Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Novembre 2016

November 2016

Oh boy, it is the end of November and the last minute for my November blog. I looked through all my photos for November 2016, all 12 of them! Yikes where has this month gone.


Well first there were the elections in the US. I was disappointed, but I will not make this a political forum.

Then November weather moved in here, foggy, or misty, and /or rainy days. Not the ideal weather to march out and take photos. When the fog is heavy you can not see 100 feet. This week it is sunny, but the temperature has gone down. High of 5 degrees (Celsius that is) the other day. Since it is dry, I have to finish getting the yard ready for winter. Did mow the lawn last week one afternoon when the sun poked out, it really needed to be mowed.

Now I have to move all the planters to a dry place for the winter.

November 11, armistice day is celebrated each year here in France with a ceremony  in most cities or villages, and usually followed by a glass of wine. This year, like other years there was a small parade lead by the city officials, the band, the fire department (in dress uniforms) and then the rest of us (citizens). The parade arrived at the monument ( monument with the names of those that died in the wars- Monument aux Morts) for the ceremony. Our monument has now been listed as historic. I still get a little emotional when the La Marseillaise is played and I realize this is my country too.
Ceremony at the Monument

After the ceremony, the band started up again and led us to the salle (room) in the new building called "Climats de Bourgogne" for a glass of wine and gougères. There were at least 100 people in there, even on this rainy day. 

I had to do some work for the upcoming Gazette that should be published in December. First is to ready the two pages for Flora and Fauna. Those interested submit photos, we meet and pick the final 12 photos (out of 65 this time), and I prepare them for the Gazette (crop and size and lay out for publication with names in french and latin). Flora and Fauna done,   I look up and transcribe about 12 words with definitions of the patois from the Cote D'Or.

We had Thanksgiving on Sunday the 27th of November this year. We had 9 people in all this year.
It was a true fete with all the traditional trimmings. Our round table only holds 6 maximum, so had to add a table. Worked just fine. Conversations were in french and english! Our one guest did not speak french, but the french guests all spoke english, so everything flowed. It was a good time with friends that lasted all afternoon. 
Our table all ready for  the guests
Keith went to Paris for a couple of days to work with a colleague who was a guest researcher/lecturer for a month at the Poly Technique. Other than that he is trying to get in as much bike time as possible. With rain and fog it has been a challenge this month.

Last night (the 29th) I fixed turkey tetrazzini (recipe below). Keith had gone up to our borrowed cave in the Haute Côte on Saturday to get some wine and found some we needed to drink. So we had this bottle with dinner last night.
2009 -so good. See what happens in a good
cave. You do not want a dry place to store wine.
It turned out to be a white chardonnay from Monthelie. It was so very good. Enjoyed every sip. It went well with dinner too.

This leads into the recipe. And the month is almost over! So onto December and Christmas.

Recipe of the Month 

I looked at a few recipes, some too short. Then I happened on the recipe by Emeril Lagasse . I did not get too upset about ingredients I did not have. I did have plenty of leftover turkey! I am sure his recipe is excellent as written, but the dinner I made last night was very good too.
So follow his recipe, or go a little creative.
Here is his recipe with my comments in purple. Also I did not overly fret about quantity, I needed to use up the creme fraiche, so I used what I had.

Turkey Tetrazzini

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (not this much, just enough to make a rue)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (1TBS)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (Had none open)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream (I had about 1 cup crème fraiche)
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1 pound cubed or bite-size shredded roast turkey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 (5 1/2-ounce) bag potato chips, crushed (left this out entirely)

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (I just added some of these, did not make up the mixture):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika (added about 1 tsp)
  • 2 tablespoons salt (no additional here other than what I used above)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder (did not have any)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper (added about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder (did not have any)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (added  a dash)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (added about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme (added about 1 tsp)


PREPARATION
  1. Saute the onions and bell peppers in 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes.(just used oil)
  2.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the mushrooms, Essence, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid, about 6 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. (made a rue with some butter and flour and mixed it in)
  5.  Add the wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.
  6.  Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and very flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes. ( this is where I stopped, I added the noodles, stirred and served).
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  10. Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole or baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.
  11. When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, turkey, parsley, salt, black pepper, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared casserole and top with the potato chips. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Monday, October 31, 2016

October 2016

      October 2016
Happy Halloween
Fall in the Côte-D'Or  - Clos de Vougeot on the right
Thought I would start with a panoramic photo of fall here in the Côte-D'Or. We may not have the beautiful maple trees, but some years the vines are spectacular.  With the weird weather this year and the drought in July / August, there was little hope that the vines would be golden. 
Mais VOILA.
Last 3 days have been beautiful and fall colors amazing. This photo was taken not far from Gevrey near the Clos de Vougeot. I had to find a place to pull off the highway to take the photo.
Here are a few more photos from the last couple of days. I want to show off the beauty of fall here.
Overlooking  Chambolle-Musigny. Some haze, but wanted to show
the golden Côte. All the gold color is from grape vines.

