Monday, March 22, 2010

March 2010

March 2010


I started this out with the March 2009... hmm, guess the year has passed faster than I thought. It is 2010.

We have spring. Oh it has been wonderful this week. Temperatures near 70 degrees, birds singing, and flowers starting to bloom. It seems late this year after the early start we had last year.



I took some flower photos to add to the spring ambience.

I worked in the garden too this week. Had to clean out all the debris and get at some of the weeds that were already coming up. We have trimmed all the roses, actually Keith trimmed all the roses. He then got out the boyer (electric chopper) and made shavings of all of the debris.

Because of the cold winter, some of my plants may not have survived. I am waiting to see if they will bud. My rosemary turned totally brown, as did my bay leaf bush. Also not sure if all of my thyme will do well. The old plant does not look good, but I am hopeful. These are my herbs and an important part of my garden.

Also busy with the yard. Now that spring has come there is work to be done. Turned all the soil in my vegetable garden. Cleaned up around the irises. Raked some of the other gardens, moved some of the coreopsis (Keith was worried that it was pushing out the roses, but those pretty yellow flowers), and pulled some the weeds that have already shown up. It is so great to be outside in the warm sun.

At the end of February, we had visitors. My sisters neighbor (and friend) from Phoenix was over in France, and she and her french friend came down for the weekend. We went out for a nice dinner on Friday night and enjoyed a night here at our house on Saturday night. They toured Dijon on Saturday. Luckily it was a nice weekend. Sunday when they left was the day the wind started.

That Sunday there were horrible winds. The west side of France had some major damage. Here the wind blew the entire week. Keith tried to bike at the end of the week, and came back after one kilometer. The wind was too strong .

Trying to think of what I did doing this month. Ah yes, I must brag about the wine tasting. Marsonnay la Cote, just a few miles from Gevrey has a Journee Gourmand each year(Day of Eating one might say.....or tasting is actually a better concept). Marie Therese and I have gone for the last few years together. We had our wine glasses ready, and started off to taste the different wines that were offered. We could of tasted food too, but we had our priorities.


Each year we also go to the corner where the Club Bacchus is located. For one Euro, you do a blind tasting. If you get the right answer, you win a bottle of wine. I asked to taste the white wine and Marie Therese tasted the red. My white had a very fruity nose... and very dry/tart in the mouth. I picked Pouilly Fume.... and I was right!! I won a bottle of Rose.

And the WINNER is... Sue (yeah)



Autre chose (other things), Keith bought some potatoes from a door salesman. He was eliminating the middle man. I said sure a few kilos of potatoes. But what ended up in the garage was 25 kilos of potatoes and about $0.10 per kilo more than I would pay at the local store..I guess the word here is and learn. Don't let Keith know I told on him.

There is a custom here, not sure if it is French, European, or just here in Burgundy. Each day, however, you hang your blankets out the window to air them out. I even read an article that said even in winter, 10 minutes of fresh air is good for the house. So if it is not storming or raining or too far below freezing, I open the bedroom window to let the fresh air in. Maybe someday I will make a poster with the windows of the Cote D'Or.

Keith is getting ready to start his tours. This April an American couple wanted a special tour for the Paris-Roubaix bike race (Roubaix is a suburb of Lille). So the company Keith works for said yes, and Keith gets to be the guide. The race itself is just a one day race, then they will have a couple days of riding the route. The route that is followed for the Paris-Roubaix race is rough. There are narrow roads and a lot of pave (cobblestone) roads. But Keith is happy, it is one of his favorite spring races to follow, and this year he gets to see it in person.

In addition to his tours here in Burgundy and in the Loire Valley, he also will have a new tour in the Alsace later in the season. So he will be busy for the next few months.

All winter he has gone to Bligny to work on trains. This last Saturday they tightened track bolts. From lifting the equipment and the wrench, and squatting to tighten bolts, he had some sore muscles on Sunday. As fit as he is, these were different muscles.

He has profited by the warm weather too. He has been out on his bike and logging in the Kilometers. He had a few days over 100 km already.

I have volunteered to do more work for the Genealogy /History Club. We have the big Cluny exhibit in late August and there is lots of work to be done. Research in the archives ( probably will not do this), and transcription of the information found (this is where I come in).

It is so interesting to find information that is hundreds of years old. The information will center around the chateau here in Gevrey and the involvement of Cluny in this area.

I took some photos for the Genealogy/History club this month at a house in Fixin. A famous person (Noisot) who worked with Napoleon built the house. It was an interesting afternoon, and of course there was tea after the work was done.

Also I am still puttering around with the pottery. Some grand ideas, we will see what happens. Still working on mid size bowls on the wheel. Can only handle about 1 to 1 1/2 kilo of clay. Got to strengthen the arms!!

And of course there is my Photo Club too. The Photo Club also has a exhibit on Cluny. It will be in black and white, I think in November. I took some photos of the church in Arcenant, if interested they are here.


Not much else for this last month. Usually think of something after I have sent out my letter.



Verrrine with Avocado and Salmon

Have to confess here, I have not made this. We had a monthly photo presentation at my Photo club (art culinaire), and a member had made this and had taken a photo for presentation. I thought the photo was great and the recipe appealing.

Ah the word translates from french as a " glass pot" (roughly).

It is simple and makes a wonderful starter (entre) for a dinner.


  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices of smoked salmon
  • 4 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped dill
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Peel and cut up the avocados. Smash with a fork slightly. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper (if daring a dash of Tabasco too)
  2. Cut up the salmon into small bite size strips (small bite size), coat with a lemon juice.
  3. Stir the sour cream, ricotta and herbs together. Add salt.
  4. Layer carefully in your glasses, starting with the avocado, then the cream mixture and top with the salmon. Top with a small sprig of dill.
  5. Refrigerate until served.

Caution, do not make to far in advance...

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