Tuesday, 4 August 2015

"Fete du Setout" August 2nd 2015

We had received an impromptu invitation to a meal with some people from the village - and didn't know what to expect, when this appeared in our post box:

Attached, was a note to take our own plates, glasses and cutlery; which seems a really sensible idea.

So along we went on Sunday at 12noon, to be met by a group of 20 villagers..

The drink was already flowing and with temperatures up in the 30s someone in particular appreciated the shade.. and the wine!

With mise en bouche out of the way, it was time to take our seats for melon with epine, a home made liqueur made from the new shoots of blackthorn. 
If you are interested in making some, here is one recipe:

Épine apéritif
2½ litres of red wine or homemade red fruit wine such as blackberry or elderberry
Half a bottle of brandy or eau-de-vie
500g sugar
About half a litre of blackthorn leaves (don't use more leaves than I recommend because blackthorn, like all the plum species, produce traces of cyanide as a byproduct of the almond flavour it imparts)
Put all the ingredients into a food quality plastic container, stir and fit the lid tightly. Leave for two weeks, stirring occasionally. Transfer to clean bottles using a funnel and some doubled-up muslin cloth to filter out the bits. As with nearly all drinks it improves with age. Santé!
I can testify to it being absolutely delicious with melon and Madame in the foreground (left) made short work of it. She has recently celebrated her 90th+ birthday. (not sure what the + equates to!)

After salad and paté, Philippe had the unenviable task of manning the barbecue in the heat..

The entrecote were absolutely delicious.. and huge - served with potatoes and salad...

Then, of course, came the cheeses and many and varied puddings, followed by coffee and a chance to circulate in the courtyard..

At least it was for some people... Cecilia and Jaques and Colin and I were "volunteered" for a game, involving being tied at the wrists with a length of string and your partner's string being looped round yours thus effectively tying the two of you together. 

Colin told me at the start that this was easy, so "Colin dit que il est facile" passed quickly through the group.... Oh I wish!!

At least we weren't the only ones struggling..

A pair of scissors did the trick and shortly afterwards the men decided on a game of boules. Colin's first throw showed them that he was going to be a hard nut to crack..

By the end of the game Colin had been asked to play on the French team in Richelieu's inter France/England boules game later this month. They told him they'll pay more.....!!

It started to became apparent that talk of a sausage supper, which we had thought was a joke, was very much a reality..

And so we took to the table again....

It was midnight when we set off to walk home. By this time there are no street lights, so we borrowed a torch and walked the few hundred yards back home after the most enjoyable 12 hours imaginable with some lovely people, who, even though we've been here nearly five years, we only met for the first time that day.

Thanks to all of them for the welcome they extended to us and for the conviviality and hospitality - and for the two bottles of wine which were left in our garden for us the next morning!

A la prochaine!!


Craig said...

Absolutely lovely! How kind of them to invite you and how excellent of you to join in with such gusto. Looks like a great day!

GaynorB said...

A sounds like a wonderful day with new friendships made.

GaynorB said...

A sounds like a wonderful day with new friendships made.

Le Pré de la Forge said...

That's really wonderful...
and what a sense of community!

And Elizabeth....
tu'll 'ave to find a dark blue t-shirt for Colin to wear...
for ze boules...
but it must have ze cocorico on ze front!!

norma said...

You should have you tubed it.

Hope the link works!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Thanks Norma I knew it was simple but could not remember the solution.. Great Video.