Hello friends and fellow campers!
Gourmet Girl Denise here, writing to you from the chilly Loire River Valley in France. It’s a new year, and I brought it in with many new friends at the home of my friend Yvonne, where she cooked a wonderful dinner of wild boar with all of the trimmings. Yvonne is British, and she invited many other British couples as well as one French couple to share in the festivities. There are many British expats in France, here to take advantage of better weather, real estate prices, and the slower pace of life in rural France. Heck, that’s why I’m here! We rang in 2018 twice; once at midnight in France and again at 1 a.m. for midnight in England. Two times bubbly and Auld Lang Syne.
Being the curious chef that I am, during dinner I asked Yvonne where she found the wild boar. It is hunting season here in the Loire and wild life abounds in the acres of forest that surround the river valley. So I naturally thought she may have gone hunting or acquired it from a local hunter. She proceeded to tell me that it had leapt out in front of her car one evening, and though she did her best to avoid hitting it, the beast met its’ fate. I must admit it gave me pause. I was eating road kill. When she saw the alarmed look on my face as I dropped my fork, she told me that she had called a friend immediately who is a butcher and restaurant owner near by. He came to her aid right away and picked it up for immediate processing. I was, needless to say, relieved, even if my appetite had been somewhat curtailed.
I have had my adrenalin rush several times since I moved here from slamming on my brakes to avoid hitting a deer who bounded onto the tarmac in front of my car. This creates quite a hazard when driving, as the creatures tend to do this quite often. A deer is one thing, but a boar! I was informed that evening that they can grow as large as a farmed hog, 250 pounds and 4 feet tall at their back. It would be like hitting a brick wall. I am grateful that Yvonne did not get hurt in the altercation. The boar, well, he was delicious.
So another year has passed and the night of the first day of the new year a full moon came up and lit up the woods surrounding my house with an eerie glow. The night was cool and crisp, and as my cat Milo and I watched the moon rise my thoughts wandered to the wildlife asleep under the moonlight, huddled together for warmth, and how grateful I am that they are safe for the night. And how grateful I am for my friends and family and for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I wish you all a new year full of wonder, adventure and exotic culinary delights!
Denise, Lindsey and Gail