La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Monday, September 26, 2016

Whoa There !

Every now and then I surprise myself. Yesterday was such an occasion as I got off my lazy bum and made a bit of food for the freezer. Not for the freezer as such but for us, to eat at a later stage and to make dinnertime prep easier for when I am busy doing other things.
Like sitting on my bum.

Bert has recently bought a pizza oven via t'internet (I really should keep him away from the 3 w's). It works with wood pellets. Which is great because we have them hanging around the house, seeing we normally use them as cat litter. As you do.

Anyway, I decided to make a head start with the dough. Just in case there will be a day somewhere in the future, without wind or rain, when he lights the pizza oven.
I made two batches of dough and divided each into 6 balls.

I wrapped them individually and placed them in the freezer.

 Last week I also organised two of our three freezers, by the way.

I still had massive beetroots from my friend Sophie which I had stored in the fridge.
They had a good roasting in the oven while I was busy doing other things. I saw this recipe on line for beetroot ravioli and thought if I portion off the right quantity of roasted beets, they can be frozen too.

The oven was hot from roasting the beets and I made use of that by chucking in two loaves of bread.

With the kitchen a mess, I thought, "what the heck! I'll make shortcrust pastry too"

Six portions went into the, yes, freezer and I made one pastry case for a quiche for today and one beetroot, goats cheese and smoked salmon tart for last night's dinner.

Layer sliced goats cheese, roasted beetroot and red onions sauteed with balsamico.
In a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Add fresh goats cheese blobs and return to oven for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool for 10. drape with smoked salmon and drizzle with reduced balsamico. Sprinkle with black pepper. I just wish I had rocket to set it off a bit better, flavour wise and for photographic purposes.

The pastry was yummy. There is a reason why this is usually served as a small portion for a starter. It's rich !

Patricia xxx...x


  1. My mouth is watering. The bread looks delicious. I'm not good at batch cooking but there is usually some pizza dough to be found in my freezer. X

    1. It is the first time I actually stuff pizza dough in the freezer, so I am curious about the result.

  2. What a productive day you had, it all looks very delicious, I am having a day doing bits and bobs in the kitchen today xx

    1. Thank you, Marlene. I needed a rest in the days after. ;)


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