Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 2011

The month has passed so swiftly. The longest day has come and gone. Living in a northern area means that it is still light at 10pm. How I love these long summer days.

I have had a cold these last two weeks, so I missed a few things I really wanted to do. And alas, that means I did not get a chance to take photos. I missed American day here in Gevrey!! I wanted to see what that was about. There will always be next year.

This month you may notice that I have blurred faces in some images. France has strict laws on publishing peoples visages. Public events are different though and therefore no problems,  those I could leave untouched. It is a difficult line to follow, so the best course is to be cautious.

One late afternoon at the beginning of the month, we had a little excitement in our neighborhood. Marie Therese was here and just getting ready to leave when we noticed a police car in front of our house.  Some people were gathering  too. Of course we all have to get up and check what was going on. The police car ( actually gendarme voiture) is not only in front of the house, but it was sideways in the street, blocking the road. As a neighbor passed by, Keith asked what had happened.
Now to give the full picture of this I must mention that a new housing development is going in just north of our neighborhood. It had been a wheat field, and it will now be full of houses. Well on this fine afternoon, they were digging a trench and VOILA...there was a gas leak. So the houses closer to the leak were all evacuated. Gas company people arrived, fire trucks arrived, and more police. In the midst of all this, a woman who lived behind this barrier arrives in her car. Seeing the road totally blocked, she decides to drive up on the walkway to drive pass all the vehicles. Ah, but the gendarme catches her and of course stops her. What was she thinking!!!
Marie Thesere could not leave, her car was blocked in and behind the barrier. So we watched for about 30 minutes before going back into the house. Now was this the most prudent course of action? Our house does not have gas... so the interior is/was probably safer than standing in front of the house. But we out in front for about 30 minutes, if the house down the street had exploded, it may have been a how stupid was it to stand and watch...WHAT WERE WE THINKING!!!
Gendarme arrives
And now the fire truck

Bees are much more interesting!! Look there's one now

After about an hour, the leaked had been stopped and the experts were checking the houses closest to the leak. The gas company was here late into the evening, I assume trying to get everything fixed and reconnected. During this process I have had the water cut off 'without notice) and a foul smell in the house another day ( presume they hooked up the sanitation lines). And so it goes.

The second weekend of the month, Saulieu had its' annual gourmet weekend. It was Pentecôte week-end, and that Monday was a holiday, a three day week-end. On Friday (before the weekend crowd), I went with Marie Therese to Saulieu. There is everything a foody could ask for...bread, spice, pastries, meats, cheeses, chocolate, cookies and of course wine. We were going to meet Wendy and Robert there for lunch.
 Now one is able to buy a plate of foie gras, magret and rillettes for lunch here and it is excellent (I had it two years ago). This year I thought I would have a salad . There are several booths that sell a lunch plate, plus a couple more restaurant type places, your choice.
The three others went for the sinful plate (MT, Wendy and Robert), and it really is sinful but good. I was happy with my choice, really..the other was just a little too much for me!! We did taste some of the other delights ' they give out samples), a little chocolate here and little fromage there..mmmm, what a feast. Just regard these photos, and I hope the scratch and sniff works so you can enjoy the aroma too ( ah just kidding-maybe someday).
He rode around on this bike ! Interesting?

All of these glorious fruits

Can you smell them? Spices of the world

Ham, sausage, cheese?

And the desserts!

A little Cremant on the side

Cheese the choices, all sooo good

This same weekend was the wine tasting of the Independent Winegrowers in the Côte D'Or. These independents had an open house ( Portes Ouvertes) for Saturday and Sunday. My pottery instructor always has a Pottery Expo at the same time, her husband is a Independent Winegrower. So pottery and wine, works for me. We, as students, were invited to come and work on our projects as live demonstrations.
On Sunday I went over and worked on my pottery project with a few others. I had done my roof finial, the cat. He was in last months Blog. Now two others started Gargoyle finials. So here are a few photos of the Expo and of some work in progress. It was a very pleasant way to spend my Sunday afternoon.
Some of Fred's work.

Babette's whimsical pots, cups and bowls

Look at the display

Closer look...

Working on our projects on Sunday...two big gargoyles

On Saturday, I took a friend around to a couple of the places for wine tasting. I was driving, so very limited tasting on my part. She however wants to learn more about wine. We had a nice afternoon, stopping at three different places.

