Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Juin 2017

Church Saint Lazere, Autun France
June 2017

This blog will start with the end of May. If you read last months Blog, you know I finished it early because I was going to the USA.

At the end of May the history assoc had an outing to Autun (in April I had some photos from the pre-trip). Autun was founded by the Romans, and was called "Augustodunum" after the ruler Augustus.

Here are just a couple photos that I did not include in the April blog (because I took them in May!!).
Panoramic view of Autun

Eve picking a pomegranate, from 1139.
Adam and Satan have been lost
Eve was over the side door of the church
The day after Autun, I left for my trip to see family.

First stop was Ann Arbor and Saline Michigan. I stayed with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Ann Arbor, and visited with my father-in-law who lives in Saline (about 15 minutes between residences).

We went shopping, visited and played dominoes. Also we had dinner with a cousin and family, fun to see them too. It had been too many years since I had seen AJ when he was 13 yrs old. Now he has grown teenagers.
 My sister-in-law is a great cook and made a great dinner that night as she did every night.
 I was treated like royalty and had a fantastic visit. Between visiting and shopping, I was busy and did not take many photos! 
The downtown areas of both Ann Arbor and Saline are charming. Makes one almost want to live there.

I have one photo of the puppy Desmond. He is so cute!

After my visit in Michigan, I went to Missouri, south west corner. My sister and brother-in-law live in the countryside outside of Ava, Missouri. There property is on a creek (more like a small river), but the bank is high at their place. Walk down the dirt road, and one is at creek level. I took lots of photos on our walks.

Daisy fleabane

Luna moth

Rocky beach on the creek

A day at the rocky beach (panoramic a little warped!!)

the creek
Another creek view with the road next to it

The dirt road

an old barn
Some flora and fauna near the area
Black Swallowtail - male

Turkey Vulture

Deer - had to take this one fast -in the backyard
One night we had fireworks which are legal in Missouri.

On Sunday we went for a ride on the Glade Top Trail in the Mark Twain park. It is only 23 miles long, but with stops for scenery and photos it took us 4 hours!! It would be spectacular in the fall.
Sky started out blue, but slowly change to grey

Old barn

Black Swallowtail

Building and tractor

Fire pink ( but it is red?)

Wild petunia

Panoramic view from one stop, imagine fall color

What else did we do? Had some "real" barbecue for dinner. Pork smoked to perfection with sauce on the side. Love that stuff and this is surely the place to buy it.
Hucklebuck's real BBQ meat in Ava Missouri
Soooo good

It was so good to see the family. Sister and brother-in-law, and then 3 nieces, 1 nephew and 1 grand nephew all came too. Walks, talks, fireworks, scenic ride and puzzles made a great time for me.

Then back home to Gevrey. I had problems getting back to this time zone!! Many droopy days before I turned my clock back to time here. 
Keith left for a couple of days to climb a mountain. Heat got to him, but he made it . He climbed Col de la Croix de Fer.
On his way to the train and heading to the mountains
It has been very hot here, extreme heat wave. And no rain either so the dead grass crackles as you want on it! The heat wave finally lifted to regular temperatures...ahh!!!
96° and humid is a little tough.
This past weekend Gevrey celebrated the Fête de Musique (typically the 21 june, but Gevrey picked the weekend to celebrate). Weather was back to normal summer and it was a beautiful weekend.
Young girls dance line

Local band getting organized

and ...
On Sunday the celebration continued with old cars, a picnic, and more music.

Grand picnic-many more tables not in the photo

We got some rain on the 27th of June. Huge storm and welcomed rain. It poured for about 15 minutes and then it rained for a few hours. So so needed.
On Friday night there is the picnic for the photo club. If it does not rain, I will add photos in the July Blog.

And I must note ...

Be sure to watch the Tour on July 7th 2017... about 2 hours before the end. There is a climb into Urcy, very small village, then a winding decent into Quemigny-Poisot, then a climb up to Chamboeuf,.and then

All the villages mentioned above are part of the canton of Gevrey. It will give you an idea of the place I call the Haute Côte, and then into the vineyards of Gevrey. After Gevrey it goes down the main Hwy until it turns out onto the plain of the Valley of the Saone. It will pass Citeaux and then enter Nuits Saint Georges from the south.
Gevrey has started decorating, putting up old painted bicycles. Our large maillots made with paper flowers will not go up until the 6th.
Gevrey is a "Relais-étape"which means we host the sponsors of the Tour (about 100- 200). So we will have not only some decorations, but food stands, some bike demonstrations.... Big day. I will be working, so I will miss seeing it. You will have to tell me how pretty the countryside looks on TV.
Mark you're calendars now.  7th of July 2017
This will be my last Thursday making flowers. Next Thursday will be doing the decorations throughout the city.

