Friday, June 1, 2018

MAY 2018

Mai 2018

Exposition photo theme "Detail"
It is June and I am a little late. I have had problems with the internet connection. I like to work downstairs, but my computer started to protest. upstairs right next to the source, it appears to be working..yeah.

You may have noticed or will notice a notification automatic. The EU now requires a privacy notification. Nothing has changed in my Blog, this is a new rule that went into effect mid-may.

My photo club has its' annual exposition this last weekend in May. We had 47 photos exhibited and about 500 people pass through. It was slow on Sunday the 28th because it was Mother's Day here in France. I won 1st place in the vote of the Photo Club members. I am really happy. However now I have to set up a photo display next year of 6 to 9 photos!!
Our Expo is in the Caveau of the Espace Chambertin

Getting ready for the vernisage (opening) of the Expo
After speeches from the club president and mayor,
everyone shares a glass and snacks like gougeres

Winners "circle". The vote of the public, first place is the
vineyard with a drop of water- the drop has a reflection of
the vineyard. Second place was the photo of the bison with a
reflection in his eye. And third was the photo of the birds head.
I have first place by the vote of the Club.

Trip to the USA. First stop was Chicago. Thought I would never get there. The day before I was ready to go up to Paris (I usually stay at a airport hotel for morning flights),  I took one last look at my emails, and there, email from Air France had canceled my flight for the next morning.  Air France was on strike, but this was a none strike day and I had thought I was safe ( the days of the strike are shown online)! There was nothing I could do while in transit to Paris, but when I arrived at the airport CDG, I went to the service desk and rebooked my flight with Air Canada. I had a stop in Montreal and was 6 hours later arriving in Chicago- noon with Air France, 6pm with rebooked flight via Montreal. Oh well, but I made it!
I had that  evening and the next day to visit and site see (should have scheduled more Chicago). I arrived and it was freezing cold. There had been light flurries during the afternoon, and that evening with the wind, it was cold. Had a nice glass of wine with my cousin and spouse (cousin-in-law???).
Next morning bright and early, I set out on a blue sky morning (7 am) and although sunny it was very cold! and it is Chicago (the WINDY CITY) there was lots of wind (brrrrrr rrrr). I went over to Millennium Park and took photos...what a beautiful place.
The graphics of the glass buildings is amazing!

This is the outdoor concert building...large grass stretch
in front for summer concerts. But again I was drawn to the
Cloud Gate or better known as The Bean (Haricot)
Next year the Theme for the Photo Club expo is
REFLETS (reflections)... I am ready.
Stopped in the drug store for gloves after some photos!
I should have taken my camera to the art museum. I thought some places have problems with cameras, so I left it behind. Spent some time there and around without my camera. Spent a large part of the day with my cousin, catching up on our lives. Then out to dinner with cousin, spouse and one daughter who lives in Chicago. Wonderful time talking and enjoying the evening and the great Indian food...
Up the next morning (raining) and out to the airport and a flight to Springfield Mo. Rented a car and drove to Ava Mo (about 2 hours) and into the Ozark Mountains.
Parts of Missouri are on the old Route 66

Went to Branson Mo one day with my sister (she lives outside of Ava). In Branson I had lunch with  longtime friends. I worked with Connie for many many years (in Minnesota) and Steve (her husband) I have also known for a long time. So fun to meet up with old friends.
Watched the famous Fire and Water show too, and was in the wrong place when it started and was on the receiving end of  a huge spray of water (courtesy of the wind).
The water jets are all timed to music.

A walkway that  passes behind the fountains
on the river side..

Old truck by the Big Bass store - still in Branson
Photos from the gravel road by my sister's house.
Bryant Creek, more like a river to me though

A barn

Flock of butterflies
Ah then the return home. Flight day home, everything worked. Both Air France and the railroad were on strike the day I came home, but both my flight and the train from Paris to Dijon ran. And it was a holiday, so the trip from the airport to the Gare Lyon (by bus) was the fastest I have ever had.

Went out and took some photos after coming home

Poppy field

Linen flowers, note the ruins of a castle on the hill left
and the town church center.

More linen turning the other direction (bluer)

I have not found some photos from Ava. If they turn up I may
add them next month. I had several memory cards, now I need to find all of them.

To end the month, we had lunch at a friends house. We started at noon and finished at 7:30 pm. A delightful afternoon with friends, food and wine. It all passed so quickly. One needs a lunch like this every so often.

Recipe of the Month.
Cake with Camembert and chives.
Cake here can be sweet or salty. This is a good aperitif.

