Provincial French Supperclub

Post date: 25-Dec-2013 20:45:54

11th March 2017

commensal , e ( commensaux pl )

nm/f companion at table

The French word commensal comes from the Medieval Latin commensalis, meaning "sharing a table", from the prefix com-, meaning "together", and mensa, meaning "table" or "meal".

It is also a word in English, derived in turn from the French, meaning "eating at the same table" in human social interaction.

I think it befits our supperclub in so many ways. Our companionable eating and sharing at the same table is the obvious one, and its multinational heritage. But there is yet another meaning of the word. It’s a biological one. In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits without affecting the other. So Medecins Sans Frontieres benefits from your eating, quietly in the background, and some of our guests never even notice.

But MSF notice, and the people whose lives they help save all over the world, so a heartfelt “thank you” from them for the over £60,000 donated by our commensals.

In celebration of this French word, please come and join us for our provincial French supper club. I have just been in France and brought back the kind of foods that my friends cook for me over there.

This is not the typical French food you find in restaurants, but much more homely traditional cooking, perfectly suited to our winter months. And, the desserts....

We have some demi-sel pork (salted pork), which is a crucial ingredient in cassoulet, along with smoked sausage and frozen french sausages. I also have a little cook book of terrines I found in the local brocante, that has served us well in the past. We have gesiers confits (preserved gizzards - delicious) and coeurs de palmier for a fantastic salade folle.

So come and enjoy some of my friends' lovely cooking (whose recipes I stole!)

Salade folle - composez vos-même avec

Terrine de courgettes,

Gesiers confits,

Salade de champignons cru

Coeurs de palmier

Paté de foies de volaille fait maison

et le vrai vinaigrette

Make your own "crazy salad" with terrine of courgettes, real preserved gizzards, mushroom salad, palm hearts, home made chicken liver pate, and real vinaigrette


Cassoulet de tradition

Traditional cassoulet with salted pork, smoked sausage, lamb and beans

Pommes Dauphinoise (v)

potatoes baked with cream and garlic - heaven!

Poulet au vin blanc, gousses de l'ail et feuilles de laurier

Chicken cooked in white wine with whole cloves of garlic and bay leaves - a truly delicious dish

Ratatouille a la Provençal (v)

Sometimes I think my neighbours could drown in this quite easily, so much is made…

Tarte d'epinards et du roquefort (v)

Tart of Roquefort cheese and spinach


Tarte Tatin

classic caramelised apple tart

Gâteau des Poires façon Anjou

Anjou pear cake

Mousse au chocolat noir

Real dark chocolate mousse

Cost will be £45 of which £35 will go direct to that French charity, Médécins Sans Frontières! Please e-mail us on with any bookings