Sunday, July 31, 2016

JUILLET 2016

Sunshine
And now, on to August.
This month has been the month of Julius Cesar, and now we slide into the month of Augustus.

During spring I whined about the wet and cold. Well, the month of July has been hot and dry. It all seeks a balance somehow I guess, I however always want more and would appreciate a nice medium.

Have to talk about our weird season a little. Reports daily in the paper about the crop yield is very low this year. The harvest (moisson) began a couple weeks ago.

And remember I said there was a freeze in May that damaged the vines. Well talking to a vigneron that we know well (as we were tasting wine), his Ladoix (white wine) is 100% ruined. That is one of my favorites wines from him! It sits next to the Charlemagne white, so has all the same finesse and half the price . Ruined!!!
The yield for 2013,2014,2015 were at about 30% because of hail, and now 2016 a total loss. He has other wines to sell, but some of the vignerons do not! It is a terrible year for some of the great Burgundy wines.

As the month of August begins, so many things in France ( and Europe) come to a halt. It is the time (or month) of the grand vacance (big vacation). Bet the baker will go on vacation too!!!

I finally have a counter-top (yippee). It was installed the 25th of July. It is wonderful!!!

But  as I said above, in a few days it will be August. We do not have a date for the electrician, and because it will be August, we wait for September, when he will give us a date to come and work.
The hood above the cook top has been ordered, but Keith received an email that said it would not be delivered until September! And so it goes.
Vacation is here and work is put aside.
And only once the electricity is all in, then the back splash can be measure and ordered! The outlets were on the old back-splash and not on the wall, The new back-splash will be flush against the wall, so the outlets need to be inserted into the wall. Because the old back-splash was a few inches from the wall, I gain a little space. Right now I have only one outlet in the kitchen, but I can be patient, I think.
Maybe I will have it all done by Christmas ( and last Feb I thought it would all be done by May) !!

One balade (walk or hike) with MT this month, unfortunately not more! But is was a gorgeous day and a wonderful walk. MT also found some chanterelles (these are edible mushrooms called girolles here in france).. I did get a few photos from that day. With the dry spell now, there are not many flowers :-(
Pyramid orchid

Campanule

Happy dog

Beautiful sky

Papillon (butterfly)

Still looking for name!


The photo book of Gevrey is finished and now I am taking photos of the villages. I spent a few days at the beginning of the month in the villages of Ternant, Quemigny and Poisot.
One of the old guard houses of the château in Ternant
and yes, it is in a field of sheep

The other guard house that has a pond in front of it

An old  "rucher"..(bee hive shelter). Old hives on the shelf

About 4,000 year old DOLMEN (burial place)

The other 4,000 year old DOLMEN .
The is the larger dolmen, the rock post on the
right has been put in place to carry the weight
of the tip stone, old wall was gone 
Then on to Quemigny (pronounced kim an knee)- actually it is Quemigny-Poisot. The two villages merged some years ago.
This was the portable water in 1855

Old cross outside the village

The lavoir (where cloths were washed) in Poisot
I have lots more photos, but thought I would just post a few.

The Tour de France is over. Froome from Britian won. Now on to the Olympics.

Ah yes, Britain. Much to do about the Brexit. However, until Britain triggers the Article 50, everything is on hold. No negotiations can be done until the it is done. So the news if filled with speculation. Not sure the British did or are going to get what they wanted. And what about Scotland, will they try to leave Britain?  So many questions, and no answers. Once the process of "divorce" starts, there is a time period of two years to do all the negotiations.  A big issue with the British is the free movement of people within the EU, which they do not want. But that clause is hooked to free trade. Next couple of years will be interesting.

I did a bit of traveling this month. I met our english friend on the west coast in Biarritz. It is right on the ocean and has some huge beaches. Lots of people there for summer vacation and beach time. One beach to the north looks to have the bigger waves and it is used by surfers. Great place to visit, but since I do not like to sit on a beach, I would not spend too many days there. Ah but the fresh sea food.

