Thursday, March 8, 2012



by Julia Stuart

Available here on Amazon

A book review for Food for Thought,

a delicious blog for readers with

an appetite for the written word.

This light quirky novel is full

of both humor and culinary delights.

The cuisine of France is

certainly not lacking in this whimsical read.

Yes, there are many delectable treats

among the pages of MATCHMAKER OF PERIGORD.

Just as there is an abundance of

romantic mishaps in this village of Amour.

Guillaume Ladoucette, the successful village barber, suddenly finds that his clients have grown older and balder, and it becomes apparent to Guillaume Ladoucette that he must pursue a new profession. Set in the small French village of Amour-ser-Belle (population 33) "despite its name, love was something that Amour-Ser-Belle was sorely lacking." To alter this village status, Guillaume Ladoucette takes on the task of village matchmaker.

"Guillaume Ladoucette wiped his delicate fingers on his trouser leg before squeezing them into the glass jar. As he wiggled them around the cold, slippery fat he recognized what he felt was an ankle and his tongue moistened. He tugged it out and dropped the preserved duck leg into the cassoulet made by his mother thirty-one years ago and which had been on the go every since."

My first inclination for a FFT connection was to make a cassoulet. So I went straight to Julia's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. Clearly this recipe was a bit too adventuresome for moi. The ingredients alone made me feel as if I were taking inventory at la boucherie.

So instead I settled on a fishing trip picnic.

"For whilst the two men were fiercely competitive when it came to fishing, their unspoken rivalry was not over what one another caught, but the contents of their picnic baskets. And the barber, who had been labouring in the kitchen since five that morning, was convinced that victory would be his."

~ Baguette ~ bunch of tomatoes-on-the-vine ~

~ jar of cornichons ~ bunch of pink radish ~

~another baguette ~ duck paté ~ vichyssoise ~

~ potato salad w/ lobster tails ~

~goat's cheese tart ~ walnut and apple cake~

"No, thanks, otherwise I won't be able to manage this! ' the baker announced, lifting a walnut and apple cake out of his basket with a flourish. But they both knew it was useless: nothing could have beaten Guillaume Ladoucette's caprine masterstroke."

Guillaume Ladoucette's goat cheese tart couldn't be topped.

So Goat Cheese Tart it is for FFT!

I used an Ina Garten Food Network recipe found here.

Instead of using garlic-and-herb soft goat cheese, I opted for Montchevre fresh goat cheese and then added fresh chopped garlic in with the saute of chopped shallots.

"Mmm, really goaty! Fancy some?"

I might add, I even impressed "the chef" with this one.

This recipe is a keeper!

Click the links below to see more

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. The novel seems funny. Who treats you attract into your images. I get hungry. I wish you a wonderful weekend! Zinnia

  2. I said to the SP I bet Sarah does the fishermen's picnic basket!
    Great review, will definitely try IG's recipe for the little goat's cheese tarts.

  3. Yum! If you are looking for another read for next time, try Joy For Beginners. It has a chapter that focuses on bread. Love the book.

  4. Sarah~ I woke my husband up this morning GASPING & LAUGHING that we did the SAME mini Goat Cheese Tarts from Ina! No great surprise that we both packed picnic baskets though :) It IS a keeper recipe! I couldn't find pink radishes for my basket~ but what a FUN romp thru this French village!

    I had the same inclination to do a cassoulet~ I even found a somewhat manageable recipe from Thomas Keller for Williams-Sonoma using a slow cooker but decided it would be more fun & quicker to put a chicken in a pot than all those ingredients :)

    You & Jain both did sunflowers which escaped me! Thanks for joining in the fun with this quirky book and my chuckle this morning~ I'll add a link back to my post!

  5. how wonderful, a sweet book that in inspired cooking, love it! Hugs and happy weekend wishes. Katherine P.S. Its giveaway time at Katherines Corner!

  6. Now craving apple walnut cake and this book to read!
    xo Cathy

  7. You've made me hungry for France! What an adorable picture your bountiful basket makes. You have even chosen one of my favorite wines!

  8. It sounds like a wonderful book...and an inspiration to cook French food! Your tart looks wonderful.

  9. sarah your sunflowers are a breath of fresh sunny french skies here at the cool foggy beach~ all those brilliant colors and FOOD!

    i love your picnic, right down to the red tea towel :) those tarts are so wonderful, both you and mary are shaming me in the culinary dept!

    its so hard to enjoy on a cell phone, i look forward to getting home and absorbing it all full screen!

    thanks so much for sharing in fft, it is so nice to have other bookfoodbeautyophiles to play along!

