NPME

AQuickFrenchLunchAndLangoustine

posted by Natalie Paddick

A Quick Lunch in France!… Langoustine.... 

I LOVE THEM!!


I know that the title, A Quick Lunch in France is a contradiction in terms, but stick with me on this… Over here in the UK it might be a ‘tad’ early for this recipe but bearing in mind the weather predicted for this bank holiday weekend.. This is what I will be eating.. Langoustine.. For me it is never too early for this recipe nor too late for that matter! Way back in the day I lived and worked in Northern France with my then partner, now husband on a project that was frankly eye opening in terms of how different cultures operate within the interior design and construction business, And lunch! To be blunt there was no comparison between them … To give you one example; the British workforce we took over there with us, would sit down for their strict hour long lunch break with their white sliced plastic bread, which as you might appreciate, was not easy to obtain from the local boulangerie, so they had to retreat for this delicacy to the out of town Supermarche, and even then they would complain that the bread did not taste like the bread from home! The obvious seemed to escape them that we were in France!

One of our fine band of merry men even once went into the local Boulangerie and requested a Cornish pastie! Having been met with complete confusion from the French staff.. He came out of the shop and shouted across the road to all of us who were sat at the French Cafe opposite. “I don’t understand this country they don’t even have Cornish Pasties and they call themselves a bakery!” Scandalous!

On site, the British band of workman would sit huddled together at lunchtime peeling their way through sweaty sandwiches that were stuck to the cling film in a sort of congealed mass, complaining about the quality of the cheese in ‘this country’... Their beverage of choice was of course tea that you could stand a spoon in such was the strength! And they would observe ‘the little known to them Frenchman’ form a safe distance. The French workers would arrive at work in general at least hour and half later than the British workforce. The Brits would stop for lunch at 1pm, sharp

The French workforce would meander around the site in the morning making either appreciating sounds at what was going on or tutting noises with the obligatory ‘non’ word or even the odd ‘merde’! Come 11:30am the French workforce would down tools and return to their vans, out of the back these burly Breton’s would retrieve their large baskets, beautifully covered in a red chequered table clothes and then search for the perfect shady spot in order to set out their luncheon fair.

The table cloth would be spread out in the appropriate place and out of the basket the produce would be laid out with meticulous precision, always with a French baguette in pride of place. Reaching into the bottom of the basket out would come the picnic stove, which was duly lit. Then for the next hour the site would be tormented by the most beautiful smells of French cuisine being created from scratch with the freshest of materials… The British looking on in a sort of bemused wonderment..

Most of these Frenchmen would have the minimum of three courses, which were all eaten at leisure each complimented by a small bottle of wine to enhance the flavour of each course… Building site or not .. This was style..

The Brits would reluctantly peel away from this vision of culinary beauty and return to work, leaving their French counterparts to continue amiably with their feast…Finally having had their fill, they would throw the leftover meat to the neighbour’s dog that had wandered up the lane having been lured by the beautiful smell of the cooking.. Carefully they would pack away their basket and return it to their van, before perhaps putting in another hour or two of relaxed work on the site… The British workforce carried on regardless in the heat of the day, until the five o’clock when they would down tools in line with the British deadline…

As the months wore on, slowly there became a little more ‘entente cordiale’ between the two workforces and although none of the Brits would be caught with a Bunsen burner cooking their own grub, certainly their application of French cuisine and lifestyle was growing on them.. Not least two of the British men managed to increase the population of the local village by impregnating two of the women.. ‘entente cordiale’ indeed…

Where are we in all this luncheon behaviour, I hear you ask … Well mostly we were on site first thing in the morning and then around lunchtime we would disappear off to negotiate on various materials and furniture deals for the project… This sojourn would always include stopping of for lunch at some beautiful location… Hard life this! Quite often our trails through the local brocantes and flea markets would lead us to the sea front.. Yes I know a very, very hard life! We would rock up to a restaurant on the sea front opposite the beach or harbour for our ‘le dejeuner’..

If you think we are having a too “cushty” time of it… I have to tell you that it is impossible to work between 12 noon and 2pm in the afternoon, everything shuts for a long leisurely lunch. This being Brittany, the actual closing time was more like 11.30am - 2.30 – 3pm! So what else can you do but eat!... This is France..

I will eat any fish I love it and also anything with the good old French Fries! And a carafe of wine… Has to be done, but my all-time favourite, was and is Langoustine… In one of our favourite restaurant in Cancale, they did a version of Langoustine with garlic, hint of chilli and cream.. It was just divine …

There are so many tales from our time in France, I will tell you in another story, sometime soon… But here is my recipe for this weekend.. “Vive la France”…. Prendre Plaisir…. [Enjoy!]