  • ·        1 camembert (750 grams)
  • ·        180 grams shifted flour ( about 1 ¼ cup flour)
  • ·        3 eggs
  • ·        12 cl of crème fraîche liquid  (1/2 cup- use cream if no creme fraiche)
  • ·        5 cl of white wine (dry) ¼ cup
  • ·        1/2 bunch of chives (or to taste)- batter should be fairly colored by the chives
  • ·        10 g of butter – 1 TBL melted
  • ·        1/2 packet or 5.5 grams baking soda
  • ·        Pepper and nutmeg

  1. ·        Heat oven to 180°C, thermostat 6. (350 F)
  2. ·        Mince the chives
  3. ·        Remove the coating of the camembert cheese and cut the cheese into small cubes.
  4. ·        Mix the dry ingredients together.
  5. ·        In a bowl beat the eggs until light yellow and foamy, then add the wine, cooled butter and crème fraiche ,then the chives
  6. ·        Mix the two together (dry and wet)
  7. ·        Pour batter into a cake/bread pan that has been prepared ( greased and floured)
  8. ·        Bake for 35-45 minites

Sunday, April 29, 2018

AVRIL 2018

April 2018

Spring has sprung in Gevrey, but not so in Chicago. I am on the road, doing a little tour of the USA. I started my trip in Chicago and arrived in some freezing weather. Light flurries had stopped, but the wind off the lake was cold. Had a great visit with my cousin, Val and her husband and daughter.

By mid-month in Gevrey the fruit trees were blooming and I expected roses to flower in the next few weeks.

On the 18th of April, I went to Ava Missouri. Typical spring, with sun one day and rain the next.

Before I left, I took some photos of a few flowers.  I had gone to the river Saone with MT to search for flowers that grow in wet fields, but alas, no flowers. We searched for over an hour, down little tractor paths even, but nothing.  Although others had posted photos of the fritillaire pintade, this year we were not lucky.

fritillaire pintade
Hopefully, we will find some, but had to rely on last years photos.
Wet fields and the river Saone in the background
This area had major flooding this spring

Village near the Saone
Desperate for flower photos, I went to my backyard.

grape hyacinth

plain old dandelion

a flower on my Rosemary (romarin)
I have taken other photos with thoughts of posting some, but the photos are in Nikon format and I can not upload. Here I at my sisters I do not have the software to convert from Nikon RAW to jpg. So lots of photos in the May Blog.

Have walked down the dirt road to see the creek (rather more like a river in my book). Went to Branson and met up with Connie and Steve for lunch. What a nice visit, all too short.

I will keep it short this month, and sign off here.

Potato Dauphine

This is a recipe of Julia Child’s, Potato Dauphine. Simple layers of sliced potato with creme fraiche (or cream or sour cream) and cheese.

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins

Servings: 4 - 6


  • 2 lb / 1 kg starchy potatoes 
  • 1/2 clove unpeeled garlic
  • 4 tbsp butter, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese 
  • 1 1/2 cups creme fraiche or sour creme or cream
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Rub a baking dish  (square 21 x 21 cm / 8 x 8") with the cut garlic, then smear with 1 tbsp of butter.
  3. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8"/3 mm thick. 
  4. Spread 1/3 of the potatoes in the dish, then top with 1/3 of the cream, salt, pepper, cheese, thyme and butter 
  5. Repeat for the 2nd and third layer, finishing with the cheese.
  6. Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 1 hour to 1 hr 15 min or until the potatoes is soft (use a knife to test), then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 until the top is bubbly and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes
You need to use starchy potatoes as they break down when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the top. The best to use are Russet 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 2018

Happy Easter

Working on my Blog today before the end of the day! Since I missed February, thought I would get in gear and write this afternoon.

France was once again the scene of terrorism. We watched the hommage to the brave gendarme who made the exchange with a hostage and was killed. The ceremony presided over by President Macron was done in the court yard of the Palais de Invalides. Someday, I hope this terrorism will be over!

Spring is trying to make its presence these last couple weeks. With all the flooding this winter, sunny days would be welcomed! The fruit trees are flowering and some spring flowers are pushing up. I have not been on many walks and have not taken my usual amount of photos in the woods, mostly due to the weather.
March did come in like a lion! March 1st 2018. This was a mess here, places closed, traffic jams!! It is not the norm any longer and it brings everything down. It was only 10cm. On TV they interviewed someone from the mountains, and they just laughed. In the mountains they still get SNOW.
A little snow to start the month

On Thursday this week I rode along to go in search of daffodils There is a plateau where the forest is full of daffodils.
wild daffodil

another daffodils
Then a few other flowers were blooming.
Obviously not flowers, the little flowers on the underside
 of the leaf were not open. 

Niveole printanière

Scille printanière

Anemone printanière

Niveole printanière
Pézize écarlate (mushroom)

I  have been working on village photos, and still have lots of photos to go.
Lavoir at Poisot
The village wash house

Inside of the wash house

bike on the side of a house

Still making flowers on Monday afternoon for Saint Vincent 2020. 

Keith has not been as his bike as much as he would like, fog, rain and bike do not mix well. He made a little thing for me...for storage of foil and saran wrap and kitchen paper...etc.
This is the pantry, and attached to the shelves. Now it is easy to get to it all. Very handy to have a bricoleur in the house.

