Monday, January 11, 2010

January 2010

Wow, can you believe it, another year has passed. It is 2010 !

Went for a walk on Jan 17, our first sunny day in a long time. It was about 48 degrees... just absolutely beautiful. The swans were over at the ponds behind Gevrey, so I took a few photos (opening photo).

We spent our New Year's Eve here at home. We opened a great bottle of Cremant (Like champagne, but can not be called Champange) for a late afternoon toast. For dinner a nice bottle of red wine (burgundy of course) and duck for dinner. Nothing real exciting, but a nice evening near the fireplace.

It was a cold start to the year, and I for one am hoping that means an early spring. One can always hope. Our temperatures have dipped down to -10 C. And snow too, all of 3 inches.

The Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th) is always a big celebration here. It is the Fete de Galette des Rois.

All of my clubs (photo club and Genealogy/History) have a night for the Galette during the first part of January. And what is the Galette? It is a pastry with almond paste inside. A small trinket (called the "feve") is hidden inside the pastry. Now the trinkets are often after popular cartoon characters- to appeal to the children, such as Franklin the Turtle. The one who finds the feve gets to wear the crown. For the month of January I have put a recipe for the Galette des Rois below. I know that January 6th has come and gone, but go ahead and make it and enjoy.

Have to say that January 11th is a day I will remember. Here is my story....

Oh it was a quiet day here in Gevrey. My photos for the next expo were to be ready by 4pm in Dijon (by the way, the photos are below). I pulled out the train schedule, and ah yes a train at 3:27pm. One further check and there was a train that would get me home at 5:29pm. I could look around the stores in Dijon and then pick up my photos. I thought this was a good plan for a nice afternoon. I went over to the Station (gare) here in Gevrey at about 3:15. There is a ticket machine in a little glass shelter, and a shelter (abri) on each side where one can sit and wait for the train. I put my credit card in the machine and bought a round trip ticket (aller/retour). It was a 5 minute wait until the train would arrive. Another couple came in addtion to the 4 young people who were also waiting for the train. Hmm 3:27 no train, 3:28, 3:29..hmm 3:30pm. 3:31pm...3:32. I mutter something to the couple that the train is late (en retard). Another look south, nothing...The man steps out to look... Oh yes, look here comes the train. So we all march over the platform (quai) to wait for the train to stop. Zzzzzip.... this train is not stopping.. it is passing a very high speed... and oh NO , rocks flying through the air. And the rocks continue to fly through the air. ouch, ouch ouch... what is happening!! It seems that there were flying rocks for minutes, but in reality it was seconds.Finally they stop. Everyone stands there stunned. Then we all start to take our personal inventories. My leg hurts, my back hurts, my arm....One young teenager examines the calf of his leg. The man goes over to use the railroad phone (direct connection to the SNCF - the railroad) to tell them we have been pummeled with rocks flying through the air. He returns and his wife states she is really hurt, she is leaning on the fence holding her back. She has a pained expression on her face. So he goes back to the phone and tells them to send the paramedics (SAMU). Me, I am cold, hurt and furious and want to go home. We do not live that far (couple blocks), so I limp off home. Keith is there, and I blubber my story to him, and he goes back over to the station and takes some photos. The gendarmes (police) are there and so are the fireman (paramedics). He adds my name to the list of the walking wounded.

I ended up going to the doctor on Tuesday to document my injuries (inventory of all the black and blue areas). The gendarmes wanted the paper work from the doctor. After the doctor we went to the Gendarmerie (police headquarters) to file a report.

The gendarme tells us (Keith is with me) that the SNCF thinks there was ice under the one car of the train (last car), and it dropped as it passed. When it dropped, it was onto the rocks that are between the rails -the ballast. If the train was going 160km per hour, the ice drops and sends rocks into the air at a fairly high speed (anyone who wants may get out their calculators and take a stab at this ;) ). So for the first time since we have moved here, I had to visit the gendarmes. A new experience for us.

I do not know what will happen from here. But I will let you know.

