…putting a name to a beak.

orange_dappled_1509In the still of this sunfilled early morning, there’s me and legion of small birds who are all making their particular peaceful noises, that I recognise but can’t put a beak to. Bees, so fat that they have no business being aerial athletes, hover delicately before each tiny crevice in the stone wall behind me, looking for suitable summer lodgings for a single bee. I’m not sure if they are impossibly particular or if there is a truculent, californian_poppies_0075apianphobic landlord within, but they never seem to find something suitable. Seeing, hearing and feeling all this peace and warmth means that summer has crept up on me. I’m sitting outside in the early morning and I’m not cold. My ritual of early morning coffee making entails cleaning out the ashes from last night’s fire and resetting the kindling, which provided a Groundhog Day moment as the fire was already set. A eureka moment as I remembered that we had not lit the fire last night for the first time since last September.


Yesterday, I had a pastry epiphany. Chica Andaluza, a wonderful blogger, wrote of an olive oil pastry so simple, that even she could not mess it up: nor could I. This pastry is summer pastry because it is so breathtakingly easy to make and because it was conceived Β to accompany tomatoes, onions, capers, anchovies, olives, artichokes, and all things Mediterranean that blossom in the company of oil and crisp, thin pastry.

tart_provencal_land_036 I made this simple tart with the olive oil pastry yesterday. The recipe for the pastry can be found on the link to Chica’s blog, which should be visited any way. The covering of my tart came from what was around in my kitchen. There were some sprouting onions that needed to be used up: they were melted in good olive oil for about 50 minutes, never going dark brown, but becoming meltingly sweet and savoury. A ramekin containing what was left of an intense tomato sauce, some capers and a few anchovies. That was it. Sunshine and wine did the rest.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, anchovies, Baking, Breakfast, capers, Cooking, Digital photography, Drinks, Emotion, Excellence, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Mediterranean food, Olive oil, onions, oranges, pastry, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Provence, Recipes, summer, tart, tomatoes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vendee, Weather, Wine, wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to …putting a name to a beak.

  1. I’m envious of your weather and all the summer colors you’re getting to taste. Beautiful anchovies. I’m guessing they came from the Bay of Biscay. . .

  2. Oh those beautiful colours of summer in your shots…isn’t is wonderful not to have to light the fire? We’ve been “fire free” for about a week now, it’s so lovely. Glad the pastry worked for you (and thank you for your lovely words) – what wonderful ingredients you filled it with!

  3. Mad Dog says:

    Wonderful, I’m tempted to go and make one for lunch! With anchovies πŸ˜‰

  4. Nice to see the Opinel. Do you know we’re no longer allowed to have one in public here in England? Something to do with the little locking collar. More bloody bureaucracy! Now my hound has to make do with teethmarks in the chunks of apple I pass to him; mind, you, he’s not all that fussy where food’s concerned.

    PS I shall try that pastry recipe this weekend
    PPS It’s peeing down here on the south coast

  5. Tandy says:

    So glad summer has arrived, just in time for us to have left for winter πŸ™‚

  6. Lovely writing, gorgeous photos AND a recipe! Ten out of ten, young man πŸ™‚

  7. Eha says:

    Well, my heatbank fan has been sufficiently busy this past hour to make quite clear winter truly has arrived Down Under . . . also, tho’ a good ‘savoury’ cook, am certainly not a baker . . . BUT the photo of that tart [yes, talked about the pastry at Chica’s yesterday!] looks so mouthwateringly appealing, and it is the Long Weekend after all even in Oz, methinks time has to be made to see whether one can copy . . . ?. . . .

  8. Michelle says:

    And the best time of summer it is, before the horrible heat. Love your dreamy photos.

  9. The perfect meal for a hurricane party. (We are weathering a tropical storm over here.)

    I love how you style the knives with the point stuck into the table, Roger.

  10. Breathtakingly easy? I’m there.

    Gorgeous photos, as always.

  11. Karen says:

    Summer came for three days last week and then left just as quickly. Rainy and 50 today.

  12. Ah, the sunshine and the food. Part and parcel of a beautiful French summer. The olive oil pastry sounds a winndre. I might hazard a go at it…

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    Really like it when you tart it up, Roger.
    Once again, wonderful photography.

  14. Oh.. I’ve just left Chica and found you have been conspiring here. What a gift, I know what to make.. just as soon as my sun comes out and it heats up a bit more. It wouldn’t be the same without those fat bees, would it? xx

  15. I love that first shot especially. Such vibrant colors.

  16. Lovely story. Bees and hummingbirds – marvels of nature. Although I must admit the latter….

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