‘aving a larf..


Fennel and carrots roasted in olive oil with cumin, sumac, lemon, pepper and salt

It is not unusual for children to dislike, and to take extreme steps to avoid, both vegetables and Shakespeare. I prefer vegetables to either children or Shakespeare which preference may well be blamed on their parallel and equally irritating proclivity to tell jokes that aren’t funny; it is rare for a child and non existent for Shakespeare to make me, in the words of the dictionary,  express mirth or pleasure with an involuntary audible vocal expulsion of air from the lungs that can range from a loud burst of sound to a series of quiet chuckles or, expressed more succinctly, bring tears to my eyes and make me spit out my drink. Rather, they elicit from us, in the case of children, a dutiful pastiche of laughter the exuberance of which will be calibrated to the closeness of the relationship between the child and the laughee whilst, in the case of Shakespeare, the counterfeit laughter will be accompanied by a supercilious smirk which will hopefully be noticed by other members of the audience who, it is hoped, will assume that you are clever little fucker or, depending on the quality of the smirk, a descendant of Marlowe….Christopher not Philip as Philip Marlowe didn’t laugh at anything..ever. It is interesting to note that many of us would find it offensive to be thought of as a vegetable or a child, assuming that we are not actually one of the latter, yet, unbelievably to me, would be flattered to be considered as rib ticklingly funny as Will the Jolly Japester.. although, I must admit, that even I found Hamlet  to be very funny indeed.



Fun as that was, it’s time to turn our attention to the serious and taciturn vegetable, several species of which gave me a great deal of pleasure this weekend and I’m probably not alone in saying that. The roasted fennel and carrots in the opening picture were blindingly simple to prepare and played a supporting role to the main event that was an adaptation of a recipe from Elizabeth David’s “French Provincial Cooking”.

saucisses navarrais059
Ms, David is suitably imprecise about quantities as this sort of food is not about precision. My version used less chorizo, more red peppers and no green peppers, red wine instead of white and so on. This is a dish of big powerful flavours that depends on tasting the dish continually as one cooks it preferably with a glass of wine in one hand, tasting spoon in the other and some good music playing in the background.


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 2016, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Digital photography, Elizabeth David, fennel, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Herbs and Spices, Humour, onions, peppers, Photography, Recipes, Saucisses a la Navarrais, Uncategorized, Vegetables, wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to ‘aving a larf..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Those roasted vegetables look amazing!
    I’ve been to every show I could get to, of a theater company called Footsbarn – they make Shakespeare very funny and even have little children enchanted. I first came across them when they were based in Cornwall in the 70s. In the 80s they went on a world tour and eventually settled in France. I didn’t see anything by Footsbarn for about 20 years before they played at the Globe and in Victoria Park in the last decade and I was relieved to find that they are still brilliant and visually stimulating after all these years:

  2. Those vegatables do look amazing. I’m not familiar with sumac, how much to you put in and do you mix it with the oil or sprinkle it over the vegatables? As a student I enjoyed going to Shakespeare plays, one such memorable evening was the Midsummernight Dream performed in the ruins of an old castle in Germany. The play was performed in German and I understood every word and enjoyed it tremendously. Understanding Shakespeare English is difficult when you are a non-native speaker. I adore children.

  3. The fennel and carrots are gorgeous and I will find out how delicious when I make them this week 🙂

  4. Graham says:

    I read through Ms David’s recipe but could clearly hear childres’ author Beatrix Potter. Mind you, she was never a bundle of laughs, still Mr McGregor had a penchant for rabbit pie with vegetables from his garden.

  5. Hamlet is indeed a very funny play and thanks for a great sausage recipe!

  6. Oh I don’t know…. I loved Shakespeare at school and found lots of his plays funny. Mind you, it was a navy knickers and gymslips kind of place so anything was funny to us. Love your roasted veggies ano even more love the words of Ms David, an ancient copy of this book I was given yesterday as a belated birthday present. She writes like my grandmother used to speak!

  7. Eha says:

    First: am absolutely and have always been besotted by Shakespeare [or whoever wrote those fantastic plays!!]; secondly: have often wondered why people do not like vegetables – parent > child ? ; third: Roger, you have a darn good recipe there and it will be replicated far, far away . . . you know . . . 🙂 !

    • I bow to your love of Shakespeare…no question that I am in a minority; worse, a minority who, for the most part, are ill educated. However, I have never felt lifted by Shakespeare; in short, I find him irrelevant. Just two days ago I was watching, on TV, two eminent actors (man and wife) as they traveled along the English canals in their narrow boat. They often soliloquised, or quoted meaningfully to their young grandchildren, passages of Shakespeare…I assume it was often as I turned off after the second instance…and they appeared, not as wise grandparents, but like two demented old dears talking bollocks:)

      • Eha says:

        Roaring with laughter I am afraid as I do not have the actual time to look for this particular episode. So, in your eyes I am afraid I shall forever be ‘a demented old dear’ talking bollocks.!! Oh me, oh my – I better not repost this to close friends ’cause they would have a fit 😀 !! Hate to tell you after decades I am still regarded the best young Portia ever seen in my nick of the woods and my very brief Calpurnia appearance is still spoken of many years after also!! . . . Not that it matters . . . but I actually LIVE by most of what dear Will had to say 🙂 ! . . .

      • …best left well alone:)

      • …I’ve just been listening to a very interesting programme on R4 about Estonia……fantastic history

    • Eha says:

      Roger, as some of our common blogfriends are finding, the whole history of the ‘wedged in’ countries twixt Russia and Germany have had hugely interesting and tragic histories – not Estonia alone! Wish I could have link to the programme you heard ? Though have never ever been ‘a good Estonian’ the years passing are bringing me closer to my roots: sent you a rather interesting post by a Brazilian Esto expat . . . worth looking at . . .

    • Eha says:

      OK, Roger dearHeart: to begin with just the beginning of ABC: –

      * ‘a dish fit for the gods’
      * a forgone conclusion*
      * a sea change*
      * all corners of the world*
      * all’s well that ends well’*
      * as dead as a doormat’*
      * come what may*

      All I have to for and most of your readers also 😀 !!! Literally thousands of recognized ‘home truths’ most people do not think of :)!

  8. I am grateful that my kids are at the age where their jokes genuinely make me laugh. One they are funny and two I get both the setup and the punchlines. 🙂

  9. pusatraksepatugantung says:

    the onion.. hmmm look like yummy.. i want to try that..

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