All other things do not seem very interesting. I am back in french class after the holiday break, and back in Pottery, and Photo Club. In my Genealogie/Histoire and Patrimoine Club, I am again Adjunct Tresor (treasurer)...not as if there was anyone else was running for the position. The man who is treasurer and does not like computers. So I will keep the accounts up to date on the computer this year (for 2009 all the data had to be added at one time -the 5th of January- for the annual report).

Keith continues to ride his bike when weather permits, and goes to Bligny on Saturdays to repair trains and what ever else needs to be done. Tourist season for the train does not start until May. There is a Blog for his train group, it is in french however. If you read french or want to look at the photos here is the link:

Frost at the Pond, Gevrey
Wind Mill near Santenay

Recipe of the Month

GALETTE DES ROIS (by Dominique Malet)

Note : It is in french with English in BLUE

It really is not hard, just make the almond paste and spread between two layers of puffed pastry - store bought pastry of course.

Ingrédients pour 4-6 personnes:

  1. 2 pâtes feuilletées pur beurre 2 puffed pastries made with butter -one for the bottom and one for the top]
  2. 125 g de poudre d'amandes 125 grams of Almond flour [or 1.4 cups or 1 cup 4 TBS]... (powdered almonds)
  3. 80 g de sucre en poudre 80 grams of sugar [ .4 cup or 6 TBS and 2 teaspoons ]
  4. 1 œuf battu 1 beaten egg
  5. 1 c.s de crème fraîche épaisse 1 tablespoon of thick crème fraîche
  6. 50 g de beurre mou coupé en morceaux 50 grams of Butter cut into small cubes [3.5 Tablespoons]
  7. 1/2 petite cuillère d'extrait d'amande amère 1/2 teaspoon of Almond extract
  8. 1 jaune d'oeuf 1 egg yellow
  9. 1 c.s de lait 1 Tablespoon of milk
  10. 1 fève 1 bean (trinket)
  11. 1 couronne 1 crown

Préparation de la recette (preparation of the recipe)

  1. 1. Préchauffez le four à 190°C. Preheat over to 190°C
  2. 2. Battez l'œuf en omelette dans un bol. Beat egg in a bowl
  3. 3. Dans un saladier, mélangez la poudre d'amandes, le sucre en poudre, l'oeuf battu, la crème fraîche, le beurre et l'extrait d'amande amère. In large bowl, mix the almond flour, sugar, beaten egg, crème fraîche, butter and extract.
  4. 4. Déroulez une pâte feuilletée sur la grille du four en laissant le papier sulfurisé dessous. Roll out the pastry, leaving it on the pastry paper.(Prepackaged puffed pastry comes with pastry paper, and it is circular)
  5. 5. Piquez la pâte avec une fourchette et recouvrez-la de la préparation aux amandes jusqu'à 3 cm du bord. With fork, makes some holes in the pastry, then spread on the almond mix, leaving 1/2 inch on the outside edge.
  6. 6. Posez une fève dans la crème, où vous voulez vers le bord. Put the bean (trinket ) towards the outside edge.
  7. 7. A l'aide d'un pinceau de cuisine ou de vos doigts, mouillez la bordure de pâte non recouverte de crème. Wet the border (1/2 inch that was left without the almond mixture) with a brush.
  8. 8. Recouvrez avec la deuxième pâte feuilletée. Cover with the second puffed pastry. Take a fork and crimp the edges together.
  9. Avec la fourchette, appuyez bien tout autour du bord pour coller les 2 pâtes ensemble.
  10. 9. Avec un couteau pointu, faites un petit trou au milieu de la galette puis tracez des lignes pour la décorer. With a knife, make a small vent in the center, then trace a design on top (cutting only lightly, not all the way through top pastry layer)
  11. 10. Dans un bol, mélangez un jaune d'œuf avec 1 c.s de lait et étalez ce mélange sur la galette pour qu'elle dore à la cuisson. In a bowl, mix the egg yolk with milk and brush the entire top of pastry so it will turn gold when baking
  12. 11. Enfournez et laissez cuire 30-35 mn. Dégustez tiède, c'est encore meilleur ! Put into the oven for 30-35 minutes. Eat warm, it is the best

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