 We did take off our sandals and walk in the water. Feet have now been in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean.
We also went down to San Sebastian in Spain for the day . The bus stop was about one block from our hotel and it was a 35 minute bus ride, so why not. A very pretty village, and also summer beach town. Many many more people on the beach. We had a tapas lunch there, here you pass a counter and put what you want on your plate. Fun lunch.
Biarritz
Bay of Biarritz- beach is behind large rock top right

The large beach- Grand Plage
Surfers at the northern beach


Virgin Mary on top protecting the bay

Interesting rock formation

Beach cabines
The water is very blue, but so was the sky. Hot sunny days in Biarritz. Although by the ocean, it was drier than here.
San Sebastian
San Sebastian beach was so crowded, we did not try to walk on the
beach. This was Sunday, so everyone was out cooling off
San Sebastian has gardens all along the beach front. Very pretty
Tapas bar for lunch in San Sebastian
This is a small view of what they had
Chris took this photo with her telephone, a little more discreet
than my big camera

In San Sebastian, since it was a very hot day, we took the little tourist train ride around the city. The beaches were at the south end. The old city and the beach front were very pretty. I did not have to speak spanish, although Chris knew some. Commercial places all spoke english.

The train trip to Biarritz, going through Lyon instead of Paris, is long. Going down I stopped at Montpellier for the night, and coming back we stopped at Nimes (Chris came back to stay a few days here in Gevrey).
Montpellier
Place royal de Peyrou -Montpellier
14 juillet and a military ceremony in progress
Montpellier
NIMES
Nimes- The walkway from the train station to
the place - Arena, has a fountain or stream of
running water. Many children were playing
in the water, but these two women were also
cooling off with feet in the water.

Old roman arena and it is still used today. The day we arrived
the group Muse were giving a concert. We toured the arean
the next day, when it was very quiet.
I knew that they held french "bullfights", using the little bulls of the Carmargue, The object is to grab the ribbon off the horn of the bull. So man chases bull, bull chases man, and it is a fun show for everyone.
But we discovered that Nimes is the center of bullfighting in France, and that the Spanish type of bull fight is also held here. I would never buy a ticket for that!

Inside the Arena- to the right, wooded seats added on top
of hard stone seats

Maison Carré- temple built 1st century

Garden of Nimes
Nimes is a beautiful and historic city. Wonderful place to visit. We had 24 hours and squeezed in as much as possible until our train left at 3 35pm. It was another hot day, fun to see everything.

Starting Sunday the 31st, the semaine federal international de cyclisme ( international cycling week) is here in Dijon. Around 12,000+ cyclist are expected, that a lot of riders!! Keith has been working  at the registration Friday and Saturday, and I presume tomorrow. Then he will go on the road marking bike routes for the next days ride. I have volunteered to work Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday's ride goes through Gevrey, and there is a stop for "ravitaillement" (food). So around 10,000 will be passing through our little village to eat. Monday I will work setting up the Food tent. Some will eat there and others at local restaurants. Tuesday I will be directing traffic. More in the August report.

TRISTE
Another sad incident here in France. I was in Montpellier on the 14th and did not see the sad news until the next morning.
How sad to run down these  people in Nice who are out celebrating. These were men, women and children from all countries, all nationalities and all religions. It is hard to imagine the logic in these attacks. And the attacks continue. France has had its share, but other places have been hit too.

We can not let them win though. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Life continues, and I will not sit at home and let fear govern my life.

So I will end here for this month.

Recipe of the Month
Chicken, tomato sauce and noodles

Keith called on Friday and said that he would be late. So I decided to revise dinner to something that would hold over. I thought I had chicken breasts in the frigo, but opening the door I remembered I had chicken thighs. 

Perfect, they can cook longer and not dry out. Also had some leftover Chorizo. OK no problem, this will work.


INGREDIENTS
  • 4 small chicken thighs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 stick chorizo
  • optional chili flakes or powder* for a bit of bite
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Noodles or pasta or your choice
Note: * I have chili powder from England. It is the powder of chilis, a pinch or two is all I need for a spicey tange to a dish. It is not a mix to make chili soup.

PREPARATION
  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Heat oil in a pan and brown both sides of the thighs
  3. Toss in slice chorizo
  4. Add tomato sauce and water 
  5. Add chili flakes to taste
  6. stir well
  7. Cover and bake in oven 1 1/2 hour
  8. Prepare noodles
  9. Remove chicken from over, add cooked noodles
  10. Stir all together
  11. Add parmesean and give a last stir and serve




Thursday, June 30, 2016

juin 2016

June 2016


It has been a political month, a month with terror, a sports month and a rainy month.