This is Chambolle-Musigny _ and yes some haze

Thursday in Gevrey_ the Château

Gevrey_ Clos Saint-Jacques in the background

Sunday, Gevrey

Gevrey

Gevrey

Gevrey- tried to capture some sun rays on the left. Not so much!

In the haze, Friday in the Haute-Côte going to MT's
Red gold on the right are vines

Grand final..vines between Gevrey-Chambertin and Brochon

It seems to have been a busy month, but not sure what I have accomplished! I had a cold for 2 weeks, so I can say without hesitation that I read more than a few mystery books. Love that Kindle, do not have to leave the comfort of my chair when I need a new book! Scary how easy it is to buy another book, then another, then ...!!
I did go out for a few hikes this month. Here are a few photos from walks with MT.
 Bonnet d'évêque (Fusain d'Europe)
It will soon open and have orange seed inside

Coprin noir et blanc (coprinus picaceus)


Combe d'Orvaux - Chambolle (haze!)

Walk in the woods


Horse in the pasture

Combe d'Orvaux, Chambolle


For photoclub we had a theme of Still Life this month. I looked to the old masters' paintings and tried to create a " painting photo". I had some fun with this project. There were some other great photos by the club members.
Vegetable still life (nature morte)

Prunes -en français (plums) 
And then here at home as fall sets in. We had to start using the wood stove. Waiting to turn on the heat though, wood stove is sufficient for now. 
Cat has decided to sleep indoors at night, so comes around 9pm. 
Fall in our yard, we planted a
Japanese maple (morning sun set it on fire)

View from the house


Hitchcock anyone! Phote from our backyard. After the harvest there
are lots of good grapes on the ground and the birds gather

As for the wine, since fall had the right amount of wet and dry, there are predictions of good wine ( and when do they ever say anything other than that). But also, because of the May frost and drought, the volume is way down. So of course prices will go up this year again. If the Chinese bid on the wine at the Hospice de Beaune like they did the last 2 years, prices will leap once again. The Beaune auction is in November. The price hike on wine fhe last couple of years has been good for the vignerons, a little sad for us and our pocketbook.

Keith has worked on getting 200 km each week on his bike. So far the weather has cooperated.

Will not go into any politics here in my Blog, just asking everyone to VOTE.
 I hope all goes well.

Next Blog will be the end of November and Thanksgiving will have passed. So have a happy family day, or a day with friends. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.



SPECIAL BULLETIN : Le Tour de France is listed as passing through GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN  the 7 of July 2017. 
YEAH

Recipe of the Month

Cream of Mushroom SOUP 

It is fall and I love soup. Had chicken soup last week But here is a fall treat, cream of mushroom soup. Mushrooms are in season, especially is you want to add a few bolets to the soup recipe. 


Cream of Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms ( I prefer  Crimini) , but you can mix in some wild mushrooms too)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 yellow onion- diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme tied together with kitchen twine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper “to taste

PREPARATION
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat;
  2. Add and cook mushrooms in butter with 1 pinch salt until the mushrooms give off their juices;
  3. Reduce heat to low, simmer
  4. Continue to cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Set aside a few mushroom slices for garnish
  6. Add chopped onions into mushrooms and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 more minutes.
  7. Stir flour into mushroom mixture and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes to remove raw flour taste.
  8. Add thyme sprigs to mushroom mixture
  9. Add garlic
  10. Pour chicken stock and water into mushroom mixture.
  11. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
  12. Remove thyme bundle.
  13. Transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree on high speed until smooth and thick.
  14. Return soup to pot and stir in cream. Season with salt and black pepper and serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom slices.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 2016



Wild Morning Glory
September 2016


I will start with my usual weather report. September started hot, in the 90's. Then suddenly it was fall, days 60 to 70 and cool nights.
Still unusually dry, just 2 days with some rain. Obviously, no mushrooms so far with the extreme dry spell we have had.

And of course the days are shorter. Sun sets here with the cote in the west at about 7:15pm.

The 3rd of September, the History, Heritage and Genealogy association (I am a member)  had an outing. Part one, the canal called Cent-Fonts (100 springs), and part two a tour of the abbey Citeaux. A little history about this. The abbey of Citeuax is a few miles from Gevrey. It was established 1098 (monks are known as cistersians or trappists). Then at the start of the 13th century they needed water, so they built a canal to transport water from Fénay to the abbey. The canal is 11km long. Work started 1212 and was finished in 1221. In the village of Noiron-sous-Gevrey, the canal passes over the stream Chairon.

The hiking group started in Noiron-sous-Gevrey at the bridge (the bridge is called Pont des Arvaux), ready to hike the 9km to the abbey. It was a little warm, very sunny day, but the morning was cool.
Water passes in the canal above, Pont des Arvaux 
On top of the bridge

The canal a little further down stream
Then of course there were flowers 
Cardère sauvage (Dipsacus fullonum L.)

beautiful path next to the canal

Still a few km to go!
Hops- how did this get there?

Laitue vivace (Lactuca perennis L.)

Crételle des prés ( Cynosurus cristatus L.)

