Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

A weekend away

This past weekend we went to stay with a friend of ours who lives in a tiny hamlet in the Gaume region of Belgium, close to the French border. The house is an old farmhouse which has been lovingly and very tastefully restored over the last twenty years or so that we have known him. It is also home to a large dog, a couple of horses and several cats.

After a lunch of assorted quiches, salads and a local speciality – Gaume Pie (for recipe see below), we drove to the nearby village of Chameleux where the remains of a roman settlement have been found. Chameleux was a staging post on the old roman road between Reims (France) and Trier (Germany). Two hundred metres up the hill lies the village of Williers – a curiosity in its own right as half the village is in France and half in Belgium.


It was a bitterly cold afternoon so we stopped for hot chocolate in the hotel/restaurant Chez Odette which is beautifully decorated in what would probably be called Asian fusion style. The owners were expecting a wedding party that evening and had laid out a pattern of hearts with candles which they were lighting just as we left – what a clever idea we thought.

We ate our dinner back at the farmhouse with the meat grilled over the open fire in the huge old fireplace. The house is a visual delight being filled with antique furniture, pictures and figures depicting hunting-related images and old farming equipment. We left on Sunday morning – blue sky, sun shining and birds already starting to make their nests – vowing we would not leave it so long before we returned next time.

Recipe for Gaume Pie
for the marinaded filling:
2 lbs (1kg) pork shoulder
5 tablsp vinegar
1 tablsp oil
7 medium sized shallots
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 large bunch of parsley
salt and pepper

1 lb (500g) flour
2 eggs
5 ozs (150 g butter)
1 tablsp dripping
1 small cup milk
2 ozs (60g) yeast
1 beaten egg to glaze

Cut the meat into 3/4″ (2cm) cubes. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the meat for 2 days, turning it occasionally.
Make a yeast dough and divide it into 2 parts. Roll out and place one part on a greased tart plate. Put the marinated meat on top. Cover with the rest of the dough, rolled out to fit. Cut a vent in the middle of the pie, brush it with beaten egg. Cook in a medium oven for 1-1/4 hours at thermostat 4.

This pie can be eaten hot or cold (esecially when accompanied by a salad)


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