While on our motorcycle trip to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest we met Carole and Laurent on the ferry trip down the Inner Passage toward Vancouver Island. We thought we were brave souls for making the trip to Alaska, but Carole and Laurent have us beat by miles. They have taken a year off from their jobs, shipped their bike to Montreal, ridden across Canada, toured Alaska and now have ridden from West to East across the United States. We invited them to stay with us on their trip South. They are on their way to Florida to stay for a few weeks and then will head west again through Texas, into Mexico and Central America. They will then load their bike on a boat to South America and spend the remainder of their trip exploring that continent. Not only do they have all of their clothing for all kinds of weather, camping gear and supplies with them, but they travel with panache. Carole always wears her pearls and her hair is cut in a short style that defies the evil effects of helmet head. They have a blog which chronicles the trip and Carole has a separate section “just for girls” that tells you how to travel with very little and still look good.
Carole’s silver fox helmet attachement is tres chic. As is her recipe for ratatouille.
Ratatouille has it’s origins in Provence and uses a melange of summer vegetables. Eggplant (Aubergine), zuchinni (corgettes), peppers, onions and tomatoes. Carole and Laurent live in Tours which is in the heart of the Loire River Valley. They have invited us to stay with them when we visit France next summer. Carole’s version of ratatouille differs from the recipes I have seen before only in the seasonings. Most ratatouilles are seasoned with thyme and bay leaves. Carole uses cumin and cilantro. That is “so individually Carole” and so good. Here is her recipe.
1 eggplant cut into small cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 zuchinnis cut into small cubes
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
Olive oil for sauteing
In a large skillet coated with olive oil saute the eggplant and onions until they are soft. Remove from pan to a bowl. Add more oil to pan and in it saute the zuchinni and and red pepper until they are soft. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 more minute. Add the cumin and the cilantro. Stir. Return the eggplant mixture to the pan along with the can of diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer and cover. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Serve as is or over rice.
Dinner was delicieux, tres magnifiques.
We said our au revoirs this morning. We hated to see them leave.
Rendez-vous l’annee prochaine. See you next year. Bon Voyage Carole and Laurent! You can follow their blog and adventures here.