Tentatively out and about with Tony Goodman

New jabs

It took some effort, plenty of phone calls and door knocking to secure our first jabs. The only side effect was sitting up late into the night looking at travel destinations and reminding ourselves of the fantastic range of restaurants, museums and historical sites we have in our region.



Stan Getz Quintet Live At The North Sea Jazz Festival

Stan Getz still generates plenty of column inches. It can take some time before you can  dial into his music and new material is still being discovered. Layered and complex it delights the active listener. Well worth the effort .

Festival Printemps de l’Aspres

The new updated schedule has been released, to accommodate the expected numbers in line with the health regulations there will be two performances of each concert. One at 6pm and the second at 8.30pm. New Orleans, Hawaiian, Cuban jazz, contemporary and classical melodies and songs, South America, Africa . The concerts will start Thursday 13th May at Domaine Mas Deu winery in Trouillas. Tickets available from Monday April 26th.


The Making of the African Queen documentary is more than a behind the scenes tale it is a time capsule and a tribute to one of the most talented filmmakers of the era. Personal interviews highlight the obvious warmth between Hepburn and Bogart. The technical details of filming in Africa, the logistics required and the risks they faced were many Well worth a watch.

False friends

This week it was more fun and games with English – French false friends, also known as false cognates. The same words with different meanings. Plenty of opportunities for embarrassment so a worthwhile lesson. Librairie/Library and Location/Location for example.

New words in French dictionary

Cold times

Primary producers have one of the hardest tasks on the planet. At the mercy of the weather they have been hit hard by the recent invasion of northern sub zero temperatures. In the early hours the hills and plains are dotted with fires as fruit growers  and vignerons try to protect the emerging fruit. Quite pretty at a distance the lamps and fires are a sign of a battle of survival. Support them when you can, buy local.

France 3

Grandmother’s P-O roast chicken

A regular French reader sent a recipe she had received from her grandmother, conservatively it dates back 120 – 150 years. Its true age may date back many hundreds. Simple, using local ingredients, it’s not hard to imagine it appearing on many Gallo-Roman dinner tables.

Purchase a larger bird from a specialist volaillère (a poultry shop) or from one of the excellent bio (organic) supermarkets in the area such as the new Biocoop in Cabestany. Look out for La Table du Fermier if you’re unsure.

Clean with plenty of cold running water, dry thoroughly. Massage the whole bird with a butter olive mix and insert small knobs of butter under the breast skin.

Gently stuff with a good sized sprig of rosemary, a sprig of thyme and a bunch of sage.

Slice a small lemon lengthwise into quarters and insert them, peel then leave whole at least 6 cloves of Rose de Tarn garlic and put these in the cavity as well. The more adventurous will double that number of garlic cloves.  Season well inside and out.

Place the chicken in a deep baking tray and add a glass of white wine or stock. Set the oven to a medium temp. Cover with baking paper.

Check the temperature after an hour or so, you want it 70-75°C. Let it brown and crisp up for a few minutes then remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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