Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 2010

June 2010

Ah June. The other day, the 22 of June, summer decided to start. I truly believe the ash in the air from the volcano has altered the weather over here somewhat. Temperatures were in the 50’s for many days during this last month. I foresee a cooler than normal summer for Europe. But the Lily finally bloomed, which means the grape harvest should start 90 days -that is the grape will be ready in 90 days. Old tale here in the wine region.

As for my garden, it is a little slow this year, but because of the rain, it is coming along. I found some little tomatoes on the vines, and the zucchini is on its way. Flowers are on the green bean plants, peas, and cucumbers. All in due time, patience, patience. Not one of my better virtues though!

So what have I or we done this month. Keith went camping for a couple of days when the forecast had 2 days of sun. He had put it off a few times because the night temperatures were so low ( his sleeping bag is rated at 10 degrees C, and it was 6-8 degrees C.) Packed up his bike and stuffed the panniers (side bags) with all his cloths and camping equipment and took off. He takes the train part of the way, and then rides in the region he has picked out. This time it was the Champagne region. The southern edge is about 2 hours by car, but he wanted to ride in the northern part. He was part of the way there by train when the train was stopped and announced that a train up the line had derailed and this train could not go north to Reims (pronounced rance –short “a” sound ). So he biked it instead. That first day he went over 200km... the old fool. Oh well, he loves it. He stayed out two nights and then returned home.

The weekend of the 12th, the Independent Wine Growers of the Cote D’Or had open house for tastings. This was from Marsannay down south to Chassagne. I go to Christine’s for pottery, and her husband is a vigneron (wine grower/maker), so she had a pottery Expo at the same time her husband was having wine tastings(in french -degustation) . This way everybody could look at all of our pottery while they sipped wine. Of course for family and friends there was food too. I took a photo of the dessert, but did not eat any, really. This last year, practically everyone made a gargoyle (I have not made one yet). There are two gargoyles shown below. I tried flower pots in terra cotta (mostly worked in iron stone), they are the square ones in the second photo below.

Christine's {instructor ) Tall Vases
Sue's Flower Pots [square ones]
Babette's Gargoyle1
Babette's Gargoyle2

On Saturday Keith and I went wine tasting with Marie Therse. We went to Chassagne (D. Bachelet) and tasted his wines, and then stopped in Savigny-les-Beaune at D. Girard and tasted a couple more whites, and then at D. Gaumond at Curtil for the final tasting (this is near Messagnes where Marie Therese lives). Keith was driving, so he did not have much.... (you do taste and spit here....really). I even poured out some, one can only drink so much on a Saturday afternoon. We found some wines we liked and passed an enjoyable, rainy and cold afternoon.

My Genealogie/Histoire group had two more outings. We went to Brochon for a tour of the village, and then last weekend to the Château de Brochon. It is not that old, the château was built in 1896 by Stéphen Liégeard. The outside style is néorenaissance ( a little mixed if you ask me...).

Among other things, Stéphen Liégeard is noted for coining the phrase “Cote d’ Azur”, the Mediterranean coast in the south, known for it’s blue (azure in english) color.

Vineyard in the old quarry of Brochon
Cross of Malte on a House- BROCHON

Éolienne is french for what we call a wind mill. The word is used for a “mill” that does not mill anything, such as this wind driven water pump. Also all windmills that are erected for electricity, are also called Éolienne. Ever feel like you are spinning around?

Chateau de Brochon

Chateau from the garden
Tower or Look out
Chateau Gargoyle
View from the Top -towards Gevrey

Continuing to work on the 2 expositions that we have coming up on Cluny (bet you are getting tired of hearing Cluny in each journal – what can I say, imagine 1,100 years of history). Hope to put things together on June 29th, and take an inventory of what we have, and if there is anything that we need. Today I worked on transposing some information into a horizontal timeline. Do not worry, you will have a full report coming in the future. The Expo for the Genealogie/Histoire Club is August 24th -Sept 12th. The photo club is the end of October, only 24 photos will be selected for this Expo.

Taken a few nice walks this month too. Love going through the woods, except when we take a wrong turn and get caught up the in “ronce”..(ronce is the prickly vine of the blackberry).

A little road-vineyards left
Wild Asparagus

I think I talked about wild asparagus before, maybe even last month. Here is a photo (although not a great one) of wild asparagus. I have a knife and a cucumber next to it so you can see the size. Oh it is so good when in season.

One last note: who would of thought 40 some years ago...these two young people would still be together!! But yes...isn't that sweet...married June 27th 1970 in Minneapolis Minnesota

40th Anniversary

June 27th, 2010

Before I get into my recipe of the month, it is black cherry season. Love those cherries. This year the crop was not great due to a late freeze , but still there are cherries. I had a published a recipe in the past for Clafouti (you can find it through the search), it is easy and good french recipe. It takes no time at all (unless you need to pit those cherries, but I now have a cherry is great) You can use it with many of the fruits in season, so go for raspberries. Give it a try for a summer dessert. Serve it warm with some ice cream.

Recipe of the Month

Still following the almost no oil or fat rule diet and probably will for a few more months. So still searching for fat free recipes, and making some up.

This month I have a recipe for Pasta Primivera.

It is spring/summer, when all those wonderful vegetables are fresh and full of flavor. Do not be rigid on the ingredients. If you like fresh peas, hey, they are in season during the summer, add peas and lots of them. You could even toss in some arugula, why not. Maybe add shrimp or chicken, or keep it vegetarian. I add some canned tomatoes, diced; only a little, to add some moisture because of the lack of oil. I like the cherry tomato with basil small jar from Barilla. It has a little oil, but not much.

I also try to go for an overwhelming amount of vegetables, that way I am eating lots of veggies and not that much pasta. That also leaves more pasta for Keith, he needs it. Again to avoid oil, I blanche my vegetables, but you could grill the vegetables too. Like I said, be flexible with this recipe and add what you like.


Pasta ( I like to use linguine – whole wheat)

Carrot - cut into sticks or circles

Zucchini - cut into sticks or circles

2 tomatoes - diced

1 red bell pepper cut into sticks

1 small red pepper minced if you like a little spark (a hot pepper)

Other seasonal vegetable ( I was using asparagus)

1 small can of diced tomatoes (if going fat free) about 4 oz

1 clove garlic minced

1 pot of fat free yogurt or 2 TBS of olive oil

1 TBS of lemon juice

1 TBS parmesan cheese grated


I like to par boil some of the vegetables. I bring salted water to a boil, put each vegetable in a basket (separately) and plunge into the boiling water.

Carrots about 2 minutes (in circles), aparagus 1-2 minutes (again depending on the size, the green were skinny this year- white fatter to longer in the water), red pepper one minute, zucchini (if small sticks) 1 minute.

After each is blanched, I plunge it into cold water to stop cooking. I want the vegetables fresh and crisp, but not hard. This can be done ahead of time.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Drain and add the fat free yogurt immediately. For those that are not cutting out fat, add about 2 TBS of olive oil instead of yogurt. The yogurt should soak into the pasta.

If going fat free also add about 4 ounces of diced tomatoes.

Stir and let cool (15 minutes or so)

Stir in all the vegetables and the rest of the ingredients (except the cheese). Check for needed salt and pepper.

Top with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment