And thus inspired I have ordered a moules pot (£16 from a company who sell through Amazon) and very much look forward to some proper moules in white wine, garlic and shallots with some fresh crusty French bread. I have no means of cooking frites! It hasn't arrived as I type but I expect it in the next few days!!
Oh dear, the French Odyssey DVD has found its way to the TV. Rick Stein's now his now well departed doggy Chalky still hates the vet and can't go to France! Chalky is in a proverbial angelic doggy video loop! I love watching Rick's programme about his barge trip across France and one of my favourite bits was about the mussels cooked in the South West of France Eclade style.
The mussels are laid in a big circular group and cooked through in dry pine twigs. The ends of the mussels are all upward turned in order that the ash doesn't go into the shells and the mussels themselves. I would like to try this sometime. Mussels with a piney smoky taste I guess. The Eclades in France are usually for special occasions, big family occasions and often accompanied by lots of nice white Charante wine.
The first time I tried mussels was not so long ago in Lille at specialist cafe on the famous market place. It was 2008 and since then I have been hooked and particularly like live mussels farmed in Scotland and love the fresh ozone smell before they are cooked. Yum.