Monday, February 27, 2017

February 2017

Février 2017

Tim, our winter cat

Ah yes, it is the end of February. February the month of two faces, chilly and warm.

I have to admit I have spring fever.Warmer and longer days have taken their toll and I am looking for buds on everything. Forsythia has buds as do the roses and the primrose is flowering all over the yard.  Nature is slowly waking up.

Today it is Sunday and it should be 13°C ( or 55°F). It is partly cloudy and I am going for a walk with MT this afternoon.

And miracles, the crédence( back splash) has been installed. It has been a long journey to get this far in the kitchen, but it was our choice. We started a year ago, and found some nightmares on the electric connections behind the cupboards. So acting as our own general contractors, we took it step by step.
But I have a kitchen that I enjoy. I really love it. However, as far as cleaning, I probably picked some of the hardest things to keep clean. Dark counter tops clean easily, but leave streaks, so wash and buff. Same with a black glass back splash. And who knew that stainless steel streaks too. But still, I made the choices and I am happy.
New counter top, back splash and hood.

For those that have been here, the was a table here
and I had it taken out and replaced as a
peninsula. Love it..Keith has to replace the
top drawer, about an inch taller.
 Wall sage green.

Sink is new too, stainless
Bored you enough on my kitchen!

Politics is gearing up here in France. Round one of the elections will be 23rd of April. The second round, if needed will be 7th of May.  The top runner was Fillon (conservative), but a scandal has marred him in the last few weeks. It is alleged that he paid his wife for a job she did not do. The on the far far right, Marine LePen. She has been in the news lately too. She has two campaign workers who are being paid by the EU, with fake EU jobs? LePen is very conservative, wants to stop certain immigration, return to the Franc and get out of the EU. Then there is Hamon, who is on the socialist ticket. But Holland has damaged the party enough, not sure he has a chance. So what will happen? Stay tuned!

Had a few walks this month. However, it is between seasons, and not as much to photograph.
Here are a few of my photos.
Dols waiting for us to join him

Photo of Curtil 

The forest is managed and each year allotments for wood are
sold to the villagers. They can cut down marked trees. The wood
must be transported out by a certain date, and site cleaned. Here
is someones wood ready to haul out.

Winter vines. These are in the Haute Cote and are taller than
the vines in Gevrey. Someone told me that this way the ground
gets more sun to reflect back and keep the vines warmer in the spring.
In Gevrey the stalk is very short.

Spring! Euphorbia blooming

Willows blooming

Even the mistletoe is flowering

Walk on the 26th above Chambolle, waiting again.
We talk and I guess we are slow sometimes

Then we saw a carpet of flowers. SPRING

Nivéole de printemps (L. Leucojum vernum)

Nivéole de printemps 

Nivéole de printemps 
Not to be confused with :
Pierce Neige ( snowdrop)

Fragon faux houx (Ruscus aculeatus)
The flower is very small, about 1/4 inch wide. It blooms on the
underside of the leaf.

Sunday's walk, straight ahead,just beyond the trees, is a huge drop!!
That is all from Gevrey for this month.

Recipe of the Month
Salad Dressing
I make most of my own salad dressing. It is so easy and so much better than industrial salad dressings. I love the taste of fresh dressings, they are more lively.
One dressing that I use the most is a Dijon vinaigrette. really not hard. One version, slowly mixing in the oil makes a thick dressing. Other times I put all in bowl and whip it together, just enough to mix before I pour it on the salad.

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c - 1/2 Good oil (some use vegetable oil such as sunflower, others olive oil. Depends on your taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • pinch of salt
(for thick dressing)
  1. Put mustard in a small bowl
  2. Whip the oil into the mustard (with a fork), a little at a time. The mustard will plump up 
  3. Add vinegar and salt and continue to whip until blended well
  4. TASTE! 
As stated, I put all in a bowl and whip. It is a little more fluid.
Always always taste. If bitter to taste, it could be the oil or the vinegar, small amount of honey will work. When I have a salad with fruit, I add enough honey for a slight sweet taste. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Janvier 2017

Galette des Rois

It is the new year and still struggling with the 2017 instead of 2016 for the date.

The 6 of January is the feast of the Epiphany. Here in France it is celebrated with the traditional Galette des Rois (the galette of kings ). Every year both the Photoclub and the Assoc celebrate with the Galette and a coup (glass of wine or crémant). There is a "feve" (bean) in the Galette and whoever has the feve, gets to wear the crown. The feve is no longer a bean, but a little porcelain figure, usually based on a character from a childrens' movie. Each bakery though has feves with different themes, and some still use traditional feve designs. If you collect the feves, you probably shop around.

