Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011

April 2011
Another month has passed. April was the month of summer. It really has been more like the month of June. We have had sunny days and temperatures in the 70’s almost all month. And the not good part is that we have had little rain. It is starting to get to the critical point.
Note: I wrote this on the 27th and that afternoon it  rained… as it did on Thursday also...yippee
However since the weather has been nice, I or we have been outside enjoying it as much as possible.
North side of combe Lavaux

I have been taking photos of flowers. What a joy to go for a walk in the woods.
To start back a little, I am on a subgroup of my genealogy/ history/heritage club called Flora et Fauna. At the end of March, Michel found some morel mushrooms. He called and we went out and I took some photos  (he told us to pick them for our dinner, he had already had some). This was the last of the morels since it did not rain again for the next few weeks. 

But after this excursion, I continued to take photos of flowers as the season flowers opened up.
And sooo good to eat

I am trying to be thorough about this and find the names of each flower( in French and latin). I have found that the book I have is lacking a little. I need to go find a better book. But Marie Therese has come through for me on a few of the flowers.

wild poppy ( coquelicot) 
I have taken other photos while in the woods also. There is a certain enchantment when one is in the depth of a forest and all you here is the birds.  
Combe Grisard- south of Combe Lavaux -Gevrey
another walk above Gevrey

Of course this has led to some walks with Marie Therese. I think I will name this “ Walk on the Wild Side”! As you can see from some of my photos, she has no fear of cliffs (unlike me). 

Chambolle with the dogs
Combe -Chambolle-Musigny

We took one walk on the south side of the Combe Laveaux ( Valley or maybe gorge…cliffs on both sides), a nice walk we have done in the past. It was somebodies idea to try a new path. We ended up in the combe Grisard, and had to climb down about a 12 foot drop ( not a cliff actually, but enough to turn around and hug the rocks as you try to find a foot hold and descend)!!!!!!
About half way down

Mid month we took a walk up the hill where Messanges is located. Been there and done that before too. But again, lets’ try a new path that goes to the top. Have you ever had to climb a hill so steep that you had to grab tree branches and pull yourself up!!! But I made it to the top, panting away like a tired dog (felt like it too). This was just a dirt path, steep but no rock climbing involved. It was a beautiful day though and the view was something else.

View from the top -above Messanges

This week we walked up the north side of the Combe Laveaux. There are a few paths that are more difficult, but actually we took a nice path that was quite easy; steep here and there, but nothing bad. We were at the top- I did not want to go left to the cliffs, so we turned on a path to the right. If we continued on this path going north, we should come out on a dirt road that would descend into Gevrey. But along the way, someone noticed that the Alpine club had marked a path. Let’s go this way…. Ah yes, more cliffs….longer and steeper!!! YIKES… at what point are you committed and it is just easier to go down. I have to say, Marie Therese went first and then directed me on where to put my feet. That helped enormously. I think we had 3 of these drops. I tried a photo, but it does not look at all bad from below…should have taken it looking down.
Just before the rough part!

Looking up on half of the descent

But I did survive, and maybe it did me some good to know that I can do it, even as a woman who is not “29” anymore.
Here he is....

As for Keith, we took a couple walks too. This last week we had arranged a picnic with two new employees-guides of Duvine ( company Keith works for). I thought taking them to the cliffs near Chambolle would be a great place for a picnic. Something they would not see in the routine of the job. It was a hot day and we had a great time. And the view…it is great if you stay away from the edge. I made a large salad and quiche. Also had wine, bread and cheese. The two men brought saucisson and dessert. The cheese in one of those little round wood containers sat in the sun and was scrumptiously delicious all melted and warm when we opened it. Does life get any better than this?

