Finally I found time to re write the story of this birthday. I normally prepare the post on the words format then upload it on blogger. That night for some reasons I just did it straight on blogger and just I was editing it , voila I have pressed something, gone within a split of a second.

I am typing now while having my pan chocolat and tea here in Antibes. I am staying at a friends flat right in front of the sea. How much I wished I could just sit down at the veranda all day and watch the world go by. But, am here in South of France for work so that’s another story but I did manage to have the meals I have dreaming of for weeks and managed to find time to write.

Birthday cake, gin and tonic and sunflowers

Back to this birthday party, it was the first time after 7 years I actually had my birthday in Athens. For the past years its always been in South of France. But I never really party. This time perhaps was an exception, my friends in Athens have not seen me for a long time so a small gathering will be just perfect.

My husband said I do not have to do anything he will cook. Little did I know I would be dragged to the market as well and do the preparation let alone the scrubbing of the pots and pans.

But it didn’t really matter I love going to the market. I told him it has to be homey and nothing fancy, roasts will do, the rest we have to see what the farmers market got to offer.

Salads: Roasted tomato, steamed beetroots and scooping out the pulp from the roasted aubergines for the aubergine salad

He kicked the day by going to the farmers market early morning, when he came back he showed me his find, apricots, beans, beetroots, red huge red tomatoes and aubergines. He asked me how would I like the beans. A quick stir fry with some smoked we brought from Switzerland and garlic. We would steam the beets and drizzle with olive oil with thin slices of onions.
The courgettes grated served with vignaigrette. The tomato cut into halves, sprinkled with fresh herbs , olive oil and roasted.

courgette salad

As soon we discussed that we set off for the wet market. I suggested a simple roast pork and fish. We went straight to our butcher and got neck cut of the pork. He was nearly tempted to by some rabbit meat but I know our friends will all say yuck!

Beans cooked with smoked bacon we brought from Switzerland and garlic.

The inner sanctum of the wet market is Neptune‘s catch,every conceivable seafood was available. But it didn’t take us long to spot a good fresh one, 3 kilos of red bream (my mind sometimes get muddled with fish names) Its called denti in France.

Squids octopus were so tempting but we could not cook a lot, we only have few people coming and didn’t have much time either.

Back home we divided the work, I did the preparation of most vegetables. Beans cleaned, bacon sliced, and garlic squashed. Aubergines were placed in oven for roasting till they become soft. As soon they came out the soft pulp was scooped. Melitzano salata is very popular in Greece and while doing this my husband has mentioned to me how he has seen a Filipino cook frying the aubergine with eggs.

Red Sea Beam, scaling, finning, browning

Beetroots were placed on a steamer and the same the apricot halves were softened in the pan with butter for the clafoutis. My husband prepared the pork with cumin, salt and pepper ready for roasting. Fish which still have a hook on it was scaled. A friend of mine who knows I love liver gave me over 2 kilos of pork liver, a very fresh one indeed and we just stir fried it with a dash of soya and onions making sure its medium. I was a bit worried about this because Filipino do not eat a pinkish medium cooked liver, but somehow everyone love it. They kept saying how soft and delicate it was and asked instructions how our liver was cooked.

Clafoutis. Apricots fresh from the market, cooked gently with butter, turning apricots and a serving.

Once all dish were ready we cleaned the kitchen and set the table, took out all glasses made sure we have chilled drinks and went for a shower. Just about I changed the doorbell rang and our closed friends trickled in. We all managed to catch up with news and the last guest left at midnight and every food preparation was worth it.