To market, to market…there’s nothing like a local farmers market to feed the soul and the stomach!
It’s a privilege I never take for granted and I love to share it. In fact, one of my favorite cooking class days is our early morning trip to the market. I say early because instead of beginning our day at 10:30 we leave the house at 8:30. My reasoning is sound – if we get to the market any later, we’ll spend more time standing in line than enjoying the colors, sounds, aromas and tastes that the market entails. Because the market in France isn’t just a place to buy food and clothing – 501 levis anyone? – but a place to see your friends, stay in touch, have a social moment amidst the abundance. All of this means markets are crowded and no one is in a hurry.
FIRST STOP, A FAVORITE CAFE
We set out for the market and our first stop is always a café. There we do as the locals do and fuel up with an espresso or café crème or, occasionally, a “cafe Calva.” This is a small glass of the local apple brandy, Calvados, which you either down in one gulp, or nurse along with your espresso.
WHICH FARMERS AND MAKERS ARE THE FAVORITES
From there, we visit local fruit and vegetable growers, a fish merchant or two, a charcutier who insists on offering a sample of blood sausage, a Norman specialty. We never miss the live animal section, which has really mostly clucking fowl and rabbits destined for the farmyard. Then we fan out so that each person can pursue their special interest AND fulfill their assignment, which is to find something they’ve never tried before, or always wanted to cook.
OFF ON OUR OWN–WHAT WILL EVERYONE FIND?I never know what people will choose, but I’m confident it will be delicious and will go perfectly with the dishes I’ve planned. This week was an exceptional success. We had kippers from the English Channel and black radishes, Reine Claude (greengage) plums, and fat, fresh shell beans. We had end-of-season strawberries which seemed to contain all of the deliciousness of the season.
I never know what people will choose, but I’m confident it will be delicious and will go perfectly with the dishes I’ve planned. This week was an exceptional success. We had kippers from the English Channel and black radishes, Reine Claude (greengage) plums, and fat, fresh shell beans. We had end-of-season strawberries which seemed to contain all of summer’s flavor, freshly made peppery pork sausage, tiny, sweet mussels from Arromanches, and fresh eggs from the farm.
THEN BACK TO THE KITCHEN
We cooked the mussels in apple cider, the kippers were transformed into a gorgeous, caper-studded pate, the sausages were roasted with garlic and tomatoes, and a rotisserie chicken was served with its lightly curried onion sauce. As for those fresh shell beans, they were braised with savory from the garden and tossed with hazelnut oil and fleur de sel to make one of the finest dishes of fall.
Here’s what some of our students have had to say about classes at On Rue Tatin. We’d love to have you at our next class. Here’s the upcoming schedule. Which class will you be at?
“We had the most amazing time with you! Loved every minute of it. The cooking and the laughs. It was such a fun thing for us to get to do together.” Kristina K
“It’s very exciting , chef Susan it’s profesional,very nice , kind, happy a beautiful human being. I really enjoy working with her!” Elenisse M
“I took Susan’s morning market class in Paris last week and thought it was the best cooking class I have ever taken. If you ever find yourself in her neighborhood, or her in yours, you owe it to yourself to go cook with her!” Katie M.
We stood in the kitchen to eat our mint-flecked omelette while it was blistering hot, then took our glasses of sparkling cider into the dining room to meander through our wonderful On Rue Tatin market “picnic,” which was really a market feast. It couldn’t have been simpler, fresher, more seasonal, more local. And a good time was had by all. Merci to a wonderful group and BON APPETIT!