One last note, the neighborhood cat that likes to sleep at our house, is now our cat. The other neighbor who sort of had jurisdiction over Tim is moving and gave us the papers. They thought he was an outdoor cat, and he is not, so that is why he came to our house to sleep. He more or less moved in last November when it got cold. What can I say, I was not going to leave him outside in the cold when he had those big begging eyes, meowing to come in!
TTC or Tim the Cat

Recipe of the Month
Spring Rolls
It is summer and it has been so hot. This month the recipe is not french, but Vietnamese. Not that hard to make, and a light dinner for those hot evenings.
The dunking sauces are varied. I made a hot sauce of Fish Sauce, vinegar, pepper flakes and a smidgen of sugar. Peanut sauce is good too. Easy too look up on the internet and find something to your taste.
Go creative with the rolls too. Leave out the shrimp and add other vegetables. Go for it.

INGREDIENTS(only for the rolls)
  • 1 package of round rice paper wrappers (mine had nine papers)
  • fresh mint leaves -2-3 per roll depending on size
  • 2 to 3 cooked shrimps, peeled, per roll
  •  lettuce leaves (either nice large leaves (one per roll) or chopped, because small pieces -scraps - are hard to handle when rolling)
  • 1 package cooked rice vermicelli, cooled down (mine was the smaller package)
  •  fresh bean sprouts (optional)
  • chopped basil (optional)
  1. Prepare a large flat bowl with tepid water 
  2. Layout all the ingredients at an easy reach
  3. Put one rice paper in the water until it is pliable
  4. Pull it out of water and lay flat, then add;  some vermicelli (not too much), shrimp, mint leaves (and  optional items) and lettuce. 
  5. Fold side edges over ingredients. 
  6. Then fold in the top (over the ingredients)
  7. Pull tight and roll ( when done roll again to make it secure - little back and forth on table)
Link here for a 44 second demonstation ;Rolling a spring roll   (YouTube)

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 2017

The new Bacchus bike jersey-
from the Hungry Cyclist Lodge
  Merry month of May

I know that I say how fast the month passes, but this month  it really has. Or maybe  it is because I have been very busy. Busy is good.

I leave for Detroit  next week, so I am writing a very short summary of half a month. After Detroit I will travel to Ava Missouri to see my sister and nieces.

The presidential election is done and Macron is our president. The election was the 7th of May and Macron won handily....yeah. And on the 14th he as sworn in as president. The next round of votes for legislation are in June. It appears Macron is going to shake up the old politics of France a bit. He has picked people from all parties for minister positions. Very interesting, and people who are competent, what a good idea!

My photo club had our exposition over the weekend of the 6-7 of May. It went well and this year there were some very good photos. Competition is mounting
Exposition before anyone arrived

And then they came- we had 488 visitors in 2 days

The 3 winners by public vote
I came in second with the vote of the club. I am happy with that.
Happy with this photo
Continue to work on the TOUR DE FRANCE. Again, note 7th of July on your calendars and watch the Tour as it passes through Gevrey.  Nuits Saint Georges is the finish,  which is about 12 km south from here, but the route the Tour is taking is longer. The tour will turn east for a ride on the plain and then enter Nuits Saint Georges from the south.
Paper flowers and more paper flowers.....hope it does not pour rain that day!!!
Three jerseys so are photos of the Yellow and Green. We have one mountain jersey too (white with red polka dots).

Planted the garden, perhaps photos next month if it is pretty, just one now with the irises . But that task is done.
And yes the garden house is leaning. It needs to be
Also, I finished the articles for the Assoc Gazette due the end of the month - Flore and Faune  12 photos color layout, patois of the Côte D'Or and back cover photo.
On the 13th of May, the Assoc had a collection of old photos or post cards. Spent the day scanning old photos and old post cards.

On Sunday the 21st, it is our outing to Autun with 16 people. Then I will be off to the USA.

That is all from Gevrey-Chambertin this month. No recipe, keeping this month short and I need to start packing.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

AVRIL 2017

April 2017

The first round of voting is finished! And now on to 7 May for the final vote.
The two candidates that passed to the second round have made a little history. There is no traditional left-right party in the final election, this is the first time since the 5th Republique.
LePen is extreme right ( and also under investigation for using money from the EU to pay campaign workers)! And Macron made a new party called En Marche (he is a centrist) and he is only 39 yrs old.
It would be similar to a USA election without a democrat or republican as the two candidates on the presidential ballot.
There is a rising group of people demonstrating and proposing not to vote at all, "ni LePen, ni Macron", and by not voting, the outcome could be worse . I do not support that idea, my right to vote is important to me.
The drama continues and of course we will know the outcome in two weeks.

We had a very warm March here. Now it has been cool/cold and extremely dry. Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, we had rain.  Saulieu had some snow last night (25th of April)! We had other days that predicted rain, but only a few drops of mud fell, not enough to wet the ground, just leave the car a mess.

