Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013

Neighbor's cat, but in our house
31 May 2013

It is the end of May. The month of May had 3 holidays. May 1 is Labor Day, May 8 Victory and 19-20 of May is Pentecost (this year).

We have had one of the worst years weather wise and it was confirmed by the newspaper. It is not my imagination. For the first part of this year we have had only 300 hours of sun. No wonder everyone is so grim! It has only been 50-60° most days in May also. We have had to light a fire in our wood stove almost every night. There were a couple of days when the sun was out, and oh how beautiful those days were. Because of all the rain there has been flooding everywhere. Some villages were devastated. Dijon had many streets knee deep in water!! So far our house is dry, but the yard has been very soggy at times. So we wait to see how June will turn out.

My Blog this month is going to have more photos than chatter!
When the weather is miserable, there just may be a food tasting or wine tasting somewhere. We went down to Saulieu for the "Journees Gourmand" and had a delightful lunch. Booths of food are offered for tastings or you can buy a plate for lunch. Of course there is wine too. I had a wonderful goat cheese salad, Keith found a leg of duck (cuisse de canard).

Countryside on the drive down

Spice booth..amazing scents

In spite of the rain, I did get up and off my butt and took some photos. One hike was over at the ponds behind Gevrey. There was some sun!
wild iris

swans -one hissed at me!!

Swan Pond

Beautiful Heron
Another walk on a cloudy day, but luckily no rain. This walk was with Marie T and her sister and the dogs. It was on a hill between Messanges and Meuilley.
Flipper and the Colza (Canola flowers)

tree in a yellow field

wild orchid

wild orchid...not common 
Another walk above Chambolle-Musigny with Marie T. Lots of flower photos and one of Flipper the dog. Spring is really pretty with all the flowers in bloom.
Hélianthème des Apennins

Wild Orchid



Wild Orchid


Sceau de Salomon multiflore

Arum (Gouet maculé)

wild orchid


Orchis bouc

Ophrys bourdon

My walks in the woods were finished for the month, replaced by walks in Paris. Met Chris (from England) in Paris, and in spite of the rain, we had a packed weekend. Friday it rained the most, so it was museum day. First to the museum Luxembourg for the Chagall expo. It was amazing. Enjoyed the whole morning there, and it was not that crowded. That afternoon we went to the museum d'Orsay. After a long wait in line to get in (in the rain), we had a couple of relaxing hours left to see the best of the impressionists.

Saturday the weather was a little better and it was off to Versailles. We had our bought our tickets ahead of time to avoid the lines...hmmm, so had everyone else!! No line at the ticket door at all, but maybe 200 people ahead of us waiting to enter! Oh well.
It rained while we toured inside and while we ate lunch. That afternoon, for the gardens, we had some sun. So it worked rather well. It rained again at the end of the day for our walk back to the train station.

Hall of Mirrors

View of the palace from the garden fountain

Posiden fountain

Sunday forecast was even better, so decided to go to Giverny to see the gardens of Monet. Incredibly beautiful. I love gardens.

And of course, PARIS
Sacre Couer  at the top

Oops, the quai is under water...
better to walk at the street level!!

And NOTRE DAME... (and some sun!)

Taken through the Plexiglas at the Bastille Metro stop
Some scratches on the right-not ropes 

So what else is new this last month? I made maki sushi ! First time
Carrots, cucumber, et surimi

I continue to have fun with my camera, and enjoy pottery (photos of latest pieces next month).

Keith, as usual has spent some time at Bligny with the tourist train. He just went south to Provence for a couple days of bike riding, since there is no sun here!!

Recipe of the Month

Frommage Chevre Salade ( Goat cheese salad)
This is a simple recipe, and so good with fresh goat cheese.

