Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 2008

August 31, 2008

August is over. It has not been a typical August here however. It is usually our hottest month and somewhat dry. This year the temp has rarely been over 75 degrees, and it was not dry at all the first half. So cool and damp. Ah but this last week has been beautiful. Sunny and not too warm, just perfect.

I started a new regime a few weeks ago. I am riding my bike to the Super U (grocery store). It is about 2km to the store. Last Saturday I started out at 9:00am (store opens at 9:00am), and there I was going down the Avenue la Gare with two other mamies (slang for grandmother or any woman of a certain age). We all pedaled our way to the store. I know 4km is not much, but it better than nothing. This morning I did a bit longer tour. There is little traffic early on a Sunday morning. I had in mind to ride through the vineyard on this side of the highway, but it was already closed early this morning for some event (the road I wanted to use also passes the stade (stadium), so I assume that the event was there at the stadium. So I pedaled the other direction over to the Super U, across the highway into Brochon, and I returned to Gevrey on the old "Route de Tacot" .

What is that? Tacot was/ is the name generic name given to the small railroad that went between the small villages. It was not part of the government rail system. It existed the latter half of the 19th century to the 1930’s. There was one that went from Dijon to Beaune. Le "Tacot" fait 2 aller-retour par jour entre Dijon et Beaune. Le voyage dure près de 4 h. The Tacot made two round trips each day between Dijon and Beaune. The trip took near 4 hours.

Some of the routes have been paved (like the one I used this morning), others are paths through the woods, such as the one from Gevrey to Curley. This route went through pine woods, through one tunnel (combe Grisard between Gevrey-Chambertin and Curley) and climbed to the plateau (474 m altitude – Gevrey is about 220 m). It is now a walking trail.

The tunnel in the Combe Grisard
Old station in Dijon

This month I have been taking photos. That is where I have spent most of my time. This would be for the Photo Club, the "jeu de ete" (summer game) that I explained last month. I do have some photos that I really like. Also I have taken photos of churches for the same reason.

Street in Village

History 101 - Julius Ceasar defeated the Gauls here in 52 BC

Argilly Note: both are small villages

Keith took another camping trip this last week. He camped up in the Champagne region. He was gone for 3 days and did a total of 300km. This will probably be the last trip of the season. Then he did another ride yesterday for a total of over 400km this last week. He loves that new bike too.

Speaking of Champagne, I went with Marie Therese to the champagne region. She needed some champagne for a customer. Keith and I have a "carte de fidelité" at this champagne house, so we get a discount of 22%. We tasted a little (just a little, really) and then both of us purchased some champagne (you have to realize that a bottle of good quality champagne cost about 14.50 euros). I bought a few half bottles this time. Last night it was warm and we had dinner on the patio. About 9:30 we opened the half-bottle and had a wonderful glass of champagne for our dessert. As the sky went from twilight to dark, we sipped on our glasses and enjoyed the rest of the evening . Ahhh....

Since the weather has been nice we have had a few picnics. We pack up a nice lunch and head off in some direction, find or table or spread the blanket and enjoy a lunch in the country. A couple of weeks ago we went to Alesia. Keith had the bike on top of the car, so he road back. I went on to Flavigny and walked around taking photos and then returned home. A very pleasant Sunday.

I think I have talked about Clemencey before. That is where Marie Therese keeps her horse Ohtar. On Sept 7th, Christophe is having a small fete. The horses will do some dresage and jumping. So I will have some photos from there for next month. But here are a couple of shots.

Icelandic horse

Oh so french....

This week with the dry weather, I thought it time to start to harvest some of the lavendar. The bees were not in total agreement however. That aside, I got out the electric trimmer and cut away. I cut about half and then had a change of heart towards the bees and left the rest for them for another week. My neighbor was outside, so I stopped and talked to her for a awhile. It was getting late and it was time to clean up. I grabbed the trimmer..not by the regular handle, but the handle that when grsped turns on the trimmer...and the cord fell and I cut the cord. I knew the consequence of this. Oh dear, and Keith out camping somewhere. I looked at the fuse box (yes a fuse box) and thought I had better clean up and get fuses before the stores close at 7pm. Took a shower and reached for the hair dryer... oops that is not going to work. So with wet hair I went out and bought a parcel of fuses in varying sizes. Then I set to work to try to identify what fuse I had blown. Eureka, some turn red and there it was. I replaced two actually. Then I turned the breaker and NOTHING !!! Went over everything once more and nothing again. Finally broke down and went to the neigbors house and asked for help. I take it that Jacques may have been in the shower, he was not available. However, Marion showed me there box and that the one swithed had to be turned to the right -Yep did that - and the other pushed up so it showed RED. Showed red, not green?!? That was the problem. I had it on green -green for GO. Went home and pushed up the little switch to red, and VIOLA, I had electricity once more. Whew.

Later in the month of September, we are going to Ireland for a few days. I found a deal that I could not pass up, so booked a trip. Of course you will see photos and I will write all about it next month. Right now we have no real plans. We fly into Dublin. That is as far as I have gone on making any plans. We have talked about going south of Dublin along the coast to Wexford and Waterford. We will see what we do.

Recipe for the month

Picnic Loaf (must make 24 hours in advance)


To grill-

  • § 1 small eggplant)
  • § 1 zucchini)
  • § Sweet onion large)
  • § 1 jar grilled red pepper (drained))
  • § 1 small jar of tapenade)
  • § Basil pesto)
  • § Cheese ( I have used pre-sliced Port Salut with herbs)-Sliced fairly thin)
  • Vinaigrette

  • § 3 TBS olive oil)
  • § 1 TBS vinegar)
  • § 1 large tsp of mustard)
  • § 1 finely chopped shallot)
  • § 1 minced garlic)
  • § 1 round or oblong loaf of bread (NOT SLICED)
  • Procedure

    1. 1. Cut off top of bread, put aside the top
    2. 2. Remove inside of bread making a hollow bowl.
    3. 3. Brush inside with vinaigrette
    4. 4. Add a layer of tapenade and pesto to the bottom of the bowl and the inside of the cap
    5. 5. Peel and slice (1/4 inch thick) onion, zucchini and egg plant
    6. 6. Brush with vinaigrette and place on grill
    7. 7. watch carefully and turn when slightly browned
    8. 8. If excess oil, place on paper towel when finished.
    9. 9. While all the vegetables are still hot, put a layer of eggplant, then cheese, red pepper, zucchini, onion. Repeat is possible. You put this together when the vegetables are hot to warm, to slightly warm or melt the cheese-just a little.
    10. 10. Put on top, wrap and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours with a heavy weight on top(I use full wine bottles).

    To serve: with round bread, cut into wedges like you would a pie. With an oblong, cut off end and then serve in slices.

    Makes a great picnic sandwich or use for an outdoor BBQ.