Eating in England and France, Part Deux

I recently posted some of the meals I enjoyed while visiting my aunt in England, but I haven't shared my French meals yet. Honestly, I was treated to some of the most scrumptious food I have ever eaten while in France. And fittingly, most of these meals were prepared with love, by family members, who kindly fed four extra mouths as I was traveling through France with my mom, her sister, and my cousin Jo.

From the moment we arrived in Normandy, at the magnificent home of my uncle and his wife, we were fed like royalty. Because there were so many enticing meals, I cannot describe each in detail. But the pinnacle of delight was the slow-cooked lamb shoulder. Of course, the lamb was local. (Sheep were regular unwanted guests in garden!)

I photographed the lamb recipe, originally created by Helmsley and Helmsley.

I can guarantee this was the most delicious lamb I have ever eaten. The meat fell off the bone, it was so tender and sumptuous. The anchovies absolutely make the dish, so don't leave those out. They add a salty, rich depth of flavor and it wouldn't be the same without them.

We also ate out a few times in Normandy and Brittany. At the Cap in Carteret, we had a lovely lunch. I enjoyed a cold pea soup with smoked duck breast. The salty duck was the perfect foil for the cool, verdant soup.

On the way from Normandy to Brittany, we stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe called La Bisqu'in. I tried the seafood salad, which turned out to be quite a lot to handle. I'm not usually a fan of food that makes me work, and this salad was definitely work! But the langoustines (somewhere between a crayfish and a lobster!) were extremely fresh and tasty.

My mom ordered a cheeseburger that came with melted camembert. Our food looks like it was photographed through a red lens due to the red canopy over the outdoor patio!

When we arrived at my cousin Phil's house, we were treated to an amazing home-cooked seafood risotto. This is the dish that introduced me to samphire, a unique European vegetable which grows near the sea. It looks something like extremely thin asparagus spears, but is juicier and saltier, and a very vibrant emerald green. I loved it! (Sorry no photo of the risotto!)

For dessert the following night, we had a fresh fruit ambrosia made with pineapple, coconut, oranges, and cherries. It was nothing like the dish you might find in a southern cafeteria, made with canned fruit and marshmallows.

Each morning, fresh croissants and baguettes magically appeared--after Phil took a quick trip to the local bakery. As I said, we were spoiled rotten throughout this trip.

I am so grateful to my uncle Michael and his wonderful wife Andrea who did our laundry, drove us everywhere in Normandy, and cooked for us like a 5-star chef. My cousin Phil and his partner also went to great lengths to make sure we were comfortable and well fed. My cousin Jo drove like a champ through both England and France, chauffeuring us door-to-door. My aunt Jean attended to every detail of our travel arrangements and made the entire experience a joy. I am one lucky woman!