May 10, 2013

The Foodie in me - a trip to Champagne

Champagne - it's not just a drink

Seafood in Bretagne - Brittany -
In May I am going to Champagne (north of France) with group of friends; one of the last opportunities I have to travel with friends on this side of the world before I leave for Asia. Travelling with friends is not something I do very often, I most of the time prefer to travel on my own and rather spend part of the trip visiting friends - but now and then it is really fun to travel together with others, and share the experience, especially when we are a group of people with a common interest. 

The group going to Champagne are all interested in good food and good drinks (hence Champagne, because of course we are visiting the vineyards and champagne houses and of course we will both sample and buy champagne). We have also travelled together before and we know each other well enough so that we can wander off and do our own thing as well, if we feel like it. 

Cheese shop in Paris -
I am personally extra excited about the trip to champagne, because of course for a foodie like myself Champagne is the perfect area to go to; Wonderful food, great drinks, and an interesting landscape.  And while I haven't been much involved in the rest of the planning, I was involved in choosing the place to stay, making sure having a kitchen was high priority (fingers crossed that the place we are staying really has a decent one) and a possibility to cook. Because I cannot, again, be in France with all the amazing markets, and not be able to cook. 

It is not at all about saving money, not for me, but I really like to visit the local markets, chat to the locals (practise my French), see what's on offer, sample, and be inspired.

This is what I live for! Good food. I am not a picky eater, I eat almost anything, and I am very easy going to have as a guest in a private home, but I am picky about what I want to cook myself, and I want value for money, both in a restaurant in the shop. And value for money is something the French outdoor markets definitely offers. 

For weeks, no, for months I have been looking forward to cooking in France, almost so much that I was worried that the others would be part of the planning. Selfish? Yes, OK, possibly, but I am sure we could have worked it out with someone doing the main course and someone else doing the starters; But I really like to plan dinners so secretly I am happy that the others seem OK to let me be in charge of the dinner. 

Close-up of olives at the market in Lyon

I don't know when I will have this opportunity again - the chance to go to the local market, find what they have that is good for the moment, and cook that for a group of people who appreciate food - at least not in France. And at least not with this group.  

Desserts I am happily leaving to someone else though; I can do it but it doesn't interest me all that much. I love to be spoiled by someone else making a nice dessert, if I plan one it will most likely be something relatively simple; A chocolate cake, or fruits baked in the oven, maybe apple or rhubarb crumble. Not to be looked down upon but definitely not very elaborate. But the rest? I want to try, experiment, let me be inspired, test new variants of old ideas, get new ideas. 

Can't wait to be on the road again! 

And now, back to my cookbooks for inspiration!

No comments :