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Tag Archives: French

A traditional French Christmas market

My boyfriend goes to University in a big town a few hours away and we decided to go and spend a few days over there. We went ice skating, which I am still not very good at but I managed to let go of his hand for a bit! Then we went to the Christmas market which was so beautiful, there were fairy lights everywhere, Santa Claus was giving presents to kids, lots of chalets were set up and people were selling stuff in them, mostly food like candyfloss, soup, chocolate, hot wine, hot chocolate, etc. We tried something called “chicken milk” which, believe it or not, isn’t actually from chickens, it tastes a bit like coconut flavoured pancake mixture. But the best bit was the giant food everywhere and don’t worry! I thought about you dear readers and took lots and lots of photos!

This is the fountain which, as you can see, had been turned into a giant plate stand! How cute is that?

These are the fairies that were walking about on stilts! I couldn’t get the stilts in unfortunately because they were too tall!

The magic forest lit up with beautiful fairy lights!

The elves (that I actually found slightly creepy) making some traditional madeleines in their little house.

My favourite decoration! I wanted to climb into the tree and eat them all, even if they weren’t real.

My boyfriend with some giant candy canes, he has a fetish for candy canes and was delighted with these!

 A nice lady selling macarons in her chalet, she even put a beret on so you know I’m in France!

Some lovely looking homemade soap

 Candyfloss! Or “Barbe a Papa” (dad’s beard) as the French call it.

This was interesting, it’s a bit like a chocolate christmas tree kebab if you see what I mean. They melted the chocolate onto the wooden triangle and it came off in the shape of a christmas tree!

And finally a chalet selling some seasonal (for the French) food : tartiflette, fish soup, and seafood. The French all eat seafood on Christmas day, I’m glad the English don’t because I don’t like seafood!

So there were my photos! I hope you enjoyed them! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Meggy x

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Five-spice baked ribs, by Lorraine Pascale

My first savoury dish on this blog! My mum and I saw this being prepared on Lorraine Pascale’s tv show Home cooking made easy and I thought it would be nice to make because I like ribs but I don’t like to order them in restaurants because they are very messy and I end up with my face and hands covered in sauce, which is not a good look, so I thought that it would be good to make them myself and get messy in the privacy of my own home. Of course, the French seem determined to stop me from making anything properly and pretended not to know what pork ribs were. Even when I pointed at my ribs and said “these, but from a pig” the butcher I was talking to still said over and over again “that doesn’t exist”. Despite this discouraging conversation my mum went back the next day and bought a side of pork, which the butcher said he couldn’t cut up! Seriously??? Anyway, I cut it up with a meat cleaver into ribs sized chunks and voila! Maybe I should go back and show the butcher how to do it.

This is a really nice meal that isn’t too spicy, is very tasty and it’s good fun to make.

Ingredients

For the rub

  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • few whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp five-spice peppercorns
  • salt

For the ribs

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz pork spare ribs
  • ½ bunch spring onions, trimmed, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the honey glaze

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • few squidges honey
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 150ml/5fl oz soy sauce
  • 1lime, zest only
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional, although I love them!)
  • 1-2 red chillies, deseeded, finely sliced

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a large baking tray or roasting tin with aluminium foil.
  2. For the rub, crush the star anise, fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Then add the five-spice powder and some salt and mix together to combine.
  3. Put the ribs into a bowl, sprinkle over the rub mixture and rub everything in. Tip the ribs onto the baking tray and spread them out in a single layer.
  4. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the honey glaze in a small pan. Warm over a low heat until the honey is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Remove the ribs from the oven, brush generously with the honey glaze, then sprinkle with the spring onions and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Set the rest of the honey glaze aside for later.)
  7. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  8. Once the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven and tip them onto a large plate. Reheat the remaining honey glaze and serve as a dipping sauce with the ribs and a large green salad.

Meggy x