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Cooking with Len Deighton
Bonjour to our Friends
We had some special fun in July, which will bore those living in France as they'll know about it.  I have been writing book reviews in the nationally distributed English newspaper 'The French Paper' (www.thefrenchpaper.com) since last November.  I have also been interviewing authors for publication and had the opportunity of interviewing Len Deighton - famed for 'The Ipcress File'.  Not a lot of people know (!) that this book was written in France, a country he loves.  His publishers are reissuing many of his titles, including his early cookbooks, which were really directed at men who could not cook.
Len Deighton gave some fabulous answers to my questions which was given a two page spread.  The Assistant Editor then asked if we would like to be involved in a 'cook-in' with Mike and a couple of male friends cooking for the ladies.  Of course the answer was "yes" immediately, and we approached our French teacher Ian (and his wife, Wendy) plus our lovely French decorator, Bernard (with his wife, Chantal).    Bernard does not speak English at all and chose to make the first course of crudites with homemade mayonnaise.  The cookbook has step-by-step drawings, also drawn by Len Deighton, and Bernard found it easy to follow.  Ian stuffed onions, tomatoes and peppers and, due to the fact we had trees dripping with cherries, Mike made a cherry fruit tart.  The newspaper supplied wine and cheese and a great day was had by all, especially as we were able to eat outside.    I put the cheese onto a covered platter, a couple of courses before serving, to warm up a bit after being refrigerated.  At one stage there was a yell from the kitchen and I dashed in to find Frodo had managed to steal a quarter kilo of mountain cheese.  When he heard my cross voice, it was dropped immediately and he tried to make himself very small under the table - he failed, of course, and is now known as that "cheese stealing mutt".
A lot of enjoyment, together with the delicious food created by the gentlemen, gave a wonderful ambience to the day.  This was captured beautifully in the article written by Rachel, the Assistant Editor, and if anyone is interested we have a scan of it and can forward it.  However, I thought you might like to see a picture of the three chefs, courtesy of Wendy who was clicking away.
The weather is fabulous at the moment with fruit trees groaning with plums, greengages, apples and pears so all sorts of preserving going on.  The easiest, of course, being destoning and putting into a kilner jar with sugar and cognac!

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