Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 2010

Walk with Marie Therese and dogs

July 2010

I sit here in front of a blank screen (“paper”). What to say this month, not that it has not been busy, it has been packed. I guess it is more of where to start.

At the beginning of the month, I went back to the Musee de Noisot in Fixin (May Blog) to take some photos. Madame C. wanted a photo of the old sketch of her house that was behind glass in the Museum. She had made arrangements for us to get in before opening hours so the sketch book could be removed and we would take some photos. I took a photo of the hat of Napolean also, although it was still in the glass case.

Sketch of the House

Napolean’s hat

On July 4th, I again entered into the Rallye du Charme (it is once a year on the first Sunday of July). This is a game done by the Office de Tourisme here in Gevrey. You have to have local knowledge and lots of it: some history, knowledge of landmarks, general lay of the land...and much more. It is done in the canton region of Gevrey. The villages where you might find an answer are marked in Yellow on a little map (about 7 villages are marked). So you drive around trying to solve the enigmas given on a sheet, so you can gain points with the right answers. Also there are four “Maitre de Jeux “(Masters of Play). In these four villages, you have to figure out the main game and answer a question. One village had wine tasting (put the 4 yrs of Gevrey-Chambertin in correct order- 2004,2005,2006 and 2007), or another village had us put the correct name of the bottles lined up [see below] would you know these? (We only had to identify the four they had on the table, a fillete, Jeroboam, Rehoboam and Balthasar...) or 3rd village- identify the names of the wine glasses (of course Tulip was easy ) but the others, not so easy...but we did it.

The grand enigma was the identification of Monsiuer X with the clues we had gained for the correct answers at the Maitre de Jeux. He was Claude Jobert de Chambertin (hey I got that one). This year I “played” with Joelle and Herve (they live here in Gevrey ). We started at 9am and went all day and turned in our answers at the deadline of 5pm. We did not win this year, but had a fun day.

Which ones do you know? Some dinner party with a Melchizédech





1,5 l

2 bouteilles


3 l

4 bouteilles


4,5 l

6 bouteilles


6 l

8 bouteilles


9 l

12 bouteilles


12 l

16 bouteilles


15 l

20 bouteilles


18 l

24 bouteilles


26,25 l

35 bouteilles


27 l

36 bouteilles


30 l

40 bouteilles


We had to find this archritectual feature called a “ECHAUGUETTE “ and identify what was on it ( a cavalier)- found in Gilly (I have no idea what is called in English-anyone?). We also had to find a “HEAUME” on a Balzon (or coat of arms)...since some Domaines (winemakers) use coat of arms also, not necessarily an easy task (tâche). But we found it in Chambolle-Musigny...yeah.


HEAUME -Helmet

Blason taken through car window


Oh by the way, to my shame, the wine tasting (blind) was left up to me and I did not get them all correct. Oh the shame!! :-( The 2005 was very very tannic and the 2007 was light in color and not much in tannins....hmmm. mixed them up!!)

We have had an awful heat wave the first couple weeks of July. Temperatures were in the high 90’s, and lots of humidity. I know some of you have had hot weather also in the US, but let me remind you that there is very little air conditioning here in France. Our house is certainly not air conditioned.. poor garden suffered too. I am sure you did not open this to have me whine... so I will stop

But with the heat wave I noticed something here. It was over 90 degrees, so I had on shorts..more walking shorts...not short-shorts. When I went to the grocer (epicerie –Super U), I was the only woman in shorts. Teenagers and men wear shorts, but none of the women. They wear capris (or pedal pushers) skirts or semi-long pants. One day there was a woman with shorts on, and I said something to Keith, his reply, “must have been a tourist”. Probably was. But in 90 degrees, I will continue with my shorts.

Our friend from London area came for a visit. She arrived by car this year so she could take back wine. She came on the same Sunday that our history group had a tour of the old church here in Gevrey. Patrick had a demonstration outside with different stone cutting tools and the patterns each made on the stones. Then a tour outside to look at the stonework, and inside for the historical background.

