far scarier if they weren’t the nice, friendly and fun bunch that they are. If you live close to south Deux Sevres and would like to learn more about gardening in a fun and relaxed way please let me know. New members are always welcomed, expertise isn’t required, just a love of gardening.

For more inspiration about gardening in France, you might want to check out French Dirt, a must read memoir about a year in a potager in the South of France.