  10. I wanted to do a cassoulet also, but couldn't find duck confit at my local imported food store and was too lazy to try making it myself!

    Next fall when my friends are all duck hunting, I plan on giving it a whirl!

  11. The novel sounds like a good read. And the cheese tart looks yummy! You are quite the gourmet chef!

  12. Hi Sarah!

    How fun! Loved the pictures of your picnic and the review sounds like it might be a fun read. The best part was that yummy looking tart :)

    Have a great weekend!
    xoxo Bunny Jean

  13. This sounds like an interesting book, Sarah. Your goar cheese tarts look fabulous and perfect for a brumch or picnic. I love your pretty picnic basket full of goodies!

  14. Oh now WHAT A SENSATIONAL IDEA for a story! And Le Perigord; I LOVE THAT PLACE! Ruben and I were there and we fell in love with the market at much to see and do and EAT!! Oh dearest, are you off to PARIS TOMORROW???? THANK YOU for coming for a visit with such kind comments. I have GOT to find this book; it sounds WONDERFUL! BON VOYAGE, Anita

  15. Just put a request in at the library. Sounds like fun.

  16. Sarah, You did it ~ made me want to dump this diet and dig into your beautiful treats . . . as WELL as read the book. It sounds like a winner!

    Very nicely done ~ thank you for sharing all of these eye candy pictures. xoxo and blessings.

  17. Sounds delightful Sarah! Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. What a fun and well-thought-out post, Sarah. The pictures are lovely, and the book sounds delicious. :) Thanks for visiting and commenting on my St. Patrick's table. ~Zuni

  19. Hi Sarah, That picnic menu is so tempting--potato salad with lobster tails!! I always have good luck with Ina's recipes, and even though I usually choose goat cheese last, I made her palmiers with goat cheese and they were delicious! These tarts look good too and your picnic basket is perfect with the pink French cloth! Happy Spring Ahead day! Linda

  20. Good Morning Sarah Sweetie...
    Oh what a wonderful share. I love the story of the barber who suddenly became a cook. Very intriquing.

    Love the little goat cheese tarts. They look so delightful and yummy I am sure. Love the photos with the sunflowers. Sunflowers are so fun and perfect for the basket picnic.

    Thank you for sharing Sarah my sweet friend. I always enjoy stopping by Hyacinths for The Soul. Have a glorious Sunday. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

  21. Sarah, I must add The Matchmaker of Perigord to my TBR (to be read) list. It sounds like a delightful book! :D Your fishing trip picnic looks delicious, especially the tarts! What a delightful post!

    Ricki Jill

  22. A delightful, delicious visual book review. Thanks for inviting us for a snippet of your wonderful read. Cherry Kay

  23. Sounds like a fun, interesting read:)And I'm loving your picnic basket filled with scrumptious goodies! The goat cheese tart sounds and looks deelish!Happy Sunday to you, Sarah!~Poppy

  24. What a fun clever post about a really intriguing book. I must put that on my wish list, most definately.

    Thank you so much for visiting me so I could find you!

    You have a wonderful blog- I am your newest member!

  25. Oh Sarah, this is a delightful book review. I have to get this book! A novel set in a French village with humor and culinary delights is a "must read"! Great photos and love the picnic basket. I'll have to make those tarts too.

    the French Hutch

  26. That sounds like a good read!
    I've been cooking like mad up here - it must be the change in seasons, but I find myself inspired daily. It's hard with working full time, and sometimes supper is VERY late!

  27. Sarah, you are making me hungry. That book looks wonderful.


  28. Yummy!! Sarah such a pretty post! I had planned on reading that book but had too much going on this month ..hope to participate soon! Love all your gorgeous food vignettes! Looks like a magazine shoot!
    Miss Bloomers

  29. Ooh la la!! The picnic basket is so inviting & the tarts look divine!! I must read the book now.

  30. Those goat cheese tarts look yummy!

  31. Sarah, I love your picnic basket. It looks like something in a magazine with all that pretty food and wine. I'm very impressed with your trats! I'm not adding another book to my "to read" list until I read the books I have on it, but this sounds like a good one. laurie

  32. Oh my, now you've got me drooling!

    - The Tablescaper


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