Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 2008

June 26th 2008

Chateau Rochepot

Ah, the month of June. Summer arrives at last in the Cote D’Or.

This month has been busy. My friends from Minnesota arrived the last day of May. That week was not to be one of our finest (weather that is). A cold front came through and it was chilly. And it rained on and off too!!! Not what I had ordered.

They stayed at the Gite that is about 7 km from Gevrey. They had been on a tour of France for 16 days prior to coming to Burgundy, so the 3 bedroom Gite gave them a little space to spread out. I really wanted to show them everything, but that is impossible in a week. And since the weather was not at its best, picnics were right out of the question. We did see some of the highlights of this area and tasted some wine. We had a nice visit at Domaine Breliere in Rully (and tasted wine too). I have included a couple of photos. But I have to say for me, it was also a good week just to catch up with friends I had not seen in a few years. I certainly enjoyed the time with them.

While I visited with my friends, Keith took 3 days in the Vosges (northeast corner of France). Unfortunately it did rained for 2 of his days, but he soldiered on anyway. He had a mountain to climb and he did not let the rain stop him.

After my friends left, summer arrived. It has been quiet hot and humid too. Along with hot humid weather, there have been some violent storms(storm = orage). One friend in Chenove said that they had some hard rain, but the neighbors across the street had a lot of hail (grele) and some damage to the shutters. In front of the door of their tuck-under garage (the neighbor’s tuck-under garage) there was about 2 feet of hail. Lots of homes were flooded in the hard hit areas. Another friend lost everything electrical in his house! We have escaped damage so far, just wind and rain here in Gevrey.

Speaking of weather, I have to add another little note. At the end of May we had a few days of strong winds. After this, everything was covered with a fine dust. I was surprised to learn that this dust was sand from the Saraha dessert. When the strong wind blows north out of the Saraha, it can carry sand across parts of Europe. Learn something new all the time.

On Sunday the 8th of June, the photo club had an outing at the citadel in Besançon (it is about 1 hour north east of Gevrey). The citadel was built by Vauban in 1711( Vauban was the war minister of Louis XIV and famous for fortifications here in France). The citadel is spread out on 11 acres on top of the hill over looking Besançon. It was a hazy day or more fog than haze at times, so it did not turn out to be the best photo day.


What else did we do this month. Still working on the bathroom. The wallpaper came while my friends were here, so of course I did not work on it that week. Then there were a few rest days after they left. I did finally start and finish the wallpaper. Now for all of the other things that need to be done. I wanted to paint the little three-drawer chest that I have had in the bathroom. Well the can of paint-1 did not dry, stripped the chest of all the paint. Test paint 2 did not work (but tried only one corner) so did not proceed with that can. Test paint-3, I thought dried, and painted the entire chest. It did not dry. Stripped the chest once again. Went and bought some expensive paint (!!) and it arrived today. Test patched dried and I have painted the entire chest. I am not rushing to do the second coat until tomorrow. But all appears well this time. Guess the expensive paint does work.

This last Saturday night, the 21st of June is the Fete de Musique in France. Many cities and villages put on some music event on the night of June 21st. We went to see the chorale group I had belonged to a few years ago. It was in the old church in Epernay-sous-Gevrey on Saturday evening. It was good to see some of those friends too. The church was cool (that is a relative statement – as compared to the humid hot temperature outside in the sun). They sang a variety of songs and we both enjoyed the small concert. Then as usual, there is a glass of wine at the salle de fete after the concert. One can not refuse, it would not be polite.

