I’ve always been fascinated as to why French women wear so much black. If you take the tube in Lyon you’ll be surrounded by women wearing head to toe black or grey. Many consider the French to be the epitome of chic and whilst its true that they very rarely display their love handles (because most don’t have them!) French fashion can be quite dull.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like black as it’s so easy to wear but something about being in France makes me feel rebellious. It’s as if I have an overpowering urge to break the trend. I’ll wear a red coat or something colourful just to colour the all black surroundings.
But all that has changed. Seriously, how do people stay slim in France? With all the wonderful and often cheap restaurants, pastries and traditional recipes, not to mention cheese! After spending the last two weekends skiing and eating huge amounts of cheese cooked in every which way, I finally had the courage to weigh myself and the scales tipped a whole kilo heavier than a week ago.
I tried to tell myself that it was all muscle but trying to hike my jeans up over my tummy even I couldn’t kid myself.
With all the sport I’d done what with the energetic hiking up the hill in my ski boots and all the stops and starts I’d done whilst skiing, surely I’d burned off more than I’d eaten?
So, its back to black for me until I loose some weight which isn’t going to happen this coming weekend as I’m back to the slopes! I can’t fit in my more colourful clothes anyway and its just so easy to slip on black trousers, black top, black jacket and black coat and then accessorise. I may just fall in love with black as it has never taken me so little time to get dressed in the morning!
My current favourite mountain recipe is Croziflette which is a take on the traditional tartiflette. It may not be authentic as it was given to me by a friend and I’ve probably forgotten some of it, but it’s still delicious:
Serves 4 – 6 (depending on how much you have!)
400 grams packet of Crozets (small traditional Savoyard pasta like squares made from buckwheat)
1 + ½ reblochon cheese cut in half so you have half skin half the inside of the cheese.
2 onions, finely sliced
1 large packet of bacon bits (lardons)
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onions until soft and the lardons until cooked.
Cook the Crozets 20 minutes in some lightly salted water. Once cooked, mix in the crème fraiche (quantity should be enough so that the Crozet’s are lightly covered), a spoon of mustard (or to taste), lardons and onions.
Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish (like a lasagna dish) and then place the cheese skin side up to cover the mixture.
Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted into the mixture. Finish under the grill to give the cheese skin a crusty taste.
Serve with a traditional Savoyard wine.