On a balmy Friday night, the committee that wants the vineyards here on the Côte to be classified as UNESCO set up an event. It was April 8th. The temperature was at least 75 that day, and the evening was warm. There was a walk from the village of Chambolle-Musigny to the Clos Vougeot, about 1 ½ km. There were to be lights in the vineyard and a wine tasting at the end of the walk. You were supposed to register by calling or online, so I did. However about 2500 people did not. So they expected about 500 people and had almost 3000 arrived.
They had put torches around the perimeter of all the vineyards and it really was pretty. However, the crowd was huge and walking was slower than a snail’s pace. Advance 3 steps, stop for 5 minutes. Keith gave up and we left. Doubt there would have been any way to get a glass of wine with that crowd anyway! So the event was too successful. We ran into people we knew and had a chat here and there before we turned back to Gilly where the car was parked. I tried to take a couple of photos, but my camera does not take night photos well ( this is the little automatic).

Easter weekend a few villages had wine tastings. We went on Saturday to Montélie. Again beautiful weather, so we enjoyed a few sips of wine…Keith is so good when he is driving, he does not swallow. Me…well let’s not go there.

I had my first meeting of my little sub committee the beginning of the month. This is the subgroup of the Sur Les Traces du Passé -Association of Genealogie/Histoire et Patrimoine of Gevrey and the canton. My group is Photography. I had thought we should "adopt" a village and take photos. There are only four of us and 32 villages in the Canton de Gevrey. We each signed up for a couple of villages, and now it time to go take photos to document the village at the beginning of this century. Hope someone appriciates these photos in 50 or 100 years ( ah ha, and of course that raises the question of how to archive). This is a very long term project. But I think it is a fun idea. The other members liked the idea too.

 Back to Keith..
This month he also had his annual work meeting in Provence. He went down for the last couple of days. Had a couple of good dinners and a day of bike riding. Got the t-shirt too.
He was delayed because of me. I had some numbness in my left little finger and was scheduled to see a neurologist. Of course I thought the worse ( my imagination always goes wild) and was nervous, so he stayed and went to the appointment with me. It is a pinched nerve, nothing more. He did a little acupuncture and it is a better, mostly a tingle. He said surgery could correct it entirely, but my immediate response was NO-. I will wait on that. It is not that bad. What a guy!

Right now he is occupied with sanding and varnishing the shutters. The garage doors are done, but now about 1/2 of the shutters need to be done this year. It is always something.
Keith has two weeks of work in the month of May. We also want to take a day trip to Paris for the Manet exposition at the d'Orsay. 
He plans to take a bike/camping trip. If weather is good he will leave on Monday. More on these adventures next month.

My spring tulips
Today is the end of the month. It is sunny and the sky is so blue. I think it is a good day to finally plant my garden. The tomatoes, beans, zucchinis cucumbers; eggplant and squash have all been waiting in their little containers. I battle in my little garden with Liseron (bindweed)....hate the stuff. Basil is planted too. Now where to put the rosemary, it will get to be a large bush ( my other one died the winter of 2010- it was huge ). Everything here is about 2-3 weeks ahead of the regular time, due to the warm spring. Have to see how the rest of the summer unfolds.

I have followed the news of the incredible storms in the USA. What a violent spring.
Tossing in one more photo of colza and the church at St Philabert (colza is canola or rape).
St Philabert

 And spring vines in Gevrey

'Till next month.

Roasted chicken
I saw this recipe on a television advertissement for mustard. I thought to try it out. It is very simple to prepare, and the results are good. I know it may sound bizarre, but give it a try.

  • 1 whole roasting chicken ( I used free-range chicken)
  • 5 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBS herbs de provence
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • Wash chicken
  • rub with olive oil
  • Put a generous coating of Mustard all over the chicken ( I have 5 TBS listed, this was for a small size chicken, if you are cooking a American huge chicken you may need more)
  • Cover mustard with Herbs de Provence
Cook in the oven at about 300 degrees. I cooked mine about 2 hours, but that will depend on the size of your chicken. The mustard will get very brown and actually flake off when you cut the chicken. But the chicken underneath is nice and moist. There was only a very slight hint of mustard herb flavor in the chicken, Keith ate the crispy skin and said it had a little more, but not strong.
How easy does it get, smear the bird with mustard and wait two hours. Always open to any comments if you try this.
We had this with fresh asperagus, rice and a white burgundy wine from Monthélie.