·       Fresh salad greens
·       One slice of fresh goat cheese (circle about 3/8 inch thick and 2 ½ inch wide)
·       2-3 tsp light vinaigrette
·       2 tsp Pesto sauce
·       1 tsp Thick balsamic vinegar ( I can buy one that is called “Velour” or maybe a slight reduction)
·       2 tsp good olive oil

1.       Place greens in bowl and toss with a little vinaigrette (not very much-go lightly)
2.       Put the greens in the middle of the plate
3.       Place goat cheese on top
4.       Mix about 2tsp of Pesto with 2 tsp of olive oil
5.       Drizzle the Pesto mixture around the outside edge of the salad –generous
6.       Drizzle the Balsamic on the goat cheese 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013

APRIL 2013

It is the end of April. This year spring has been a big tease, few warm and sunny days, and then the temperature plummets once again and the rain starts.

On the few nice days that we actually had, I have tried to get out and enjoy the day. This blog will be a tour of photos.

One day I went for walk above Gevrey. It was still early spring and not a lot in bloom, but I found a few things to photograph. First and to me the most amazing, is my next photo. Every so often when the elements are just right, it is possible to see Mont Blanc on the horizon (Mont Blanc is in the French Alps near Chamonix). As the crow flies, this is about 230 miles away. I have been told this phenomenon happens when there is moisture in the air that actually magnifies the mountain. So on this bright sunny day, I thought I saw Mont Blanc. Is it clouds or is it Mont Blanc? Decided it was Mont Blanc, wow, it looked big and white because of the snow! I took a photo, and in color, you can see Mont Blanc, but no details. So using PhotoShop I changed it to black and white. I was very surprised by the results!! Again, this is over 200 miles away!!!
Mont Blanc from Gevrey..Awesome
Then I started my walk. I took the trail that goes up the Côte, up to the plateau. Here are a few of the flowers that I found that warm Sunday afternoon.
Black Pines- planted at the turn of the century,
after the Phyloxera epidemic of the grape vines
The trail looks so flat here and so steep in reality

Anémone Pulsatille or Pasqueflower

Anémone Sylvia, native to Europe (wood anemone)

On another warm day I went to the ponds just east (or outside) of Gevrey. I was taking photos for the group Flora and Fauna ( the Assoc for History and Hertitage that I am a member of).
One of the ponds east of Gevrey. I have not identified the flower yet.
Little white flower with red stems. Not a long walk from here.

Lots and lots of swans

Even some mushrooms..a hypholoma

Weeping willow starting to bloom
Also went out and photographed a village, Ruelle-Vergy in the Haute-Côte. This is part of the Assoc again, documenting the villages in the canton of Gevrey. There were four of us that warm and sunny day. I am not going to add photos of the streets and houses, but I took two photos that I am going to share.
This once was a part of a heritage museum, but the museum is closed

This is on the "street of the little donkey meadow"
Note the fence on the left

No longer donkeys behind the fence on the Rue du Pré d'Anon
Oh la vache ( or cows)
Took other walks too. Not as sunny, but not raining either.
These are vines in the Haute-Côte. The vines here have a taller
trunk than the vines on this side of the Côte

This is a Cabotte. It was built as shelter for the
winegrowers. You see these old structures here and

One final photo. Here in Gevrey on the Ave de la Gare, the workers of the village gave the trees a spring pruning. These tress are called Tilleul in french or Lime tree in England, or in the USA it is called American linden, American white wood, bass-tree, or basswood. I have never seen it pruned like this in the US. Poor trees, so naked!!
Naked Basswood trees
Here I will close. Keith made a trip to the US this month. A visit to Nebraska. His Saturdays at Bligny fixing and repairing the trains has ended because the tourist season starts this weekend. May and June the tourist train runs on Saturday and Sunday. July and August the train runs daily.
Recipe of the Month
Dijon Chicken
OK so everyone did not rush out to cook rabbit last month. Eating rabbit is more French than American.

This month I will try another favorite of Keith's. This an easy recipe and so good.
Recipe for 2
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cube of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS oil
  • 1 TBS butter
  1. Heat oil and butter in pan
  2. Brown chicken on both sides
  3. Add water and broth cube (turn heat down to medium)
  4. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes ( check )
  5. Take cover off and continue to simmer until water is practically gone- watch carefully
  6. Add creme fraiche and mustard and stir-be sure to get all the good flavors of the bottom of the pan
  7. When sauce thickens take off the burner and serve immediately