I'm a little bit peeved today, as normally I had planned to go and watch a stage of the Tour de France, this weekend, in the Pyrenees but due to other commitments I am unable to go. The stage which I wanted to watch was one that I have been to before on the Plateau de Beille in the Ariege. If you have never seen a stage of the Tour in the mountains, I suggest you go. It is fantastique! Surprisingly enough or maybe not in the case of the French and Basque spectator's, is the food that is cooked on the side of the road. People will pitch their tents on the side of the mountain and start to cook the most amazing food. Clinging on for dear life, out will come the frying pans, calor gas or BBQ and commence the feast. To arrive at their chosen spot they will go up the mountain by whatever means is possible. Here are some photo's of when I went in 2007.
|This man had his 2 children in the trailer and his dog in backpack.|
|Local food shop|
|Some of the Astana boys, including Alexander Vinokourov, after his fall, 2007|
Doping or not it is still an incredible sport and I hope they succeed in cleaning it up. The atmosphere and passion that so many people, from so many different countries have, is staggering. I have never seen anything except politeness and friendliness amongst the spectators. The Basque are very supportive, some might say to the point of rowdiness but I have never personally had any problems and I was once camping next to 20 young lads that had a mountain of beer cans higher than their tent.
Anyway, I have to be content with watching the stage on the TV and making this Peach Leaf Liqueur but I had to just work the Tour de France somehow into the post, sorry for all those that find cycling boring.
This is probably little known to many people. Peach leaf aperitif is popular in the region of the Périgord. My husband who is from a small village near to Riberac, often tells me about customs and food from there. I know peach leaves are not accessible to everyone but maybe it is possible to make it with the leaves of other fruit trees.
The incredible thing about this was the strong smell of almonds when the leaves were macerating in the wine. I know that peaches, apricots and almonds are of the same family but the scent was overpowering, almost to the point of having the same smell as bitter almonds and if you have ever accidentally bitten into one of those you'll know exactly what I mean.
200 peach leaves
2 litres white wine
300 ml eau de vie or other white spirits
How to go about it
Put the put the leaves into the wine in a bucket and let macerate for 5 days, in a cool place. Strain and add sugar and spirit, stir to dissolve sugar and bottle. Leave for a month before drinking.
Anyway, I've invited friends to lunch and I'll have a feast but in front of the TV, haven't told my friends yet that we'll be watching the Tour!