Friday, June 8, 2007

croustade lesson from Emilienne the egg lady

sadly many of the traditions of home cooking are dying out, with younger people not as interested in cooking or lacking the time and energy.We visited with Susan and Brian's neigbors the Coudres for a lesson in traditional Gascogne apple croustade made completely by hand from scratch

Emilienne hand pulls the dough to filo like consistency. We actually missed this part of the demo, as we forgot to get up early - she started at 7 am and we showed up around 9 and the dough was still too wet to start. Emilienne has such an expressive face and she really got into chatting with us, with Susan as an interpreter.

She had cut out circles of the dough to fit into the quiche like pan she uses

the apples are macerated in Armagnac and Vanilla and her husband Jean gets to eat the left overs as well as enjoy the "juice"

brushing with armanac and butter- notice she uses a feather to sprinkle butter and vanilla about the pastry That's her mother looking on - not as happy a person as Emilienne but at 90 she still walks quite a distance daily.They also have laying chickens and of course farm land and a big veg plot.Emillienne put up over 60 jars of haricot last summer.

more butter is sprinkled on the covered apples
finally the finished product waiting to go in the oven.She gets 2 croustades out of the dough (which only uses one egg) that stretched across the length and width of her large dining room table

explaining the techniques so that Susan could translate for us non french speakers.

They distributed flyers for us for our Easter Feast at another event they helped out at over in the next village.

Emililene told us that Jean got up and announced the meal (which was a international feast - around the world in 4 hours and quite a departure from the norm there). A few people were grumbling that the event was being run by "foreigners" and she retorted, " they're not foreigners, they are OUR neigbors!!"

Susan was really touched by that. She and Brian have worked really hard to become part of the community and everywhere we went she was greeted by double sided kisses and long chats from young and old alike.
50 years of marrage and weekly croustades

a lovely couple - warm and gracious despite our language barriers
the happy couple - 50 years of marriage - must be the croustade..

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