A little info on St. Aignan

It was built late twelfth early thirteenth century. Foundations are from the 9th century. The walls, the octagonal pillars of the nave, the two pillars of the entrance to the choir, the western portal are Romanesque. The vaulted ceiling inside the church date from the fourteenth century. The windows of the nave are original. These arms of transept and choir are of the fifteenth century. The square tower with its cornice crests is the same time as the nave.

As you can tell from this description, the church was built and rebuilt. You can see in some of the walls the original stonework and where the new stonework starts.

History of Gevrey-Chambertin - if interested – this is an expert from a book >

Photos of St. was a beautiful day and I took a few different photos

St. Aignan 

Another View 

 Last View

Stone Cutting 

Now back to the visit with our friend. It was a week of wine tasting / drinking. We went to see Jean-Claude and Anna Brelière in Rully (Domaine Brelière). There is always a warm welcome and the wine is sooo good.We tasted some wine and talked a little and then 15 tourists from Thailand came in...time for us to move on and let Jean-Claude work.

On Tuesday Chris and I took off for the Alsace. She loves the wine from there (it goes especially well with “hot” food--i.e. Thai or other spicy Asian). We were going to Eguisheim to taste wine at Domaine Joseph Gruss. Keith and I have been going there for years now. Some wonderful white wines, and if you like hot food, try it with a Gewurztraminer. We arrived in time for lunch, so found a place to rest in the shade and to eat a good lunch (still on the no fat diet, how sad in the Alsace with all that wonderful [full of fat and cheese] food). The salad was good.

After lunch we decided to go over to another village, Riquewihr. It is one of the very pretty villages in the Alsace wine region. Full of tourists, for my taste, way too many tourist!! Streets were packed and it was difficult to proceed in a car! But it is a very pretty village.Almost too pretty, hard to believe that these are everyday villages and not movie sets from Hollywood.

Equisheim is equally beautiful...enjoy a couple of photos.



Small Street Eguisheim

Eguisheim fountain, statue and pink church

Riquewihr Clock Tower


Riquewihr - note the hill of vines over the roof


After our tour, we finally stopped at Domaine Gruss’s for a tasting. There were about 12 white wines...!!! We took it slow, they were busy. It took us about 2 ½ hours to taste all the different white wines. Even though it was very hot day, a little walk was necessary after sitting in a small room with 15 other people in 90 degrees, tasting wine. We did not cool off though! We walked out of town to see the cigogne..storks. We had dinner that evening at 8pm at the hotel restaurant.

Back here to Gevrey on Wed, a slow drive through the Vosges, and Jura mountains (with air conditioning in Chris’s car).

On Thursday, two tastings; one in the morning and one late afternoon. We enjoy the wines from Maison Ambroise, some extraordinary wine. We only take people there who are going to seriously buy some wine.

Then late in the afternoon we went to Domaine Parigot. At this Domaine Greg makes Cremant. His Cremant can match most Champagnes and the price is half of what you would pay for Champagne. They also make a sparkling Burgundy. We went down to the nice cool cave for our tasting. Nice ending to the day.

Friday night we had dinner at a nice restaurant not far from here, Petite Auberge Rouge. Good food and very nice staff. Two thumbs up for this restaurant.

And Saturday we had dinner with Marie Therese and Christian. We watched the end of the Time trial for the Tour de France ( I requested this, although Christian was already in front of the TV, then we (Marie Therese, Chris and myself) went for a little walk. Keith had gone down to Orange to get the van and bikes for this week, so he was going to meet us there. The weather had cooled suddenly, and we had to eat inside. It was a great end to the week, sitting with friends and enjoying a good meal and of course, great wine. Ahhh....

Keith started his tour on Sunday, so he left about 8:30 in the morning. We packed Chris’s car and she was off at about 10:30am.

My club, Genealogie/Histoire/Patrimoine was having a day out. We were to clean the source (spring) La Mansouze. This is just south of Gevrey. Everyone had packed tools and a picnic lunch. I arrived about 1 hour late and the work was well under way. Herve had set up tables for lunch under the nearby trees. The waterbed had to be cleaned of vegetation and of garbage and the large rocks that had fallen into the water. Then clearing the weeds that were growing near the stream, and taking down a small bush that was starting to encroach on the wall of the stream. Lots of hard work.