It has been a trying time for the vingerons  Last year we had the hard freeze mid-April that destroyed 100% of the grapes in some areas. Everything here has bloomed about 2 weeks too early.
And so here we are again, Chablis had some damaged last week and this week looks worse. Not too much here locally, but with this new cold spell? Many vignerons put fire pots in the vines to avoid a freeze. But the temperature is predicted to drop again tonight (Wed 26th)!
Photo from the Bien Public newspaper-fire pots in the vines
Here straw bales were used. The bales were put at the bottom of vines, lit and let the wind carry the smoke over the vines. Tom took three photos near Auxey-Duress ( near his Bed and Breakfast)- his photos are here ( Saturday morning there was smoke all over the Gevrey, and heading south it was like a thick fog! Straw bales were still fuming.
Glad to get far enough south to be out of the smoke.

A note about Easter this year. First we had dinner( noon meal) at MT's. And what a pleasant afternoon. We started with a huge plate of white asparagus accompanied by homemade mayonnaise. It was fresh asparagus (asperge) from her neighbor. White asparagus is more promine that green here in France. Very little green is sold here...but now  to return to the meal; next the fish course, poached salmon. This was followed by the meat course, veal with quenelles. Always here in France, there is a cheese course followed by dessert- light cake with raspberries😊...and very nice wine to accompany the courses. One must remember that a dinner like this is over several hours. Arrived a noon, home at 6pm. And no evening meal. One eats slowly and talks and enjoys sharing the time with friends.

With all the ads for Easter (Pâcques), I thought about egg decorating, and what we did at home when I was young. We decorated some elaborate eggs. Even blew the egg out and decorated with beads and ribbons. Here all eggs are brown, or at least in all the stores that I shop. So no pale yellow eggs. I knew people who would not buy or eat brown eggs! Well beware of france if you are one of those people, your omelette is probably made from brown eggs.

Chocolate is popular here for Easter too. Shelves of chocolate, with a few bunnies, but the cloche (bell) is more the symbol for Easter.

I have mentioned before, I am working on the second book for the canton de Gevrey. This is a photo book of the villages today. This will be the 16 villages of the Haute Côte. Since the colza (rape seed) is in bloom, I have been taking landscape photos.  Here are a few photos from this month in landscape format (only 4 out of 16!). Better get moving!
From Reulle-Vergy looking at Ternant
Outside of Chamboeuf


 Hard to see the cows in the Chamboeuf photo, so here they are close up.
I did ask them to turn around!
There have been walks also this month, trying to get spring flower photos before they go away.
Waiting for directions.. turn right or left

anémone sylvie



 Porcelle à feuilles tachées


Anémone de Grèce

Keith and I went to a sale, flea market that is every year in Nolay. However, it was the 3rd day of the sale and the good stuff was gone. Oh there was some beautiful furniture way too big for the house, and glass ware, and ....but we did not need any of it (thank goodness). On the way home, there is a jog in the road because of a house. The wisteria was in bloom, so I took a photo.

On Saturday, we headed south (or ssw) for the city of Autun. On 22 May, the association group is touring Autun. This was a pre-tour for Keith and Mireille, the 2 guides for May 22nd.
Autun has Roman history, founded by Emperor Augusta (called Augustodunum). Here are a few photos that I took yesterday. I had 77 photos from yesterday, so it is a marvel that I narrowed it down to 7!!!
Keith and the Temple de Janus -3rd of 4th century

Belle vue- Cathedral Saint Lazarus

Pyramid Caouhard -1st or 2nd century
funeral memorial

Once a seminary- 17th century, now miltary school
Note the beautiful roof

Roman city gate (porte saint andre)- 1st century 

Cathedral Saint Lazare (Lararus)- 1120

Tympanum over the door is the Judgement
amazing sculpture
Work has started on the Tour de France. Gevrey has been picked as a relay ville, which means that we also entertain VIP supporters. They will have a VIP place with a large screen TV to watch the race. Estimated to be 150-200 people in the VIP group. I am working on decorations, the VIP section will be decorated, and if time, some of the street too. We are making paper flowers, starting with red, but we have yellow, green, white flowers ( and white and red) to go. The 4 jersey colors.
Here is a photo of our group!
From the newspaper Bien Public
On to May, tomorrow is labor day here, so it is a holiday.

Recipe of the Month
Home made mayonnaise is very common here. When someone serves something where the taste of mayonnaise is important, it is home made. As I wrote, MT always serves home made mayonnaise, and I said I made it to go with the asparagus. It is easy to make and so very good. Everyone needs a little delightful taste of real mayonnaise now and then. For other dishes where it is not the primary flavor, I use commercial mayo.


  • 2 egg yolks *
  • 3/4 cup canola oil ( I do not use olive oil, the taste is strong, but that is a personal choice)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar and /or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ( I live here, so of course I add Dijon mustard, but this is optional)
  • salt to taste

  1. Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and teaspoon salt in small bowl of food processor (you can do this by hand, but I use the food processor).  
  2. Blend until bright yellow, about 15 seconds.
  3. Slowly drizzle in about the first 1/4 cup of oil.
  4. Blend well
  5.  Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream
  6. When mayonnaise is thick, it is done. 
  7. Cover and chill. 
* Egg whites: Some whip the egg whites to stiff stage and add to the mayonnaise for a light version. I have also made meringue drops with the egg white (beat stiff, add sugar and bake on low for 30-40 minutes)