We don’t seem to treat holidays like other people. For a start off we don’t regard them as holidays: they are periods of time when you live somewhere else, get all the crap out of your head and try to regain your sanity – and possibly a little creative energy. For us France is a pretty good place to do that and Arcachon suits us perfectly as a second home. Never mind how many years we have been coming here, this is the eleventh time we have stayed in this little studio above the sea. It’s May or September – this place would be hell in August. Last year was September; this year is September.
So, same seasonal stuff on the market which means, on Sundays, as well as M. Brion’s bread stall, a fabulous organic fruit stall belonging to a local farm with orchards. Right now this means peaches, apples and …. figs. Which in turn means the same Ruby Tandoh fig and serrano flatbread recipe we stole last year.
I mean I wouldn’t use her dough recipe which overflows with yeast. But the topping, fresh figs, good ham (this was Bayonne from a Basque stall that dishes out the local free Catholic news-sheet) with a dressing of olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar and a handful of rocket is hers and quite delicious.
The dough is just a bit of campagne dough that has been in the fridge a couple of days. After all these years I think I’ve cracked the baking on holiday thing – how do you fit it in when (1) the sun might come out, (2) you might go out to lunch, (3) etc, etc … – you run up a bit of basic dough when you’ve got the time, put it in the fridge and pull it out when you get a bit of inspiration, come across some figs, run out of bread.
You can’t teach an old gog new tricks, but sometimes, like getting a French internet connection, an idea bubbles to the surface.