Weather...ah today and the last couple of days have been glorious. There is hope for spring. January and most of February have been wet and cold. We get a never ending drizzle, day after day of hazy drizzle. Everybody is complaining about the long winter, and it was just in the paper this week that it was the coldest winter since 1987. But now we have had sun for a few days, and it is wonderful. Actually the last couple of weeks have not been too bad.
My mache (maybe you call it lambs lettuce) is starting to poke up in the garden, a sure sign of spring. And look at the photo of the primavera that I just took today. The tulips have pushed through the dirt, about 4 inches high now. But it would not be spring without the joyous sounds of the birds; and Mr. Merle has been singing for the last two weeks [a merle is in the thrush family, related to the robin, but he is black]. The merles have a large repertoire of songs, and sit atop the roof and open their throats in a beautiful melody.
I went for a walk the other day with Marie Therese. There was a little haze, but I took some photos none the less. I had to take the two photos of roads.
I grew up in Minnesota where so much is laid out in a grid pattern and as straight as possible. Here if one even finds a straight road, it is probably Roman in origin. I do so enjoy these small, narrow little roads that twist and turn through the country side (OK I will admit when the road is only one car wide and on the side of a hill [ditch on one side and 100ft drop on the other!!], I pray that I will not meet a car head on.. who has to back up to a wide spot??]. But these two are on relatively flat ground.
Last Saturday night we went to a concert in a small village. It was in Chevanne, which is over the hill from Messanges. We had an early dinner with Marie Therese and Christian, and then left for the concert. It was a group of 5 woman called the "Takaties" and also a man, M. Leger, who played some folk songs on the Vielle a roue (or known in the US as the hurdy gurdy). What a delightful surprise. We enjoyed very much hearing the songs on the hurdy gurdy, I had never heard one play in person. Then the concert, was excellent(5 woman sang a capella). There songs were varied, from classical to calypso, and even one song that reminded Keith and I of the “Sweet Adelines” (barbershop quartet style).
Have to mention that I saw the movie (on TV) “The Last Show, A Prairie Home Companion”. What fun and what memories. We always listened to the radio show and went to a few live shows. It was trip down memory lane.
Keith, now that the weather has changed, has been on his bike. The last few weeks he has managed his 200km per week. A few days he returned a little blue due to the cold. It was sunny, but near freezing with a nasty wind.
He has also been working on a few more cupboard doors for the kitchen. Slowly, bit by bit the kitchen cupboards are “morphing” from white melamine to oak. It will look so much better when it is done. But it is a project he works on in the winter, so maybe another year or two.
Photo update. Thanks so much to those that had voted. The polls are not closed however, and probably will not be for a couple more weeks. Although the Exhibition is not until May 9th and 10th, our president wants everyone’s photo reviewed, improved and ready in the next few weeks.
Last Thursday night I took a few of my photos to the meeting and was told that mine were great. So I have the input of the photograph group, but I wanted the vote of the general public on which ones to put in the exhibit. I have posted the results of my poll(as of today) below. Although the photo Fog at Curley received a fair number of votes, when I had it printed, it comes out rather flat. So that one is out of the running (this is not uncommon, the color and illumination on the computer can be different than the final product). On the other hand, I had the poppies printed once and did not like the results. This time when I had these last photos printed I used a better place and asked for high quality. Ah VIOLA, the poppies are great. It is a panoramic 70cm by 30cm. I think it is a keeper. The other one that was surprising was the Bruant. The yellows came out very brilliant and vibrant. Did you know there is a horse at the end of the road? It looks like the Gevrey Chateau will be in, but it is the 3rd photo I have not picked yet. Thanks again for your votes.
On the same weekend, in the same building, I will have some pottery on exhibit. My pottery instructor is putting on an Expo too ( she has our Thursday morning group and I believe maybe 3 other groups). At least they are in the same building.
I have to add a note, and I know you have heard me complain about this before, but our baker is on vacation!! Oh where do you get good bread when your baker is gone. I had bought bread from the store for a couple days, and Keith said "ENOUGH. I will go out and buy some good bread, I don't want that bread again". When did our taste buds change from liking Wonder Bread to being able to discern the fine differences in french bread from one baker to another? And then not only is there the baguette or gros pain (big bread), there are many variations beyond that. Oh such difficulties. As Keith left for Bligny today, he said he would buy the bread for the day. Give us our daily bread!!
Today, the last day of February, I went for a walk out in back of Gevrey where there are some ponds. It was in the 60's and very sunny. As I was taking photos, a woman from pottery came by. We spent the rest of the afternoon together. What a beautiful day (oh it ended with a taste of Corton-Charlemagne (white) at her house. It was just a little taste. What a great way to end a great day.
Oh yes, friends are coming to the US to drive Route 66 this summer. If anyone has some good suggestions, please send them to me. They would love to know some goodplaces to stop and what to see. But that said, JP has always had this dream and has a collection of books on Route 66. Send me a note.
That is about all for this month. I may put add an article soon on Burgundy Wine. Stay tuned.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
The white bean cold or hot is a simple and yet great choice. This is a very simple recipe and can be used hot or cold. Also be daring and vary the ingredients. You can soak beans overnight and cook the next day, but I use canned beans (without tomato sauce added, just the beans).
Heat beans (for serving warm) in a small pan. Just before serving, drizzle a little olive oil (use a good olive oil, virgin or extra virgin) over the beans, add some herbs (I like fresh thyme) and salt and pepper to taste. Mix and serve.
Options: Add grilled reb peppers, or sauted onions. Go for it.
This also works very well as a salad, served cold, in the summer. Sometimes it is the simple tastes that are so good.