Well that was a great success, a British sausage fete organised for all the inhabitants of our wonderful community here in Le Breuil aux Gittons. Here in rural France 'community' is everything and throughout the year a small number of social events are organised that brings together all 33 families that are spread out across our rural hamlet, and unlike some parts of France we are the only English. In August the hamlet held the annual 'Mechoui' and we offered to organise a 'British Sausage Fete' in October, of course everyone was enthusiastic. Unknown to all our French neighbours we had already bought 100 special sausages from our local butcher and sausage maker extraordinaire in Stafford UK. They were taking up a great chunk of our freezer. As is the norm for these events, many people contribute to the menu so we provided the 'plat principal' three sausage casseroles or 'Ragout' to the French and the coffee. In the days before the event we were informed of what would be arriving and the menu was assembled:
Apero : Marquiset / coke / orange juice
Pate Berrichon / Taboulé / Cake
aux jambon et olives/ quiche
'Trou Berrichon' (pear sorbet with pear eau de vie /alcohol)
principal – Ragoût de saucisse anglaise
Ragoût de saucisses et pommes aux boulettes de croutons aux herbes(dumplings)
Ragoût de saucisses Lincolnshire avec des champignons, des carottes et des
Ragoût de saucisses Cumberland avec des oignons de poireaux et du vin
Avec Pommes de terre purėe
Veuillez revenir et essayer un autre
Ragoût de saucisse
Fromage / salad
Compōte des pommes / tarte aux pommes / Chocolate gateau
Café / Thê / Tisane
Vin/wine : Pinot Gris / Touraine Sauvignon / Rosé d’Alsace / St Nicolas du Borgeuil
|The marquee was erected and a email sent upstairs for great weather for the days ahead. |
In the days before we erected the marquee on our small field, collected tables and chairs from the town store ( no charge), invented games for the children, made famous 'sausage' people to hang in the marquee such as:
|Its the very famous Napoleon Sausage|
|Plus the one and only Mr Charles 'la mer' Sausage (I will leave you to do the research)|
At noon on the 14th October people started to arrive bringing an abundance of food and wine for the other courses. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 20's so we all collected outside the marquee to enjoy the aperos and the marquiset (a local drink made with wine and lemons).
|Blue skies and great sausage|
|Young and old together - two are over 90 years.|
We then sat down for the sausage lunch!!!
|My long time friend Michel, neigbour Monique and at the end at more than 90 years is Leon. |
After the 'entree' followed by a surprise 'trou Berrichon' provided by another neighbour Maureen brought out the 3 varieties of sausage casseroles.
And so we continued with some games followed by a walk around the neighbours carp lake then a cheese course and salad plus 4 desserts before finishing with coffee or tea at 17.45 hrs.
Of course we had to take a photo as a memory of the day:
|Nearly everyone in the hamlet including the two dogs|
The original plan was to take the marquee down the following day but since it was dry 15 strong men and women offered to start then and there!!!!!
|Young and old jumped into action|
|Packing going on apace|
|Fortunately we have younger guys as my 69 years was by now showing signs of fatigue!|
By 19.30hrs it was done so all 15 in the packing team were rewarded with a nice malt whisky or a coca cola.
What a simply wonderful and rewarding day and all part of the reason we love France so much.