We have had some very cold weather throughout France, but now  in the Cote-D'Or, temperatures have mellowed. Even a little hint of spring. However, it is only Feb and it can still turn cold.

Not a lot to report, shut in with the cold weather for a couple of weeks ( and yes, I no longer have the strong fortitude of a Minnesotan!!). And now with a cold. Not a good month!

I have had to work on what photos for the Expo in May, we need to turn in the photos by the 16th of Feb. The post under this one has the 4 photos that I am considering, and I need to pick two. If you want to add comments, please do.

The mayors office has made a film on Gevrey. Kind of a quick look at the place where I live.
Go to the site ( it is the site for the city) and you need to scroll down to the "Présentation du Village" Sky view of the City
The Reserve Naturel has hiking trails and lots of flowers, mushrooms etc. One of my favorite places to walk. Also the wild cat lives there, but chances of ever seeing one are zero!
Watch it and let me know what you think. I had nothing to do with this video.
(found the YOU TUBE version...Gevrey YOUTUBE     it is larger

OK a few photos of mine next. The frosty ones, there should have been more; I set out to take lots of photos, until a tree cracked and fell not that far from me. I turned around, got in the car and came home!

Frost and or ice

Reulle Vergy- row of vines

Then a couple frosty photos
Near Semezanges-where the tree fell!

Vines of Gevrey-( Reserve Nature starts on the left)

And a photo from the back yard
Sitting pretty out in the vines. AUTOUR ( Goshawk)
This month they are doing the census. I do not know much about how or more to the point when a census is done here. It is not as official as it is in the USA, each 10 years. I need to check out more, just out of curiosity. But we have now been counted.

That is all from here in Gevery.

Recipe of the Month
Galette des Rois
I am going to take the easy way out this month and give you a website with a great Galette des Rois recipe. It is puff pastry and almond paste filling. It is really very good and decadent, but only comes around once a year.
Here is a site by David Lebovitz with step by step instructions with photos.
You should really try it at least once.

Friday, January 20, 2017

PHOTOS jan 2016

 Droits, Corbes  LINES and/or CURVES.

?_Photo 1 - graphic

OUI_Photo 2 - lines and curves- Need to whiten clock face a little
NON_Photo 3 - pont Black and white

NON pas nette_Photo 4

??_Photo 5   Mur à Athens

not the next one
HDR photo - but voted out of Expo of Droits , corbes


Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Decembre

2016 December

It is almost Christmas! I decided to try to write my Blog and send it our before the two big holidays.
Wishing you all Bonne Fête, Bonne Année and Bonne Santé

For Christmas we will go to Messanges, as we have on previous years.

It was warm here up to Thanksgiving. After that the weather turned cold. It has gone below freezing! at night.

We have had a lot of fog and followed by a day of beautiful frost.

Went out for a couple of frosty photos. Could not resist, but froze my toes since I wore regular shoes. Wanted to stay longer for more photos, but feet cold were cold, fingers were cold and it started to rain/sleet! It is only over the tracks, maybe 1km by car, but it was time to return home and sit in front of the fire.

Played with this photo in photoshop!! More details
 Original below.

Same as above- softer version

Frosty trees
Finally turned the heat on (dec 18th)!! Been heating the house with the wood stove, and it really does warm the house. But morning showers were a little chilly since the house had not warmed up yet. So turned on a few of the electric heaters. It has been about 17 Celsius in the house at 6am.

Went for a couple of walks with MT, one this first part of the month and one mid month. As I said lots of fog here, however in the Haute-Côte, they had sun on several of the days while here in the valley of the Saone, we were socked in!
So went up to the Haute-Côte and saw blue sky!
Took a photo to look at when it is foggy here!
There was still haze, and as the sun set, fog started to move in again in the low areas.

Some haze on the far hill

Arcenant in the late afternoon, fog returning

Same photo, HDR. Background more prominent, but lost the
rich color that the setting sun gave the vines.
 I think I prefer the top one
I have been playing with my camera lately, as you can tell by my comments and exploring options in Photoshop. Also bought an old macro lens. The lens creates amazing backgrounds or bokehs. These old macros need a lot of light and therefore have not played with it a lot since we have had cloudy days. But you will see more in the future. I bought the lens via Ebay for a cheap price. It is a helios M42 macro. I had to get an adapter for my camera. The first photo above of the berries was my first try. The same day I took a couple of other photos. Just some branches with frost.

