October sauntered in warm and sunny. Out came the shorts and sundresses as everyone found that summer had come back. The first week of October the temperature went up into the 80’s and we all enjoyed the sun. The french have an expression loosely translates to “profit by the day (sun...)”, or in American slang “ENJOY”.
Then we had a reality check. The second week the temperature plummeted. We had a few nights below freezing. The water in the birdbath was solid in the morning. Keith had a tour here in Burgundy that week, and had to provide warm snacks such as hot cider or hot chocolate for the clients. What a change in one week.
Now we are back to normal weather. It is in the 40’s at night and into 60’s during the days. I think on Sunday the 25th of Oct it was in the 70’s. We have started using the fireplace in the evenings. Heck during the cold week, one day I started the fire in the afternoon (have not turned on the heat yet).
Keith got the long range forecast on Saturday from the man who was digging a ditch (with a backhoe) at the railroad (Bligny). He told them over lunch that it would stay mild through the end of the year, however,the first of 2010 however was going to be very cold. We will see (fr: on verra) if his forecast has any truth in it.
After the freeze my garden was toast! With the warm weather I had hoped that maybe a few more things would ripen. Ah, some did. But the day after the freeze it was time to pull everything up and rescue the remaining tomatoes and peppers. The zucchini did not make it. I had a good run this summer with my garden, so no complaints.
The colors are muted this fall. We have had very dry weather since August, so the trees and/or the vines did not turn the rich golds of past years. Some of the leaves had turned brown at the start of September. So the landscape is filled with browns and a burnished gold. Every so often there is a maple tree that is showing off. There are not many maples here, so a maple tree does stand out in the forest (or crowd). And there are some trees that turn to a bright yellow. The color is vibrant against the brown. Not all is lost; the muted colors are pretty too. I just marvel at the scene in front of me when I turn a corner. Even after 8 years here, I still go “WOW” as I drive around. It is never tiring.
One day Marie Therese and I went for a walk in Beaune. It was one of the beautiful days. I took some photos of the of Beaune and of Beaune rooftops. Burgundy is known for its’ colored roof tops, and I thought some of these photos were good examples. We walked around the old ramparts of Beaune, something I had not done for a couple of years. The ramparts in Beaune are street width with houses and trees.
House on the Ramparts
Beaune Colored Roofs
|Beaune- More tiled roofs|
Last Roof Shot -no colored tiles
On this last Sunday of October, Keith and I went to the little cheese place not too far from us. At the shop one can buy goat cheese. They raise the goats and make the cheese. This type of cheese is called “Fermier” (made on the farm). It is some of the best goat cheese I have ever tasted. Ohhhh, how creamy!! I can share the photo, but I can not pass along a taste to you. Wish I could. The yellow sign out front states that “HERE cheese fermier is for sale”. The white one with the black goats states “STOP Taste me”.
We were on a road trip that day. The first stop was the cheese shop that happened to be open. Because they care for the goats and have to milk the goats too, the shop hours are “whenever”. Our actual destination was Pont d’Ouche. After we bought some cheese, we continued on toward Pont d'Ouche. In Pont d'Ouche, on the canal, is a place to berth ones canal boat. Bryony, an english woman, opened a shop (years ago) that sells some groceries (primarily to the boat people). She also has a room upstairs for a “book exchange”. Since many of the people on the canal are english, there are a lot of english books. She charges 1 euro per book. It works for me. Since she closes for the winter months, I had to get some books before the end of October. OK, they are not classics, but they are books to read in english, one does get desperate at times. Still I did not pick any books by Danielle Steele's, just not ny type.
Our photo club is having an Exposition Dec 2010 on the Clunisian sites. Of course I need a photo. Although our trip to Cluny was enjoyable and interesting, my photos are identical to hundreds of others. Nothing unique. So I had Keith take me to see the abbey ruins of St Vivant (It is not far, just about 10 miles, but it was a nice day to go out and explore a little). St. Vivant was once an abbey of Cluny. It is under reconstruction. It is on a hillside near Reulle Vergy. The ruins of the old Chateau de Vergy are on the other side of this same hill. We were approaching the site from the village of Curtil-Vergy. Curtil is getting sewers and is totally torn up. So finding the road was not easy. I thought we would walk, but Keith drove up the little narrow road!! It was not wide at all and went up at a steep angle. YIKES!!!! We made it, whew. I took lots of photos, but it is not really a pretty site, maybe in time.
Then I remembered something about Arcenant being a Cluny site too. So I went over there and took some photos of Arcenant. It is actually the church in Arcenant that belonged to Cluny. I have about 50 photos to sort through, here is just one example of the eglise at Arcenant.
France, each October, has a week of tasting (semaine de gout). It is always mid- October. There are lots of special events to this week. At the end of the tasting week, Marie Therese and I went to the Exposition in Nuits St. George. This year they had more Arts and Crafts than food. So much for tasting, darn. We did talk to the ferronier (blacksmith) for about 30 minutes. He invited us within his fenced demonstration area to get a close-up look at his work. He adds artistic touches to a lot of his work. Gold leaves decorate an iron gate... This photo is not great, but it is a commissioned piece he just finished.
Our local cheese shop, Gaugry always has a free tasting too, but we did not have time to make it there too (free tasting of about 6 cheeses, with bread and wine). Ah the french life.
All other things have been normal here. Keith worked the first two weeks of October. Now we are trying to settle back to our life without his work. Keith did some long rides last week (on his bike). This next week a friend is coming to stay a few days. He is looking to ride his bike and taste wine. I do not think that will be a chore for us to show him around.
The photo club had its monthly photo theme. For October it was sports. Everyone votes on their favorite photos (1,2 and 3), and then the photos are lined up and discussed. I did not make the top 3, but did well. I have added my photo of a horse jumping. For November the photo theme is "rouge" (red). I have been taking photos, have not picked one that I want to use yet.
The end of October (and for 10 days) is Dijon's Fete to food. The "La 79ème Foire internationale et gastronomique de Dijon " ( the 79th festival International and gastronomic of Dijon). It has about 500 exhibitors!! More on that next month if we go to it.
Recipe of the MONTH
A nice fall recipe.
Pear Clafouti (it is pear season)
- 2 pears, peeled and cut into slices (no more than ½ inch wide)
- Lemon juice
- 1 cup crème fraîche ( or heavy cream)
- 1/4 cup Amaretto
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- pinch of salt
1. After the pears have been sliced, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice over and turn so that they are covered (this prevents them from turning brown). Then before you put into the baking dish, dry with a paper towel.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients (starting with the crème fraîche) in a bowl or food processor.
3. Mix until well blended
4. Pour into a baking dish that holds about 8 cups (1 1/2 inch high) about 1/4 inch of batter. Bake for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and arrange the pears slices in the baking dish. Pour the remaining batter on top.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Watch the cooking time carefully. Every oven is different. The top should be brown and when a knife is put into the middle, it should come out clean. If you over cook, it can be dry.