Another Terrific Visit…and Cassoulet!

As usual I had a great time at my friends in Sechelt.  Bev drove this time, which was an even bigger treat.  Now she knows how to get there on her own so I’m sure she’ll be making a few more trips over.

Today it’s back to normal….you really do get quite spoiled over there.

I’m making my cassoulet today!  I’m so excited to be able to use that duck fat…..I know I really need to get a life if this excites me….ah sigh.   I dug out my huge cast iron frying pan which I’ll try out this time.  Probably not a good idea to try something different when company is coming but really there should be nothing that could go wrong……I hope I’m not going to be choking on those words later!!

I’ve got to get my free range chicken (not organic, which my friend Rae likes but will have to do….) all cut up.  I think I’ll just brown the breasts (in the duck fat!!) to start and then add them to the pot much later since they tend to dry out more than the thighs and drummies.  Picked up some Jamie Oliver herb and garlic sausage, which I’m hoping is as good as the stuff I got the last time but couldn’t find this time!!  And instead of pork hocks or chops I’m using country style ribs…’s the bones that give them flavor and these just have a bit more meat on them than baby backs.  Once I get it all put together it takes about 5 or 6 hours to cook…..breaking the nice brown crust that forms every hour or so until the last hour when you just leave it brown up nicely.

I sure hope it all works!!

It’s kind of a pot luck…..Brenda is bringing bread (homemade….she’s been working on getting that perfect loaf) and dessert, Rae is bringing a salad and an appy.  And tonight I will open one of my sellered bottles of wine.  Ken had started buying me a nice bottle each year for Christmas…..ones that needed sellering for a few years.  We had such great plans as to when we’d be opening  each of those bottles.  We did manage one….back in 2012 when we got together with our friends before our trip to France.  I can’t remember which one it was but it had been in my wine fridge for about 4 years…..I think it was a 2004 of some kind of Chateauneuf de pape.  Tonight it’s an Italian wine….it’s not an expensive one but one that supposedly sellered well for 10 years!!  Well, it’s been 13 so I hope it’s just as good now.  It just seemed like the right time to open it with out trip to Italy coming up.

I get everything started soon so I can get the cassoulet in the oven and then by the time everyone gets here I can sit down and just enjoy the company until it’s time to get it on the table.  I’m hoping that it looks OK in that big pan…..I’m going for that “rustic” look…..we’ll see!



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