The same weekend my genealogie group had an Exposition in Gevrey. One man has done an enormous amount of work researching what is called lieu-dit (place called). These are all in the area of Gevrey Chambertin, many of them are the names attached to vineyards [ex: we live on the street called Craite Paille, because the vineyard in back is Craite Paille] . He has done a write up on over 100 of these lieu-dit. The president of the club(Joelle) chose about 36 to exhibit. I had volunteered to take photos, and Joelle picked about 10 places for photos- I had 17 photos in all. I had helped with the set up on Friday the 20th of June. In our club there is a man who is a descendant of Maurice Grey (the mustard entrepreneur). So there was a small exhibit on the Grey family. Even had cloths from Maurice Grey. Dapper outfit of deep plum velvet. At 6pm on Sunday evening, there was a film that one local man had made about the 16 “sources de Gevrey” [ springs of Gevrey]. 16 different springs in the area, no wonder the vines find water even in dry years.

Clos St. Jacques Costume de M. Grey

Keith was asked about 10 days ago to guide another trip on the canal. He left on Monday morning for Lyon. He will not return home until Friday the 4th of July.

The paper has announced the "SOLDES" (sales) of summer. France has two sale periods a year, one in winter and one in summer. This is the only time stores are able to have sales (not like Daytons, huh). However, stores do have "promotions" now and again.

School will be over this next week on Thursday, so I have my last french class next Tuesday. Genealogie Club is done for the summer, and after tonight, the Photo club will not meet again until September. After next week, everybody will start preparing for vacation (vacance). There are places I simply would not go here in France during the summer. Too many people! The roads will be crowded, and even some traffic jams on the main freeways as throngs of people head for the beaches. So we will stay here and enjoy our Burgundian summer.

On Monday evening the group called Burgundy Friends got together at Nancy's in Dijon. She has a beautiful place with a small garden, and covered terrace. She lives on a street called Petit Potet. If anyone has ever read "The Years In Dijon" (Destinations) by M.F.K. Fisher , she lived on the same street.

A french couple told me they had visited New York. He had bought a pair of good leather shoes. When they returned to France, she took them to the cobbler to add a sole. Here in France, with good leather shoes, they always add a protective sole to the shoe. The cobbler could not do this because the shoes were made in the US and the soles have had an oil added. So, one I did not know that the US added anything to the leather shoe soles, and two, I did not know the French added a protective sole to their shoes. The cobbler did not know why the Americans do not add the extra layer. Just thought I wold toss in this little morsel of information.

The evening was warm, and we were all outside. This time there were more french than english speakers. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Recipe for the month

{Although it is rabbit [lapin], I usually make it with chicken}



  • Rabbit Cut into 5 pieces- or 5 chicken breast filets (no skin)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Cut into Thin Slices
  • 1/4 c. Huile Tournesol
  • 2 Tbsp Butter (non salted –or limit salt below)
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 c. White Wine (such as an Aligote- dry and light )
  • 1 c. Water
  • 5 Shallots Peeled, Finely Sliced
  • 1 c. Loose Packed Leaves of Flat Leaf Parsley (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 4 Tomatoes Cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper
  • Optional: Thyme, Bay leaf , Olive
  • 300 Gr. Mushroom Cleaned, Sliced
  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Persillade (garlic & parsley finely chopped together)
  • Preparation:Cook on Stove Top in Deep Covered Pot

  • Make 2-3 slices in each piece of rabbit, and insert sliver of garlic in each slice [I skip this with chicken and just add the garlic slices with the parsley]
  • Heat Oil and Butter over Medium to Medium High Temperature
  • Add Rabbit, and Cook, Turning, until nicely golden on all sides.
  • When Rabbit is nicely golden, sprinkle flour
  • Add shallots, and cook till softened and golden
  • Towards end of cooking*, finely chop parsley & garlic together, and add to Rabbit
  • Add Wine. NOTE: Aligote is better than a Sauvignon, as Aligote has less parfum
  • Add Water. NOTE: If later need more liquid, add water, not wine, as there will not be enough cooking time for alcohol to dissipate
  • Add Tomatoes, Pulp side down in the liquid
  • Add salt, pepper. Thyme and Bay leaf (optional)
  • Cook: Simmer on low for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally
  • Cook mushrooms in Butter, with salt, pepper and add to Rabbit in last half hour
  • *Add 2Tbsp Persillade in last 15 minutes

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