Today’s the day for Ouvellian’s “Brocante et Vide Grenier” (flea market and garage sale) so we got up as early as we could…..Felix helped by pushing the bedroom curtains open and letting the sunshine in. We dressed quickly and drove over on the little back road that connects these two little villages. On the drive, we saw something we’ve never seen at home…..two beautiful pheasants crossing the road….one flying very low; the other one running swiftly….it’s too early for them to be nesting, perhaps they were running from a predator….perhaps us?
The narrow streets in Ouvellian were packed but we found a nearby parking space. Just like the Vide Grenier we went to in the summer, streets were closed to traffic and tables were set-up for sellers to merchandise the items they no longer need or want. Many of the homes along the streets opened their courtyards and garages for the sale. These seldom seen sights were a highlight of the morning. You don’t often get to peek at the inner workings of a French home.
As we walked through the busy streets, an item caught my eye…..a metal sign advertising “Huile Labo”…..Labo motor oil! My Dad was a mechanic, one of my uncles worked for GM, another one owned a garage, my brother sold automotive equipment….it must be in the genes.
The seller saw my interest and approached us as I was taking a picture of the sign, I smiled and said, “Labo est mon nom de naissance.” I asked how much he wanted for the sign…..I thought he said 88 euros, Craig thought he said 300 euros…..either way, it was trop cher (too much) so we ambled on.
Along the way, we found a few baskets that we’ll use for firewood and kindling, another wine rack (one can never have too many), a cute little teapot with imprints of cigales (cicadas) and a rope of newly harvested French garlic. All in all, a very successful morning.
Tonight’s dinner was easy…..leftover Braised Beef with Herby Dumplings…..so I tried my hand at making a Tarte Tatin (Apple Tart)…..thanks to Google and the “Group Recipe” website, with an American recipe that needs no conversions….just a few minor modifications. It’s not an authentic Tarte Tatin, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Quick and Easy Tarte Tatin
- 4 ounces light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- One ready-made pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease the bottom of a 9″ cake pan with butter or use a non-stick pan. Cover the bottom with the brown sugar. Press down so it is firm. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the sugar.
- Arrange the apple slices over the cinnamon, fanning them out from the center and overlapping the slices.
- Lay the pie crust over the pan and tuck down over the apples.
- Cook for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest on wire rack for 10 minutes before you invert onto serving plate. Make sure your serving plate is tightly placed over top of tarte tatin before flipping it over. Be careful – the sauce is extremely hot and can burn you if you are not careful.
- Slice and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.