Centaurée scabieuse (Centaurea scabiosa L)
Saponaire officinale ( Saponaria officinalis L.)
Used as soap
Eupatoire à feuilles de chanvre (Eupatorium cannabinum L)





When everyone arrived at the abbey, we had a picnic. As usual, there was too much food. Everyone brought a lunch and also had food to share.I had my egg, tomato and cheese. Due to the generousity of others, I also ate cold zucchini terrine (excelent), wonderful cheese tart(wow), prune tart and a little white wine from Gevrey (family private stock), mmmm just a little full.

A step into history, we took the tour at 14:30. There are only two old buildings remaining. The tour is mostly verbal history of the abbey over 900 plus years. The abbey still functions as an abbey and is also famous for its cheese. Have to live here to be get the cheese!
The library is one of the older building still that existing.
old library and scriptorium

old library and scriptorium
Work in progress

Upper level

Example of the monks work- person picking grapes

library et scriptorium
The down side of the day, I lost my small camera. I turned around on the canal walk at about the half-way point to retrace my steps. I did not find it. I was picked up back at Noiron to go to Citeaux for the picnic. I went back with a couple of people on Sunday (next day), and still no camera.  The camera started to have a few problems, and it had a dead battery. Zut alors, I have to buy a new camera ;-).

Because of the extreme heat, Keith and I had not gone out on a picnic all summer. So I threw some things into a bag and off we went. We went over to Saint Roman. Pretty village built into the hillside. Of course, I took a couple photos.
Walked out to the Cross and belle vue

Belle vue from the point
Picnic near Rocheport
Pull in and park, a still at the stone table (Keith is at the table)
Vines near to the picnic area (grapes not so good)
View from picnic area
Just down the road from our picnic was a view of the
chateau Rochepot...beautiful roof

Keith had a thought to search for a old village from the XIV century.  The name of the village was Dracy. It is known that it was deserted by 1420.
Took a while to get there, a very narrow dirt road goes up the hill and then runs along the hillside. Whew!! It was hot by this time.
There is a sign there about the village and the archaeology study and location of the buildings. The place is now very overgrown.
Not a lot left here, more all covered in forest growth


Then as is habit (comme habitude) got a walI went for a walk with MT. We went to Mont Myon, to a field that we visit every so often,  and it was full of fall flowers and butterflies.
Gentiane d'Allemagne (Gentianella germanica)

beautiful butterfly "Paon du Jour"

Looking toward Villars les Fontaine

Taking photos and dog waiting

Grasshopper (maybe Grande Sauterelle Verte-femelle)

Flipper happy in the woods

light through the trees

although very dry, found these mushrooms
Only ones!!!


Then on Wed the 28th, the Reserve Naturale de la Combe Lavaux organized a hike on Montfée by the village Semezanges. It was a great hike through the forest and ferns. Mostly information about the forest and prairie and difference. Great hike
Sun in the forest- beautiful light

Tree is very vrey tall and the branches are twisted

ferns

The forest was cut away for the electric line, and this jungle
of ferns has taken over. A little further along it was shoulder high!

As for Keith, he took off to climb a couple mountains in the Alps. Just a two and 1/2 day trip, before the snow starts. He is filling up his cards (brevet) of France. One visits a region (by cycling of course) and get stamps from specific villages of the region, and when full, send it in the to the national federation of cycling. He gets a small medal for each brevet completed.

Keith just noted that the Tour de France is going through Nuits Saint-Georges next summer. Wow!


Recipe of the Month

SQUASH AND APPLES SOUP (or sweet potato and apple soup)

I looked at a lot of recipes, and then put my recipe together. I thought it was great. Keith thought a little bland. It is pureed, so very smooth. 
I ate it cold the next day, and all the flavors were there, more so than when it was hot. 
I think it is worth a try, and like it or not, Keith is going to get it again. It is a easy soup to change and create your own version. So think of the flavors you want and give it a try.
I really like it, and will make it again. I did not go for a strong sweet taste. It is up to you, I have added notes (ideas) below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 grams (14-15 ounces) of butternut squash-peeled and cubed ( or for sweeter taste use sweet potato)
  • 1 apple ( I used gala, many recipes use Granny Smith-not my favorite)peeled and cubed
  • 1 leek- use white end cut in small circles
  • 1 small onion-chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 regular size potato ( or if using squash, maybe a sweet potato here?)-peeled and cubed Note, the potato also thickens the soup to a nice texture. Cream is not necessary, but if you want add some cream at the end of the process-but not much
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (sweeter if you add all apple juice and no chicken broth-less apple flavor if only use chicken broth- I would recommend some apple juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 inch of ginger-chopped ( add more if you want a strong ginger flavor)
  • salt and pepper
PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter in pan and add onion and leek and saute until translucent.
  2. Add ginger and stir about one minute
  3. Add sqaush, carrot, potato and apple
  4. Add juice and broth
  5. Simmer until vegetables are cooked through
  6. TASTE- add salt and pepper and any other adjustments
  7. Put in blender, about 3 or 4 batches (never fill a blender with hot food)
Done, serve warm or cold. maybe add a little blue cheese crumbled on top when serving?