Then in typical french style, out came the food for the picnic. Everyone brings enough for an army, so there are dishes of salads and desserts and cheeses and fruits making the round of the tables. A few bottles of water and wine and Cremant appeared out of no where too. It is a slow lunch with time to talk, rest and enjoy the experience. After about 1 ½ hour, back to work. We stayed until about 5:30pm. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and was satisfyingly tired when I returned home.

La Source Mansouze


Cleaned [Nettoyage]


What has Keith been up too. Working, and working some more. However this next week he is going north to the Lorraine region to ride his bike. It is the week of the “Semaine Federal”. Last year he did over 1,000km during the week. He leaves on Saturday.

Garden notes: my garden is doing fine. Suffered a little due to the heat, but the tomatoes are now turning red. Oh the taste of a fresh tomato from the garden. Have had a few meals with fresh beans, and as always, zucchini. Tried a zucchini-mint cold soup, very nice.

Speaking of food, we have what are called "flat peaches" - pêches plat. They are wonderful. If you find some try them. You should eat over the sink, they are so juicy. We love them.... remember, all is better tasting when in season.

I will end here.

Recipe of the Month

For this months recipe, I am presenting a recipe I found on the web. I really enjoyed it, so I will leave it was on the web. However.. I had to not add the nuts... It is tangy and wonderful mixture of flavors. Hey, try this with the Gewurztraminer.

Thai Shrimp Salad... By Darlene Schmidt, Guide – Thai Recipes


This easy noodle salad recipe is super-delicious and virtually fat free! Asian-style egg or wheat noodles (or fettuccini pasta noodles) are tossed in an array of fresh vegetables, shrimp, and herbs for the best pasta salad you'll have all summer. The oil-free dressing is extremely tasty, bursting with the quintessential tastes of Thai cooking. Make the full recipe and keep in the refrigerator to enjoy anytime, whether for a quick and easy lunch, or for a refreshing summer dinner.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

SERVES 2-4 for dinner


  • 10 - 14 oz. (400-450 g) fresh Asian-style egg or wheat noodles (look in the deli section of your local supermarket), OR fettucini-style noodles
  • 1 cup small cooked shrimp, thawed and drained if frozen
  • 1 zucchini, grated, OR peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 red or green chili, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 can baby corn, cut into 1-2 inch lengths
  • 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
  • 3 spring (green) onions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts or cashews, unsalted, and left whole or lightly chopped


  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes, juiced)
  • 4 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian/Chinese stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1-3 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper OR crushed chili (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


1. Prepare noodles according to the directions on the package. For fresh noodles, be sure to boil only briefly - 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes, or until 'al dente'.

2. Rinse noodles with cold water, drain, and set aside.

3. Prepare salad dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together in a cup or small bowl until sugar dissolves. Taste-test for sour/sweetness, adding more sugar as desired. Note that the taste of the dressing will be very "zing-y" at this point because of the lime juice - it will taste milder when distributed among the noodles.

4. Prepare the vegetables and shrimp, and place them in a very large salad or mixing bowl.

5. Add the herbs and nuts too.

6. Stir the dressing once more and pour over.

7. Toss the vegetables, shrimp, herbs, and peanuts with the dressing.

8. Now add the noodles and toss again (note: This salad requires a lot of tossing to distribute the dressing, vegetables, herbs, shrimp and peanuts throughout the noodles). Once well-tossed, taste-test the noodles, adding more fish sauce if not salty or tasty enough.

You can serve this salad immediately, or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat

Garnish with a few extra sprigs of the fresh herbs, plus some chopped peanuts. For those who like it extra spicy, Thai chili sauce can be served on the side, either store-bought or my own homemade Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe is delicious.[note-this is Darlene Schmidt talking, not me]

1 comment:

  1. says echaugette is "a small chamber or place of protection for a sentinel, usually in the form of a projecting turret, or the like." I guess that matches your photo. Strange that Google Translate just parrots back the same word. Maybe it's the same word in English as in French? I'll have to ask a friend who's an architect, or my niece who has a history degree.

    The recipe sounds great. I'm headed to the Farmer's Market after work, and it's what I'm making for dinner.