Sunday 12 June 2011

The brocante that never was

We are in search of an oven dish. You'd think this was easy--but oddly it isn't; or at least we haven't found what we're looking for. Of course we could probably buy what we want in one of the hypérmarchés but that's no fun.

Ligueil gargoyle
What we're after is an oval or square dish for au gratin recipes. Typically the type of dish you'd use to make baked chicory[Belgian andives] rolled in ham with a bechamel sauce; or baked asparagus. The problem is anything we've seen is either too large or too small. We already have dishes for 4 to 6; we want a dish for 2.

We'd had no joy at the brocante in Ferriere Larcon earlier this month. Today we were planning to try the brocante at Le Grand Pressigny. The drive from Charnizay is one of our favorites. It meanders along the Aigronne, the trout stream which feeds into the Claise at Le Grand Pressigny.

people watching from the café

When we approached Le Grand Pressigny, all seemed suspiciously quiet. Given the one-way traffic system we wondered if the brocante was set up near the chateau/musuem. It wasn't. We spotted a small sign simply saying the brocante was cancelled. So what to do? 

In France there is always another brocante... Niall remembered seeing flyers for one in Ligueil, which wasn't far away. 
We know Ligueil quite well. In the 1990's when we first came on holiday to the Loire area we stayed in a gite about 3 kms outside the town. Some of it hasn't changed a bit, like the ancient--and still used-- gentleman's walk-in pissoir built outside against the back wall of the church. However, the square in front of the church has had a very nice make-over. 

poppies on the way home
 We had an amble round and kept an eye open for the elusive oven dish, but didn't spot what we were after. So we grabbed a table outside one of the cafés to the side of the church and settled down for some people watching and a coffee before heading home for lunch.


GaynorB said...

Hi Antoinette and Niall,

We went to quite a large brocante in Ligueil last summer and bought a monstrous glass 'ornament'. It's on display in LeP-P, but would I buy it again? NO.....

Methinks sittting at a cafe and people watching would have been a far better idea!!!

Craig said...

I know that you don't want to... but... LeClerc have lovely blue baking dishes such as you are looking for for two people. We have two!

GaynorB said...

P.S. Love the header pic. Did you use your new camera?

Sweetpea in France said...

Try Emmaus at Chatellerault. It's probably wiser to go to the one hat is sort of opposite but down the road from the post office rather than le ferme on the outskirts of the town.
Of course because they are clearing houses you have to take pot luck and each time one goes there is something else that is interesting to rob your pocket but help those less fortunate than us.

Jean said...

Oh what a shame our brocante was cancelled, I wonder why.

We have a dish just like the type you are looking for. I think the make is something like Emile Henry and I think we got it at Intermarche or SuperU.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor--We 'resisted' some choice items believe me!! People watching is always fun! :-) Header pic is indeed using the new camera. It's the Aigronne down by the plan d'eau.

@Craig--in the end we'll probably give in and go to LeClerc or SuperU in Loches. But right now it's become something of a challenge/sport--can we find what we want at a brocante... maybe 3rd time lucky who knows? :-)

@Sweetpea--Welcome :-) We regularly have a nose round the Emmaus in LeBlanc. As you say they are useful places.

@Jean--yes a real shame. No idea at present why.

ladybird said...

I love your new blog header! It's superb. I suppose it's the Aigronne? And I also presume that you used your new camera to shoot this pretty picture? Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine-- Thank you!! :-) it is indeed the Aigronne and I did use the new camera to take the pic.

Ida said...

hoi antoinette,
ik heb een ovalen ovenschaal met deksel, 24 cm 'lang' en 17 cm dwars en 8 cm diep. op de bodem staat 27 en 4, misschien een of andere maataanduiding?
met deksel,aardewerk,(helaas) bruin geglazuurd.
zal een fotootje sturen als de batterij van de camera opgeladen is ;-)