Lets get figgy!



I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love figs… and what a delight to not only have them in season right now, but also to have friends (2 sets of) who have large trees in their garden and are willing to give away bags and bags of these gorgeous black squishy beauties. I’m in fig heaven!

Coming home from one friend’s house the other day, loaded up with two large bags of figs (I’m estimating about 2.5kg worth) AND spare jars (as I didn’t have any) I was plotting and planning all the goodies I was going to make. Or get TC to make, hehehe.

So, first cab off the rank is fig and red onion chutney. Perfect with cheeses – perfect for us.

I used this recipe from Bay Tree Cottage and, I must say, I’m pretty pleased with the result. TC also seems to be, as there were lots of yumms and mmmmms coming from his side of the table as we shared a cheese board last night.

So what will be cuisiné in my kitchen tomorrow? Well a classic fig jam of course…  One of my friends commented to me yesterday that I’ve become very domesticated now, and with all the jams and chutneys I’ve been making lately, she might be right.

I hope you are also enjoying fig season as much as I am!  Reipe is below…  Figs 2  Caramelising the onions   Figs into the pot  Fig & red onion chutney


Fig & Red Onion Chutney


 ·         850g fresh figs (13)

·         150ml balsamic vinegar

·         100ml red wine vinegar

·         300g soft brown sugar

·         zest and juice of 1 lemon

·         260g red onions (2)

·         2 teaspoons mixed spice

·         10g fresh root ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger

·         1 tablespoon of olive oil



Peel and thinly slice the red onion, peel and grate the ginger, remove the stalk from the figs and cut them into quarters. Zest and juice the lemon.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then put in the onion. Fry the onion for 5 minutes until it has softened and turned translucent and slightly caramelised.

Add all the other ingredients to the pan except for the figs, then season it with salt & pepper. Bring it up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Once the liquid has reduced to a syrup add in the figs and cook it for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Pour the chutney into sterilsed jars, put the lids on and allow to cool.

DNA earrings

My prized DNA earrings – TC ordered these online as a surprise for me – just another little thing I love, because I’ll never get rid of the geek in me

Anniversary dining with le chat du port

Marseillan Port2

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary so after I arrived home from my weekend in Paris, we had time to relax with a chilled glass of champagne, have a nice catch-up with our weekend news over some brie and baguette, and then head out for dinner to celebrate.

We had originally planned to go to a restaurant we’ve tried once and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to return to ever since, it was that good. Unfortunately they were closed being a winter Monday night, so instead we went down to the little port in Marseillan (pictured above) and dined in the Brasserie du Soleil.

It wasn’t our first visit, we have been to this restaurant a couple of times before, both on our own and with family and friends that were visiting and we haven’t been disappointed yet. It is a reliable restaurant offering decent food at good prices. We got a warm welcome and a lovely meal, drank more champagne and when we told them it was our anniversary, the staff gave us another glass each to help celebrate.

TC started with moules and oysters gratineed while I went for the foie gras with a fig conserve, salad and very tasty little bread triangles. Mmm, delicious.


We then both followed with a crispy skinned cabillaud with a fresh, lemony sauce served on a bed of rough mashed potatoes.  TC even managed to finish off with dessert, a large profiterole, icecream and cream concoction topped with warm chocolate sauce. It looked delicious, but there was no way I could squeeze one in. Maybe next time.

At least while TC was polishing off the profiterole, I got to play with the local port cat who is fond of visiting patrons in the restaurants. He helps me get my pussy cat “fix” while I am 17,000km away from my own little kitty cat. It looks like he’s already won the hearts of the staff around here too –  for a homeless moggie he looks very well cared for!


Overall this is a nice little restaurant so definitely worth a try if you are in the area. And if you do, keep en eye out for our little ginger friend!

Brasserie du Soleil, 34 Quai Antonin Gros  34340 Marseillan, France