Hindson Travels in France 2016 travel blog

putting the fillings onto the macarons

what it looked life after the bombing

Today was a much slower day, and our tour today was a cooking class with a French chef

There were only 24 of us from the ship of approx. 127 people who wanted to do the cooking class.

We all went on a bus and then were divided up into 2 groups. The first group (which was us) went into a small shop front with a chef and an interpreter and we were to make Macarons. The other group were to make sweet pastry items like an ├ęclair.

Our chef was a very funny man and could speak very little English so the interpreter (a young chap) did a great job. We were all introduced to the chef and he took one look at my name and could not believe his eyes. I have found while I have been over here that my name has them all perplexed. They have never heard anyone called Mardi (Tuesday) before and think it quite strange. I actually thought my name would have been very excepted over here as it is French, but no it is not.

Anyway back to the cooking class. The ingredients were all measured etc prior to us getting there but we had to whip the egg whites to stiffness, and gradually add the sugar etc, and add the food colouring. Once it was done the coloured mixture was put into a plastic bag like for cake decorating and had to squeeze it out to small circular shapes. They are cooked in an electric one at 150 degrees for 15 minutes with the door ajar, taken out to cool down, then put back into the over for another 15 minutes. They are cooked when you take them out of the oven and the mixture does not move when you try to push the edges. I think this is the way. We then made the filling by making caramel with sugar, cream and butter, and chocolate with melting chocolate pieces with butter. These were then put in the fridge to cool them down and then squeezed onto the macaroons. We had to match the sizes up to one another. We were then able to take home a box of macarons each. Apparently they have to be put into the fridge for 24 hours before eating so will let you know what they are like tomorrow.

In the afternoon we went into the city of Rouen by ourselves and walked around for awhile and saw the mini train (which every city has) and took a ride on that. It took us all around the city, down side streets etc. It really is a good way of seeing the sites without walking your legs off. We saw the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, and then the memorial for her when she came a Saint in 1990. The city of Rouen was just about bombed to smithereens during the war, and the largest church here called the Notre Dame did not come through it unscathed. There was considerable damage to it, and the church has been rebuilt to what it was originally. They have done a great job and there are pictures inside the church showing the workmen who fixed it and what they had to do.

Most of the inner city buildings look very old but they have been rebuilt to again look like they did centuries ago. They are all new build and some of the houses have the date 1960 on the plinth above the door.

Dinner that night was with a group of us in their so called exclusive restaurant which is quite fancy. The menu was same as what was on the other ship (Sapphire), and I had forgotten that the food was very rich. It was a lovely evening with good company, and lots of fun but the food I could take it or leave it.

We then came back to our cabin, watched a bit of TV (BBC One - news as nothing much on it), and went to bed as tomorrow is a big day.

We are off on a long bus journey to the Somme Battlefields of World War 1.

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