I think that every month I lament that time is running out and the month has passed by quickly. I have to say this month is no different. Yikes I had better start writing.
The first part of May it was cloudy, grey and cold
(about 40 degrees at night). Although it was grey and on the brink of
depressing, we did not get that much rain. But all that has changed and good
times have returned. It has been sunny and warm and we did have one day of rain
this week. But what is one day, and the garden needs it.
To start out the report for this month, I will talk about
our bed. We have had a Select Comfort bed for about 12 years (if you do not
know, Select Comfort beds have an air chamber that inflates to individual
settings, so hard setting for Keith and soft setting for on my side). I wanted
to check the settings, so got the electric converter out (American bought and on
120v) and plugged everything in. Although I had my side at about 40-45 and
Keith’s side at 90-100%, both sides read 100%. Then suddenly, there was a
hissing noise!! OH NO, the air started to escape. I tried with the remote to inflate and the air went out
faster ! ! Short story, the bed was finished, kaput, wrecked,defunct.. . Now we
had two large depressions, sort of bathtub shapes on each side of the bed!! The
reading still said it was pumped to 100% (the lying remote control). I tried a
few things, nothing. The pump would not start up to inflate the bed....
So now we have a new bed. Our bed was a king...and the bed in the spare
bedroom is a queen... after all these years in the king, the queen was not big
enough. With the new bed, happy days are back again (we had the new bed made to
fit the old platform, so it is extra long for Keith).
I have had a busy month with my Genealogie/Histoire / et Patrimoine Club.
On May 3rd we took a tour of the Combe Laveaux to look at the sources (springs). The Combe Lavaux is just west of Gevrey, maybe ½ km outside of the town. It was designated a natural reserve a few years ago. Gevrey in total has __ springs. This was a tour of four of the sources. We started in the Combe (a combe is a the valley in a ravine...closest I can come to a description). The spring in the Combe is the most prolific and the best water. The actual spring is below ground and there is a small housing over it. Also they have built a reservoir for the water. We had to hike back on the trail to see the source and then back to the reservoir. Now it was almost noon. We had all packed a “little” lunch. Our next stop after the Combe Lavaux was a little east into the vineyards. This was in the vineyard known as Les Verroilles (the vineyard name comes from Latin origine meaning a little valley). It is on a hillside...so is the name because of the valley of the Combe?, I have no idea. Anyway to continue, we are in vineyard, where one of the club members has a small “maison” [house] (it is a two room building used for shelter and a rest place). Gerard opened the house and the one room had a large table and chairs. Ah perfect..we ate lunch here and admired the view. Everyone had brought extra food to pass around and share, and “comme habitude”, there was wine.
After lunch, Gerard talked about our second source that is underground. This is the source called Romanee. This source is in the vineyard next to Les Verroilles, and flows under the vineyard called La Romanee (named after the Romans that were here no doubt). Our third source was above in the vineyard called Poissenot. And for the fourth and final source of the day, we walked west into another small valley (about 1km) and found a very small source, Boissiere. It was an interesting day, and as always I enjoy the company.
On May 15th we had a tour/lecture in the village of Fixin. A famous Captain of the Guard under Napoleon built a house in Fixin (pronounced FEE SAN) and a park in Fixin. His name was Claude Noisot. One of our club members lives in his house. So we toured the house and his bedroom (where he had the french Imperial Eagle put on his ceiling, and where he died), and the beautiful gardens in back of the house- very large gardens in fact. Back in the house, we had a lecture on his military life while we drank some champagne (not a bad afternoon...). After our lecture and rest, we went up to the park where he placed a statue of Napoleon (Napoleon Rising to Immortality by Francois Rude-note there are different theories on this statue, it was called at one time napoleon in Repose), and where he had a small museum built. Another great day.
On the 29th of May, we return to Brochon for another historical tour and on June 19th, we tour the chateau of Brochon (it is only about 100 years old..but more next month).
We continue to prepare for our August exposition on Cluny and life in the middle ages here in Gevrey. There will be five panels on Cluny, and 20 some on Gevrey. We are not including the Chateau, since the owners of the Chateau are covering that part of the Expo. But you will here about this in great detail in the August or Sept report.
At the beginning of May, my photo club had its annual Photo exposition. There was no theme to this expo, so the photos were really varied. There were some great photos, and if interested here is a site with many of the photos (unfortunately, not all).
As usual, Friday night after the “vernisage” (the opening of the expo with Cremant or Kir ,a short speech by the Club president and the mayor of Gevrey) we had our pizza party. And as it is a french pizza party, there was an abundance of food, from appetizers to quiche, and of course lots of pizza. And naturally, there were bottles of wine (hey not beer here), including some very good Gevrey Chambertin and Clos de Fixin (2005...wow), follwed by a cheese course and finally dessert. We wandered home near midnight.
The other night at the Photo Clubs weekly meeting, those that wanted brought photos for the theme “Sur la Vif”...which sort of means “on the spot”. Now let me say that philosophy is a required high school course and they must pass a philosophy test to graduate (get their BAC). With 12 photos presented there was about 30-45 minute discussions on the meaning of the theme. I am not sure that more than 3 people agreed on any given definition. My take home was that it was something that happened, on the spot, and it was totally spontaneous. Therefore, Robert’s photo of a horse jumping over the barrier was not “sur la vif” to some of the members. It is interesting to listen to these discussions, and difficult when 5 or 6 people talk at the same time.
There is a new dog in Messanges (poor Frisbee died in March, for those of you who met Frisbee). The new member of the family is named Flipper and he is 2 months old. Marie Therese and Christian searched many animal refuges before making their choice. He is sweet. Very much a puppy and a “pest” to her father’s dog, Dolce.
Keith has been on his bike as usual, but had only one trip this month (working trip that is). He has a couple coming up in June. He went to Bligny last Sunday to help out and had a long day at the railroad. The steam engine “blew” a rod (not sure if I am describing this correctly...no corrections please- take it as is). He was at the station and got the call from up the line. So he fired up the diesel train and went up to pull back the passengers (8 cars full of tourists...tough work for the diesel). The other two stayed with the steam engine and brought it in ever so slowly. So all is well that ends well, however they have a engine to fix.
We went to Saulieu one Sunday a few weeks ago for the “Weekend gourmand”. Saulieu is over an hour from here. There was all kinds of food and wine to sample, sausage, cheese, bread, pastries, foie gras, chocolat, cookies, jams, snails... and I know I have missed a few things. Actually we tasted only a couple of wines, and not that much food. Keith tried some cheese and sausage, since he wanted to buy both. Ah fresh artistinal goat cheese, nothing better. There were, in addition to the food and drink, some exhibits on making wooden shoes, and old way of making rope, some bread from old roman recipes, some quilters and basket weavers. It is not too large, and it makes for an interesting visit. We had a good lunch there too.
I know you all want to know about my garden! OK maybe not.... I have planted peas, green beans, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, egg plant, and carrots. Sure hope most of it does well. Right now everything is looking pretty good.
Our irises are all in bloom too. How beautiful (first photo).
The other day on a hike, Marie Therese and I found wild asparagus in the woods. I thought it would be ready next week, but there it was, so we picked a sack full.
Now for the recipe for the month. It is a recipe for grilled chicken, without any oil. I will come clean here and admit that I am having a little gallbladder problem. So for the trip to the USA, and for the summer, I am trying to hold off the inevitable, and eating practically fat free diet. This is working relatively well, for the time being. So, as a consequence, my cooking has changed. This diet also means no cheese...that is hard. But I am coming up with new recipes.
6 hours to marinade
This is easy and totally fat free. Give it a try on the grill and of curse send any and all comments.
v 2 chicken breast filets(without bones or skin)
v 3 oz of non fat yogurt
v 1 TBS of lemon juice
v 1 tsp of salt
v 1 TBS of Italian spice
- Butterfly cut the breast (carefully run a knife almost through the breast to open into two halves) . Not totally necessary, but it marinades better this way and cooks faster and more even.
- Mix all of the next 4 ingredients together
- Cover all the chicken pieces with the marinade and return to the refrigerator for 6 hours
- When the grill is very hot, place chicken on the grill (if you want you could sprinkle with a little more Italian spice at this point). Grill with all the yogurt stuck to the chicken.
- Watch carefully, it is about 3 minutes only on each side.. check to see if done (small cut inthe fat part. When no longer pink, remove. You do not want to over cook, because without any oil, it can dry out easily, so cooking is the delicate step, but very fast step in the process.