The shooting in Orlando and now in Istanbul, both are horrendous. These are extremists, and certainly with political beliefs that the rest of us can not comprehend.
 But no one should give in to terrorism. One can not be afraid to live.

Politics, The British have voted on the referendum to leave or stay in the European Union. What a shock that the vote was to Leave! And not by a large margin. Europe is in a tailspin, as was the world (reflected in the markets). Now the marKet has calmed down, but so much still to be settled.

What does it mean? No one knows at this point. The free trade (open market) is one of the main issues. Britain would like to stay in the free trade, but not allow the free movement of people throughout the European Union. They want to control who enters the UK. Now any one in the EU can go to another EU country and look for work.
Another issue is the banking system. Will the banks in London still have the privileges of access across the EU. London is a major financial city, so banks are anxious to know the outcome. Will these banks stay in London, or will the financial center move to other major cities ( the financial banking of London is the worlds largest right now). Some major cities are hoping that the bank will move to their city; Pairs, Amsterdam, Brussel, Milan....)
So many questions, and no answers. To top it off, Cameron wants to delay the enactment of Article 50 until October, the EU is calling for it now.
And to continue on politics, France is still having strikes and demonstrations because of the new labor laws. Nothing has changed there. This week, not as many trains canceled.


Sports ! It is the big football (soccer to the US) tournament this month. Some crazy news there too. Bad news - fights in Marseilles between the English and the Russians.
Interesting news, Iceland. France plays Iceland Sunday in the quarter finals. Iceland has come out of no where and is in the quarter finals. What a surprise.




And the Tour de France starts this weekend. It looks like a mountain riders Tour this year.








And just to let you know it has been a cold and WET month. Everything in the garden is behind, and I have never had so many weeds. Finally this last week, the weather has improved. Even have the backdoor open today for a little breeze.

Happy notes, on the 21st of June each year, France celebrates music. OK many places had the celebration the weekend before, but Dijon had a few bands around the city on the night of the 21st. Here in Gevrey, they had line dancing in the park. Keith went past on his bike, but when he came home, we gave it a pass (one example was western line dancing to Celtic musique??). But the idea is big and highly support still in France. Many places, villages, organizations, whatever, have picnics too.
Keith and camping gear



Keith was frustrated by the weather this spring (mostly house bound), so he left for the south with his bike. He had a few problems with the train strike, so he pedaled a little more than he thought. It was good for him. He put on over 1,000 km.









This week went out a couple times and took some photos. So here are the photos, or some of them at least.
Chambolle-Musigny

Orchids- Pyramidal

Orchids- Pyramidal
Orchids- Pyramidal


Sedum..very small

Keith overlooking the Combe at Chambolle


Butterfly (maybe Le Tircis)

La Zygène des bois -black and red bug

Butterfly (maybe Le Céphale)

Vipérine commune


Sage (sauge)

Viperine with bee
maybe Pulicaria dysenterica 

Centaurée

?


my garden rose

Popy (coquelicot)


Flipper on a forest path
Ah summer, it is so wonderful now that we have had a few warm days.
We can eat on the patio...YEAH.
Grilled pork kababs and tomato salad (see below)  :-)

Recipe of the Month

Salade de Tomates
To celebrate this wonderful weather, here is a very easy tomato salad to serve with whatever has been grilled. This is so simple, very pretty, and very good.




INGREDIENTS
  • 2 yellow tomatoes
  • 2 orange tomatoes
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes -black
  • lettuce
  • Feta (cubed)   *   I bought  Feta with herbs
  • 1/2 cup Vinaigrette    * I make my own
  • 2 tsp Pesto

PREPARATION
  1. Mix vinaigrette with pesto
  2. Cut tomatoes into slices
  3. Pour vinaigrette over tomatoes and let sit a while (in the frigo) if you have time
  4. Add lettuce (artfully of course) in a bowl
  5. Add tomatoes along with the vinaigrette
  6. Top with Feta