Recipe of the Month

This a very rich dish, more of less a winter dinner. After living here 16 years, I finally made it. It is good, but not one I will make frequently (just a few calories).

Blanquette de Veau

  • 1 pounds trimmed veal shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces ( or chicken)
  • 2  cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion studded with a clove
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Bouquet garni
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cups pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 pound small white button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 ttsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg yolks
  • 1 carrot peeled and cut in rounds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


1.    In a large casserole, cover the veal with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the veal and rinse it under cold water.
2.    Wash out the casserole and return the meat to it. Add the 1 ½ cup stock, the onion, garlic and bouquet garni and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, cover partially and simmer over moderate heat until the veal is very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. At about 45 minutes, add carrots. Drain the veal; reserve the broth. Discard the onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Rinse out the casserole and return the meat to it.
3.    Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the pearl onions for 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain again. Trim the roots and peel the onions.
4.  In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pearl onions and remaining ½ cup of stock. Season with salt, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, 30 minutes. Scatter the onions over the veal. 
5.  In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with the lemon juice. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk until bubbling. Add 1 cup of the reserved veal broth and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer over low heat, whisking frequently, until thickened, 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and white pepper and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the veal and add 2 tablespoons of the cream. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.  Serve over noodles

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Janvier 2018

Saint Vincent
Blue sky, not this year!

January 2018

New Year celebrations are behind us and the month of January is done.

Here in France, and here in the Côte D'Or, everything is flooding. It has rained most of January. If not raining, we have had misty days. I think maybe 4 days without rain so far!

We are not in danger here, no basement to worry about, and no creeks nearby (except for the underground stream, somewhere below- but so far it is OK!!)

It has been a mild winter and we saw a rose in bloom on Sunday and some daffodils in bloom last Friday! My rose has buds all over that are pushing out. I think there have been only a couple of nights below freezing. No hard freeze yet. So will it be an early spring, or will winter arrive in February? Just hope the rain ends so I can get out a little more.

The end of January is the feast of Saint Vincent (22nd of January) . He is the patron saint of the vignerons. Here in Burgundy, and especially here in the Côte D'Or, it is always celebrated. Each wine village has its' own celebration, but the region also has the big celebration.
For the regional celebration, the chosen village sets up for a weekend of celebrating, eating and wine tastings. About 100,000 people will visit over the weekend.
Gevrey Chambertin will host this grand event January 2020. The theme for 2020 will be "Aromes".
We have started to make the decorations this January. I am back on "making paper flower duty" on Monday afternoons. We have started with a deep royal purple. The group has been making about 1000 flowers per session!

While listening to the others talk last week (while making flowers), it struck me how much more the French walk then, I think, Americans. Many walked to the Salle (where we work) to make flowers instead of a car ( yes, I used the car, it was a rain on and off day and I do not walk in the rain). Many of the woman are around my age and older belong to walking clubs and go on routine hikes.

I am working on photos for the photoclub exposition at the end of May. The theme this year is "Detail". Here are some photos I am working on right now.Have to have my final choice by the first of March. Comments or critique is welcome.
1. Mushroom detail

2. Pomegranate detail

3. Machine graphics

Keith has been working in the shop (garage!). He has been working on dovetail joints by hand. Now he is moving on the a couple projects. I was thinking he should start on an ark, just in case!
With the weather his bike rides have been curtailed.
He continues going to Bligny on Saturdays to work on the train cars. Always repairs to the cars, lots of painting and engine work to be done.

I have tested a  recipe this last month. I have always wanted to make a pâté, but tried once and it was not very good. So I found a recipe for pâté en croute (in crust) and tried it this month. And VOILA, it worked.  Here we can get pâté en croute that is small (along rectangle about 2.5 inches cubed). I bought the pan and made the recipe in it. Trying all sorts of new things Results, very very good.

And on food, I tried a recipe from Cooking Light called "Tuscan Chicken with white beans and Kale". Very good winter dish. Link :RecipeHere 

That is about all from here. Have a good month.

Recipe of the Month

Velouté de chou- fleur ( cream of cauliflower soup)

There are recipes for almost all vegetables that are "velouté" here in France (velouté means a soup that is blended and smooth, oncteuse). It is great to have warm soups in the winter and these are fast and easy soups. I had this served for lunch ( and oh what a lunch) on Sunday with a few morels of smoke trout on top.
 Note : you could top with ham or bacon (do not overpower with toppings, just a little)

  • 1 cauliflower cut up
  • 2 medium potatoes cut in cubes
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 cube of chicken broth
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream

  1. Cut up the cauliflower and the potatoes.
  2. Put the cauliflower, the potato and the chicken broth cube and water in a sauce pan.
  3. Add the oregano, salt (depends on how salty the broth cube is) and pepper
  4. Cook over medium heat until the cauliflower and potatoes are done (test with a knife, it should penetrate easily)
  5. Add cream and butte
  6. Mix in blender (careful not to fill blender with the hot soup) until creamy
  7. Test salt and pepper seasoning