One of the tasks I've wanted to do while we have the "extra" downtime this time of year was to go back through our photos from our trip to France last summer. One of my favorite things about our time in France was our food workshop with Cat and her husband, Alain from Rabbit Hill Lifestyle. You can follow Cat here.
I wouldn't consider myself a food enthusiast but we so looked forward to working with Cat and learning from her expertise. I had followed Cat on instagram for the last several years and while scrolling through my feed one day, I stumbled upon her website where I noticed she offered food workshops. It was then I had talked to Taylor about potentially doing the workshop and getting an inside look at the french lifestyle- bliss!
We had met Cat in a small harbour town to go to the local fresh market. The market had everything you could want; honey, herbs, flowers, clothing... you name it. We strolled around the market and talked with Cat about the French lifestyle and gathered the foods for our meals. After days of feeling like a foreigner in France, it was so great to speak fluent English to someone else.
Cat and Alain were incredible and walking through the market with them was such a "pinch me" moment. We picked up some fresh herbs, flowers and I gathered some gifts to take back home.
After we had our market goods, we went and had some coffee to get to know each other more. We sat in the streets and we heard about their story.
We then headed to Cat's homestead to begin our meals. We drove up the lane to their homestead and I was blown away. Beautiful trees flanked each side of the driveway and at the end was their stunning brick home. To the left was the donkey pasture and I could see ducks and goats in the distance. Something about that moment felt right at home- though we were thousands of miles from Ohio.
Cat showed us around the homestead and then we headed inside to get started. As you can probably imagine, I was in a puddle of inspiration and swooning over everything Cat and Alain had created on their homestead.
Stepping into her kitchen was yet another incredible moment. You could feel the dedication and passion in that kitchen. So many meals and great memories were held there. I felt very fortunate. Cat gave me the cutest recipe cards and booklet to write down the recipes. I ended up writing down one of the recipes (sorry, I'll be keeping that close to my heart) but the rest I wanted to be in the moment and just watch/listen.
Cat had all the meals planned out and mostly everything was ready to go (she had the time-consuming tasks taken care of). For our appetizer, we made endives tartlets. She gave us chopping jobs and she talked about her process. We finished the tartlets and popped those into the oven.
We moved onto making salmon tartar which would be served with our late lunch. This recipe was fresh and cool for the starting out the great meal.
After we finished the salmon tartar, our endives tartlets were finished. Cat popped them out of the oven and we dashed them with some sea salt. The endives were mild and with the fluffy crust and a pinch of sea salt- they were perfect served with some white wine.
We then began on the duck breast on celery root puree- aka: heaven. She taught us how she sears the duck and finishes it off. Cat then took me to the garden where we picked fresh green beans. We took them back in, washed them up and Cat sauteed the beans. Once we had everything ready, it was time to dine! We set the table and enjoyed each others company.
Holy moly. The duck was so moist and soooo divine. My mouth starts to water when I think about those dishes again. I can distinctly remember looking out the window to my left to see the white cattle roaming the fields while eating.
The conversations were great and I so enjoyed chatting with Cat and Alain. We finished our great meal off with a vanilla bean panna cotta. It reminded me of jello-pudding... yet again, divine.
After dinner, we wrapped up our time with them and walked outside to visit the donkeys. I grabbed more shots of Cat's beautiful garden area. Our time was treasured. The food was incredible but my favorite part of the day was just getting to know Cat and her husband more.
Can you taste the yummy food? Can you feel the inspiration from Cat's homestead? Ah, yes. The best.
Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Alyssa