April 30, 2008
If I want to put out my Blog for the month of April, I had better get on it!
Another day another month. I can not say that April was the best of spring months. We were not able to do much outside.
I have started on my garden. I have been turning over the soil and getting it ready for planting. I put the green bean seeds in, and the squash seeds were planted about 10 days ago. I do have a wait a little before I plant tomatoes.
I had to spray the roses already. I do not know what the name is in English, but it is a fungus called “tache noir” in French (translates as black spot). The leaves get black spots and eventually turn yellow and then die. It is very common here, and the only solution is spraying for it. As for flowers,no real flower buds yet, but the leaves have been sprouting over the last few weeks.
The tulips are just fabulous this year. The colors are so intense, and they just shout Spring. I have red, yellow, purple, deep red, orange and then some mixed ones. Also on the flower front, the lilacs should open today. I took a quick sniff yesterday and there was just a hint of that wonderful smell. My little bush is loaded this year.
I do not think I have written about Keith’s new job. He applied and was hired as a tour guide for Americans on the Burgundy canal. This is a part time job. He is working for Grand Circle Tours (parent company) and then Overseas Adventure Tours is the name of the company that runs the boats. The tour starts in Lyon for a couple of days (time to get over jet-lag), then a bus ride to Dijon where they board the boat. Seven days on the boat as the go from Dijon-Ouges -St Jean-de-Losne- Chagny- Santenay and to St Leger. Then they are taken to Paris and fly out of Paris on a Friday. There are side trips during the day into various towns, cities and some wine tasting too. He had his training trip at the beginning of April and will have his first trip as a guide May 5-17th. He actually did a lot a guiding on the April trip too and he said it was fun.
This coming month of May is when the bathroom work starts. We are having the bathroom totally re-done. They will take all the current tile on the walls (pink and white) off and put on new tile. The bathtub (pink) comes out and a shower will go in (YEAH). This is when we add in the new cabinet that Keith built and the sink that we made. This all starts the 13th of May (note from above, Keith returns the 17th). It should take two weeks. Let’s hope that they are right! We only have the one bath, so this will be interesting. [note: in france that this room is for baths only. The toilet is in another little room]
Last summer, I think it was the 1st of July, Keith went for a bike ride and Wendy, Robert and I played the “Ralleye de Charmes” in Gevrey. We had to go to various villages and answer questions and identify photos. We won 2nd place. Well, after all these months we cashed in on the prize. It was dinner at Chateau Saulon la Rue for 2 people (I am getting pretty good winning dinners). With 2 diners free and the four of us eating lunch, we had to pay for the additional 2 dinners plus the wine for those two dinners. The prize did include aperitifs, all wines and coffee after. Oh what an enjoyable afternoon. The food was excellent and they matched the wine for us, and it was perfect. Way too much food, so tomato soup for dinner that evening. But we were all impressed by the food and the service. Maybe we can win again this year.
This last week we had dinner at our friends in Perrigny les Dijon. We had rented the Gite from them for a few years, before we moved here. We still keep in touch with them. Since we have lived here almost 7 years now, we must have known them for about 10 years now. It has all passed so fast.
Train news. Keith has been building a new shelter for the Bligny tourist train. They extended the track about 1 km to Pont d’Ouche. This last weekend the frame for the shelter was put in place. Today he is doing some finishing work. The roof needs to be finished, but all will be done by this weekend. They (the train association) are having a 30th anniversary on May 10th (Keith will not be able to be there). It is made with tenons and mortises.
One last note, I went for a walk with MT the other day, in the woods above Chambolle. However before we entered the woods, we looked for mushrooms. This time of year there is a mushroom called Tricholome St Georges ( latin names: calocybe georgii, tricholoma gambosa, tricholoma georgii, lyophyllum georgii). We found lots of mushrooms that afternoon Keith and I ate them in various dishes over the weekend. Very nice (the book gives them 2 out of 3 forks).
I think I will keep this short so I am able to get it on the web before April runs away.
Recipe for the month.
- 24 small stalks of asparagus
- ¼ cup of pecans chopped lightly
- 12 small cherry tomatoes
- chives cut fine
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 4 strips of bacon (optional)
1.Wash the asparagus and slowly bend to break off the woody ends (it will snap about 1/3 of the way up the stalk).
2. Put in boiling water for about 5 minutes (this depends on the actual width of the stalks)
3. In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel. Break up the bacon when cool.
4. When asparagus is done, pour into a colander and run cold water over it to stop it cooking, but leave warm Pat dry.
5. Cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters.
6. Mix 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1 ½ Tablespoon of vinegar.
7. Put the asparagus, tomatoes, chopped pecans in a bowl and mix with dressing. Salt and pepper to taste
8. Put on 4 plates and sprinkle with crushed bacon.