Posts Tagged ‘France’


Many of you won’t give a damn – and I don’t blame you, but just to put it on record this place (the apartment in Paris) is a little less than expected.

I was going to say ‘shithole’ but that would be unfair. We didn’t expect the best place in Gay Paree, we are on a budget (but at circa €600 for 5 nights it’s not THAT cheap) but it did look ‘okay’ on t’internet.

The apartment is tiny (expected) but so much of it is in disrepair that it’s not far short of uninhabitable. There’s a stink which, apparently, comes from a sewer problem in the apartment above (waiting for repair). The bathroom door doesn’t shut properly without dislodging the jamb – and we have to leave the fan on to help dissipate the stink (which comes from above here). No one knows how to work the microwave oven (no worries – we won’t use it), or the dishwasher (ditto) but the main oven doesn’t work either. We didn’t know this until we bought pizza to tide us by on evening number one (we’ll probably eat out other evenings). We had to clean the grubby surfaces, but that’s par for the course with many rentals (not all by a long chalk).

Only one set of bedside lights work and the wardrobe sliding doors cannot be used because (both) they have recently (sic) had a family with unruly kids staying. First of all – how a family fit in here, I don’t try to imagine and secondly – so get it fixed!! The lounge chairs are stained and there’s a hole in the wall (well a scratch in the paintwork) that the proprietor is reputed to have charged previous tenants €100 for. tschhh.

The area seems cool though, with lots of restaurants, boulangeries, shops and bars within really easy distance.

Continued here … http://dsugdenholidays.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/paris-saturday/

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And then of course there was the crumble for dessert!

Earlier this month, we’d been lucky enough to have been allowed the use of our friend’s Billy and Angela’s house in France for our holiday. In the back garden there (in Roussines) they have a magnificent apple tree, which was dripping with tasty red apples. I can’t be sure of the variety, but ‘Discovery’ is the nearest I can find. Their skin is quite tough, which is something I remember from my younger days – people used to peel the skin away in those days – but the flesh is pure white with just a hint of pink tinge. The flavour is tart with a nice depth of sweetness.

So we brought a bagful home.

As we’ve been back for almost a week, I thought it was time I started doing something with them. I peeled half the bag and cut them up into chunks and placed them in a large pan with just a little sugar and about an eggcup full of water. I then brought the small amount of water to the boil, covered the pan with a lid, lowered the heat and allowed them to cook for about 5-10 minutes. This allowed the apples to steam and when I lifted the lid the pan’s content looked like cotton wool was cooking away inside. Perfect.

A good stir with a wooden spoon and they were ready to make pies and crumbles or to be used as an accompaniment for roast pork. I decided to freeze mine for later use. The taste of the cooked apples is quite subtle, almost (Chardonnay) wine-like, rich and well worth the (very little) effort.

Then I made the apple crumble.

For this, I peeled the apples and sliced them into a small baking dish. These were raw, uncooked. I sprinkled them with a little sugar and set them aside for a couple of moments (not too long or they would go brown), whilst I made the crumble. I’ve always followed my old friend Cameron’s rules for crumble [3:2:1]

  • 3 parts plain flour
  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part butter/margarine

I blitz these together in the whizzer and then add a good handful of oats – which are then mixed in by hand. I added the crumble to the top of my apples, tapping the dish as I did so to settle the mix right down. Don’t put the crumble on too thickly.

Then I cooked it in the oven at about 180 degrees for about 30 minutes (but you know your own oven – just make sure it’s cooked).

Eaten with vanilla ice cream. Delightful.

Now, I need to concoct something for Billy and Angela by way of thanks. Apple Mousse?

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