Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Pays Basque



I've just come back from a short holiday in France. My first visit to the stunningly beautiful Pyrenees - the historic pilgrims' way to Santiago at St Jean Pied de Port and the Atlantic waves crashing onto the rocks at St Jean de Luz.

5 comments:

  1. These are beautiful photographs.
    What are the local delicacies there?
    GBVC

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  2. Hi Hannah from Masterchef here - beautiful photos and hope you had a really lovely holiday. Just wanted to say that - completely inspired by your suggestion on my blog a month or so ago - I am off to Fitzbillies to spend some time with their bakers learning how to make all their yummy cakes and buns! Thank you for the suggestion!

    Also do you sell the wonderful chicken eating blackberry print on your website - it is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!

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  3. Hi GBVC, thre's some great food in the Atlantique Pyrenees region - lamb, duck, cheeses, fish and seafood. The markets and gardens are full of beautiful veg (although restaurants don't serve that much of it!). Red peppers "piment d'espelette" are included in most dishes (and in the chocolate!) they even have thir own association, see www.pimentdespelette.com. In the village of Espelette the buildings are festooned with garlands of dried red peppers. But the best thing is Gateau Basque which is a bit like the top of a bakewell tart without the jam and pastry case and with either a creamy or cherry jam centre. Bakers, cafes, restaurants, market stalls, farms, even the elderly ladies in a little dress shop all sell their version - and claim it's the best. The top is decorated with patterns - usually the spirally basque cross. Found a recipe in my Roux Brothers French Regional Cookery book so will have to attempt to make one.
    I've been trying to think of a D vegetable for Freddie to try - but apart from exotic veg like daikon (big white radish), dasheen (leaves or tubers) and doodhi (calabash gourd) all I could think of was a dill dip or dill pickles.

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  4. Hi Hannah, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time at Fitzbillies - their chelsea buns are sublime! So I can't wait to see what you're inspired to cook after working with their bakers.

    The hen and blackberries picture on by web site is a digital illustration which started life as a sketch of our Balck Cochin hen 'Queen Victoria' whose favourite autumn treat was to nip into the veg garden and stuff herself with blackberries! I was planning out a linocut design and liked the working sketch so much I printed it onto cards for my stall at the Reach Art & Crafts Fair last March. The cards were very popular so they will be among the things for sale at my Open Studio in July. I plan to produce the same design as a larger digital print too.

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  5. Celia, nice pix. Have spent time in St Jean and gone over the mountain to Rocesvalles on the Rue St Jacques/Camino de Santiago

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