Monday, November 29, 2010

The Hunters' Feast.

    Every few months, we have a communal meal in the village, usually in the hall where, each Wednesday at 8 p.m., the choir meets for a rehearsal (and right now, we're in mega-rehearsal mode with a number of gigs upcoming).
    Last Saturday night, we had a hunters' feast. We borrowed a number of trophies including a wild boar's head, and three deer including one with an antler-span of close to a metre and, about 6:30 p.m., gathered together for aperos. A couple of kirs under our belts and we sat down to an enormous salade composée, and then the main course--le plat-- of a daube of sanglier (wild boar), and white beans.
   Sangliers can be enormous. I don't know the size of the one we ate but it had been shot around Belloc, a village a few kilometres from here. Gilberte, who is the village's chief cook at events like these, told me she'd marinated the meat for two days in red wine and herbs, then cooked it for four hours. She did that a few weeks ago, froze it, and then reheated it for four hours more. All I can say it was delicious, tender as anything, and deeply flavoured.
    Cheese came, then apple tarts. Red wine flowed, and then homemade eau de vie supplied by Jean-Marc, our former mayor. Choir members burst into song in Occitan and French. And then we went home.

Dishing out the daube.
Here's Gilberte on Sunday morning taking the trophies back.
    And on Sunday morning, we went back to help clean up the hall, arriving with empty ice cream containers and leaving with them filled with leftover daube and beans.

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