That is a sign that Prosper Montagné, author of the first Larousse Gastronomique, once saw on a bootmaker’s shop in Carcassone. Every year I follow the bootmaker’s example and cook a birthday cassoulet for around a dozen friends. This Sunday will be my seventy-fifth—birthday, not cassoulet!—and this diary will document the countdown.
Introduction and a bit of history.
To market, to market to buy a fat hog Off to the Borough Market for the basic ingredients.
Authentic cassoulet A wild goose chase!
Down Market The Borough Market is where I do my fun shopping; Mary does the real shopping at Chapel Market near the Angel, Islington.
I shop, therefore I eat. The commercial area of Muswell Hill is rapidly being invaded by trendy delis, but some good old-fashioned shops survive.
The story thus far The various elements have been prepared separately.
Interlude: Vegan Cassoulet The Ultimate Challenge!
Sunday's Cassoulet Menu The Big Day!
Oysters, too! Absent friends make their presence felt.
Quick cassoulet Mary's version in Entertaining Single-Handed, adapted from a Cordon Bleu recipe, can be finished in a day. It's so close to my laborious week-long labor of love as to be embarrassing.