On the 15th Keith and I went up to Paris to see the Manet exposition at the D'Orsay. Although my cold had started, I enjoyed the exhibit. Keith had hoped for a few more pieces, less known. It was great to have the tickets in advance and walk right in to the museum. However, inside there was an additional line for the special Manet Expo. Even with the reserved time ( 11am), we had to wait about 20 minutes in this line. Oh well, it was worth it.
After the museum, we found a nice little restaurant and had lunch.  Later we walked around the area in search of the Roman baths (which we found at the Cluny museum- Musée de Cluny - Musée National du Moyen Âge ...), and we spent some time at the garden of Luxembourg ( wonderful place to stroll or just sit and enjoy). It was a beautiful day.
 At the end of the day, a bit tired and still time before the train left, we stopped at another garden just to sit and enjoy. And where is this garden near the Gare Lyon (train station)? It is built on top of a place called the Arches, not far from the train station. Lovely and surprising little corner in Paris.
Musée D'Orsay à Paris

Luxembourg gardens

Children playing with the boats...he has a stick to push the boat

A boat on its own...

Cluny museum 13th century

Door to the Cluny museum

Metro crossing over the river ...most go under

Garden over the Arches

The Arches of the viaduc -rue Daumesnil

In and around I have been taking photos of monuments for the history club. This is a seies on the Monuments to the Dead ( Monument aux Morts), those who died in military during one of the wars. There is always something. I need to get out more and get some photos taken.

Messagnes sits on the side of a hill. This hill is called Mont Myon. This month there was a Fête de Mont Myon, at Messanges, that included a 15km race. I was on the spot to take a couple of photos.
And they are off...note the smokey gun at the left!

And not everyone is totally serious, some have fun.

Keith had cut down on trips this year, he had the one in May and one in June so far. In the meantime, he has found another old bike to restore. Oh I have lost count of the bikes now in the garage!!!!!!!!!!!
Also he is slowly working at sanding the outside woodwork and re varnishing.

Although we have had some rain here this last month, we are still in extreme dry conditions. And to top it off, the last few days have been in the 90,s ( we do not have air conditioning). Today, the 29th is cooler, and the next few days should be great.
June 21st is always the Fête de Musique throughout France. This year was no exception. Dijon has about 10 bands located throughout the city. It is a night ( sometimes day) to get out and enjoy misic. Here in Gevrey we had a few chorale concerts and some music in the village also. Enjoyment of the long summers night.

So that about wraps up the month of June. July will be here and the TOUR de starts this Saturday. Just a couple more of my nature photos should do it.

Recipe of the Month
This is a recipe I found on the internet with a fat free Thai dressing.  It is not french....but give it a try anyway.
I have modified it to my tastes and changed some of the ingredients. It is a great summer dish.

  • Noodles -use Asian or Wheat or even Italian. I use angle hair noodles.
  • about 2 cups of shrimp, cooked and peeled and tail removed -ready to eat
  • 1 cup calamari -(optional) I buy fresh calamari rings, all cleaned and ready to go
  • 1 cup diced mango ( cut  near 1/4 inch)
  • 1 red chili - type of chili and the degree of HOT that you want depends on your chili choice. Asian chili or Habenero for a nice hot dish. This dish does need a hot chili, so do not avoid completely. It needs some perkiness
  • 1 red bell pepper diced small ( same size as mango)
  • 3 spring onions sliced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, then chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, then chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, then chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (2-3 fresh limes)*
  • 4 TBL fish sauce (nouc man)
  • 2 TBL soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp sugar*
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or crushed chilis*
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
    * adjust to your taste, I use a little more sugar. TASTE and decide

  1. First chop all the indredients and dice the mango and bell pepper. Set aside
  2. Blend the dressing ingredients and set aside
  3. If using calamari, cook in a little water (less than 1/4 cup) for about 3 minutes
  4. Start noodles according to package directions
  5. Drain noodles and add dressing. Toss untill well covered
  6. Add the red peppers, mango, herbs and onions
  7. Toss again and put in serving bowl
  8. Top with shrimp and calamari 
What a beautiful, colorful summer dish.
This can be eaten warm or refrigerated as a cold salad later. Also good with cashews or chopped peanuts on top, added just before serving. Give me some feedback if you try this dish.

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