Ingredients for Langoustine…

Garlic

A pinch of sea salt - plus a little pinch more!

freshly ground black pepper

Olive Oil

Butter

Langoustines

lemon juice , to taste

Ingredients for Spiked Toms...

Vine Tomatoes

Garlic

Olive Oil

Crushed Chilli

Sides…

Mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Virgin olive oil

Capers

Chopped Gherkins

lemon juice - to taste

 

More Sides…

French Bread

French Fries

French beans buttered

 

More & Extra Sides…

Wine….

Look it could not get any simpler than this!

You know how to prepare the French bread… “Just cut it and bite!”

Chips &/or French Fries.. Well this depends on how you like them, whatever is easy for you, which can range from oven chips to fat home cooked potatoes wedges, or the ubiquitous French Fries.. My favourite.. Whichever it is just time them to be ready for the main event…

Blanch or steam the French beans until they are al dente. Once cooked plunge into a bowl of cold iced water, to keep the colour whilst you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix together all the ingredients for the mayonnaise sauce -SidesAnd put into a serving bowl… Easy …

Whether you cook on the Barbeque or on the hob, heat the three pans, first one on the heat – Add the oil and the tomatoes, cook with a bit offoil over them, to fast track the process, after a couple of minutes add the chilli and the garlic, keep an eye out to make sure the ingredients don’t catch, season to taste. Heat the second pan for the Langoustine slosh in the olive oil and butter as it melts add the garlic and the Langoustines, I don’t like to overcook the garlic, so I add it early. Cook them for 2-3 minutes. Half way through cooking the Langoustine, drain the French beans and add them to the third heated pan with the butter and cook fast, flipping when necessary. Take all three pans straight from the barbeque to the table… The juices in the pans are wonderful to dunk your bread in… Don’t for get to squeeze in a little lemon juice…. And as they say ….  

Bon appetite….



SpeedofSoundTshirt

posted by Natalie Paddick

NP/ME Style collaboration with

The Speed of Sound …

The making of affordable Art 


If you follow the NP/ME Style blogs you will know that my mates at The Speed of Sound and we have worked together before … We created art back drops for two of their songs, checkout .. Checkered Land, January 2014 and Shut All The Clubs, February 2016. 

Asked by The Speed of Sound if they could use this shot, we had edited for their song video.…. For a promotional T-Shirt …. Obviously the answer was “YES”…. what a compliment … A new string to our bow … 

Here are some fun shots of the T-Shirt, which you can purchase from The Speed of Sound for £15.00. [It is great quality] .. I have one … 


So if you see a picture on the NP/ME site or on my twitter feed @NNpme that you like or you would like me to take a picture specially for you let us know …. 

These are the links to The Speed of Sound site:-

https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/                                             http://thespeedofsounduk.com/



SpeedOfSound2016

posted by Natalie Paddick

The Speed of Sound – Shut All The Clubs

For the second time NP/ME Style has had the opportunity of working with The Speed of Sound, we provided the background pictures for their heart felt writing about the loss of privately owned and council run venues across the country, which limits the stages bands can perform on. 


The song Shut All The Clubs points out the sad fact that these valuable culture social meeting places are being shut down and bulldozed to make space for developments of flats, corporate buildings, restaurant chains and the ubiquitous coffee houses and designer celebrity ‘chef’ restaurants.


The song alludes to a time when these spaces had a personal identity within their community along with the people that inhabited them. Culturally now we seem to live in a world that is all the same, every town centre mirrors the last. The high streets are full of the same corporate companies all with their special personal relationship with the tax man!

 

We happily loaned some pictures that we had taken to be used in this video:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo0m41Y_-lM&feature=youtu.be


The strange fact is that these pictures were taken in a derelict house that we demolished to build two new five bedroom luxury homes. It should be pointed out that the demolished property had been condemned and could not be rebuilt, so we believe like The Speed of Sound that if you are going to redevelop then it should be done with an eye for style that works within its surroundings, complies where possible with modern ergonomics, but overall maintains some character of its own!    


It is inevitable that our urban environmental needs must change and be upgraded as time moves forward and modern life dictates a different pace and style of living. But do we really need to rape and pillage, architecturally speaking, our towns, cities and villages of their identity? 


NP/ME Style likes all types of design as long as it is done well and considered within its surroundings, but I totally empathize with The Speed of Sound lyrics in Shut All The Clubs. Please let us all be individual and leave some doors open giving us an element of freedom and choice. Letting us breathe the fresh air of individuality!



To order please click here:-

  https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/album/shut-all-the-clubs-love


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