My history association had a visit scheduled for the first Saturday of the month to the Archeology museum in Dijon. It is in an old building of the church, former dormitory and scriptorium for the monks. I found it to be an very interesting museum, and some wonderful old artifacts, many from around here.
A pan from the Gauls. There is writing (gaul) on the handle.
 Found locally

Old scriptorium -windows are now blocked, so dark . It is the

This was the dormitory. This end is empty, behind me
are some interesting old statues and ruins
At the beginning of the month, the village Fixin had "portes ouvert" (doors open) at certain vignerons and also included art expositions around the village. I went to see the photos of a friend in photo club.
The salle de fêtes in Fixin is at the top of the village next to a park. So after looking at the photos, I climbed a little further up to look at the statue of Napoléon. M. Noisot from Fixin was a general under Napoléon, and had this statue commissioned for his park. The sculptor is François Rude.

Napoléon in repose...note below

explanation of the sculpture
He also had a small museum built at the top, in hommage de Napoléon.

And then to round off the visit, I took a photo of the church, and then entered the Le Manoir de La Perrière. This was built in the 12th century, owned by the monks of Citeaux and was a manoir and vineyard. Today it is still a a manor used for making wine. And it is good wine, Clos de Perriere.
The doors were open in the cave, so down I went with my camera at my side.
Old manor house
Barrels in this part of the cave

Tasting area on this section with old bottles
And in the next room a very old wine press. This is the type
that it took many men to turn the press,see below

Illustration from LaRousse 1992
Then before I left the place on top of the village, I quickly took a photo of Fixin, and the church. Note the church tower with the colored tiles, very burgundian.
Church of Fixin (for your info, the burgundian pronounciation
of the village is FEE-SAN
As plans start to mount for the coming year, I have lots to do. With the Assoc I need to continue to take photos of the villages. We want to make more books for our archives.
Then we have thought about having children in the club, ages 10-16 years. Give them a start on taking interest in what is around them. I will work with the group from the Reserve Natural for a program of nature and photos. Fanny has planned a program around pollination, introducing insects and plants. Hope it works.
Also with the Tour de France coming right through our city, there will be some work to get Gevrey ready for the grand day.

Right now I am working on photos for the exposition in May. Photos are due by Feb 16th. This year the theme is LINES, CURVES. We can only present two photos. I am looking at what I have and still looking around me for lines and/or curves. Here are three that I have already.
Saint Malo


Keith, a little less riding his bike with all the fog. He has been very busy in the garage on a couple of woodworking projects, I think a mirror frame and some shelves.

Wander off the subjects of nature, wine and museums and into politics. The elections for president here in France will be end of April and May of this next year, 2017.
This year it was decided to have primaries similar to the USA. The first was in November. It was for parties to the right (here there are several parties in the run, not just two). Parties were not obligated to participate. So the conservatives held their election on the 27th of November. Fillon was the winner and Sarkozy was out. That changed some of what people expected. Some thought Sarkozy would be in. But there was not a huge turnout either. Again, this is the first time it has been tried.

Now it will be the left side of politics. Again several have declined to run, including two names, Meléchon and Macron  It will be interesting to see if Valls wins? Maybe, maybe not? Holland, current president has declined to run for a second term as president.

Here for elections, there are two consecutive votes. The first week eliminates many runners, usually two are left to run in the final vote. But anyone above a certain percentage runs in the final, so it could be three. The next week is the second vote.
 We have an interesting couple of months ahead. Note that here there are no TV ads ( each canidate gets equal time on the news), and no telephone solicitation for votes! There will be information on each candidate, and flyers of course.

Recipe of the Month

Broccoli and Cranberries

I found a recipe for broccoli and cranberries on the internet. I can never leave anything alone though, so I added the ginger (certainly optional), and the shallots. The recipe also fried the broccoli, I thought to steam slightly and then add to warm it up (I steamed it ahead of time). Also lighter steamed than fried. So this is my version, and it disappeared. One could toss on a few almond slivers too.

This makes a pretty holiday side dish with the red and green.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets ( cut into small florets)-lightly steamed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (or more)
  • 2 shallots (I caramelized one-not necessary, but added crunch) -photo below
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • Shallots
  • Salt and ground black pepper

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute shallots
  3. Add garlic, and ginger  and saute 1 -2 minute.
  4. Add broccoli and cranberries and saute 3 minutes, until it is warmed and mixed well. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Suggestion: Warm the serving bowl so the mixture stays warmer longer