Easy Chicken Stew from the Pantry

Ginger and Nutmeg had to stay in Provence for a couple extra nights due to a Lufthansa strike. For many reasons, this was inconvenient but far from devastating, they had a comfy bed in a small corner of paradise. Less fortunate passengers had no option but to stay in the zero-star airport hotel.

Fun sign

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Languedoc Food and Wines

It would be impossible to describe in any significant detail, the unique culinary treasures of the Languedoc region in a single blog post. Nutmeg has decided to take you on a little driving tour to share a few Languedoc food and wine highlights.

Classic Lunch

The Étang de Thau is a natural seawater lagoon. The lake is about 20 km long and relatively narrow at 8 km wide, it separated by a sand bar from the Mediterranean Sea. The Étang de Thau joins the Canal du Rhone at Sète and the Canal du Midi at Agde. The lagoon is a valuable water body for the production of shellfish in France, including oysters and mussels. The oysters and mussels grow in farms, in the waters of the Étang, once harvested; they are marketed as Bouzigues Oysters. The mistake that Ginger and Nutmeg made was to go to the village of Bouzigues on a Sunday at lunch time, with no reservation. There was not a parking space to be had, and the restaurants were full. The group had to return to Meze to find a roadside restaurant, the shellfish was delicious and the white wine a perfect match.

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Crespeou Provencal Picnic Fare

Ginger and Nutmeg have had lots of visitors in Provence this year. Nutmeg likes to think that her blog posts planted the “seed” that enticed them all to book their plane tickets. In reality, her friends are well travelled and do not need her help to convince them that Provence is exceptional in the summer.


G&N love all the foreign visitors, it is a marvellous chance to show off the region, discover some new towns and introduce new friends to old ones. One such occasion happened last week at a cooking class with Nutmeg’s talented friends Ghyslaine and Jacques. You can read last year’s post here.

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Recipes from Provence Aidan Larson Conjugating Irregular Verbs


Don’t let your mother tell you that the Internet is a scary place! Nutmeg has met so many interesting people via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest that she has decided to start a Guest Blog Thursdays, so they can share their stories. Volia:

Aidan Larson is an American mom of three navigating her way through life in France and writing about it on her blog: Conjugating Irregular Verbs. She writes from her dining room table in the south of France in between motherhood, French lessons and perfecting her oeuf en croute. If you want to read more from Aidan she can be found on her blog site Conjugating Irregular Verbs (letters from my dining table in the south of France).

Melon Soup with Basil

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A warm welcome to Provence with a Pot au Feu

Ginger and Nutmeg have been overwhelmed by their generous welcome to Provence and Southern France.  They feel very privileged to have been invited into peoples’ homes for  some terrific meals during the last few weeks.  The lovely lunches and dinners have included; sausage stuffed peppers and tomatoes, curry chicken, soupe de poisson, shrimp and scallop risotto, roast beef, chili, summer salads and a traditional pot-au-feu.  These have all been very special occasions, highlighted by terrific company, lovely wine and great food.

The pot-au-feu and soupe de poisson are very traditional Provençal dishes.  Pot-au-Feu is literally translated to “pot on the fire”, which is essentially a French stew.  Typically, it is made with beef although can easily be made with pork as well.  Many countries have a variation on pot-au-feu, as it is typically a way to use low cost (less desirable) cuts of meat. Continue reading

France Bound The Adventure Begins with Coq au Vin

A gift of time..

Nutmeg is happily jobless for the first time since the mid 1980s (you can do the math).  Ginger as you already know has been working very hard on a Masters degree for the last 10 months – and he has done it!  So what better way to celebrate by taking some well deserved time off than to travel?  Nutmeg has been negotiating with Ginger for awhile and it is finally happening, they are going to France for six months!  The planning began back in June and the list was very long.  The most important thing was the visa application to allow for an extended stay in the country (anything over 90 days requires a visa).

Several years ago, Nutmeg worked in France and she knows that if there is one thing the French love it is paperwork. What better way to emphasize the national love for bureaucracy than a lengthy visa application?  The process is 15 steps long and not for the faint of heart.  You need to commit to gathering all of the following (and more) in original and photocopy versions; police clearance, finger printing, photos, insurance, copies of your bank balance, promises not to work, seek unemployment insurance or get sick…  It is no small feat to gather the documentation.  Once you have all that together, you need to physically go to Vancouver for a face-to-face interview, and to hand over the documents. Continue reading