Saturday, August 31, 2013

August (Août) 2013

August and fields of late summer flowers

Summer is slowly ending. You can actually smell it in the air. It is that smell of fall.
I got up early one morning and there was some fog on the west horizon and the sun had just started to rise,the air was chilly and I thought, "yes, fall is coming, slowly, softly, edging towards the shorter and cooler days". It so hard to say au revoir to summer after these warm days of August.

After the scorching heat of July, the month of August provided us with one beautiful day after another. We have enjoyed many evenings sitting outside for dinner. Love the new awning!!  Since we face west, the screen that rolls down is perfect...we can sit outside and enjoy the view of the vineyards and have a wonderful evening. Hey Minnesota, there are no mosquitoes (oh maybe one or two, but you can really sit outside here).

I went for walks in the woods and took photos as usual. More on nature photos later.
The last day of November and the first day of December the Association is going to have an Exposition on the Tacot. The Tacot was a rail line from Dijon to Beaune, the work started in 1910, but the first train did not circulate until 1921. It was a total of 56km as it passed through the villages from Dijon to Gevrey to the Haute Côte and then to Beaune. The climb from Gevrey to Curley was remarkable ascent in railway terms. For those who like train information, in 3 km the train it went up 100 meters. Most of the line closed by 1936, but a line Dijon to Gevrey continued until 1953. Have I lost some of you with boring details? I just have a couple of photos. ( few more photos and an elevation chart are here if interested; CLICK HERE)
The old route is now a hiking path above the vines in Gevrey

This tunnel was blasted into the hillside

After the tunnel the hiking path gets a little narrower

The view as one turns to climb to Curley
You may here more about the Tacot in the two months, but I will leave the subject here.

Took other hikes and as usual I took many photos. Nature is so extraordinary, and it changes all the time. Even going on the same pathway, it all changes in a months time. 
What a beautiful day!!

These thistles were eye level. There are many, so not
sure which exact name of this thistle 

The pink and the purple, colors so awesome.

oops, where is the path gone...onward! Marie Therese
and Flipper have forged a path for me.
Have also tried to take flowers and insect photos. Butterflies are never easy. Yesterday on a walk, Michele tried so hard to take a photo of a yellow and orange butterfly. It did not want to land for more than a few seconds in anyone spot. I never even tried!!

(Argynnis paphia L)  Le Tabac d'Espagne

possible (Ochlodes sylvanus Esp)  La Sylvaine

(Zygaena fausta L. )  La Zygène de la petite Coronille

Note the green little grasshopper on the upper right.
He blends right in. Large photo shows more detail, but
sorry can not load real large photos

Berries turning red, sure sign of fall.
The grapes are not doing so well this year. With the cold wet spring, some of the grape bunches will never reach maturity. The article in the paper said the harvest may be down as much as 40% this year, just due to the climate. Other areas have been devastated by hail.
Grapes still green

Some have started to turn red

And then there is this poor bunch. Some small grapes
that will never mature, some still green and mature
and then some that just dried up.

The tall vines of the Haute Côte
Overlooking some of the Grand Cru of Gevrey ..all the
green (other than the trees!) are vines
Last walk of the month was yesterday. A nice hike out between Meuilley and Villers-la-Faye. Little warm in the sun, but most of the walk was in the cool forest. Some other photos from yesterday are mixed in above.
We walked through the village of Chevrey. This is the Lavoir.
 A lavoir is where the cloths were washed. A spring
provided clean water. 

Old building, but I was interested in the clock

The old clock and bell on top

Flipper running in the field

Happy dog in the woods!
This was used to make wood charcoal

Our landscaper has still not come to work on our yard. A friend though needed some plants for his garden so spent some time digging up some irises and lavender.
A bed of irises gone. Yeah

And some lavender has been dug up too.
It is too big for the front yard! Who knew it grew
to such enormous size!!
That is what I have been doing this last month.
Now for Keith. As you know he rode his bike in Iceland. Then the last of July to the first part of August he was out on his bike in the northwest of France. Unfortunately he hurt his back and has been grounded since then. Each day his back is better, but it is a slow process.
Anyway he wrote daily journals of his rides. These journals are located on Crazy guy on a bike....links here
Iceland journal (click iceland)) scroll down below photo and there are 13 pages -see TABLE OF CONTENTS
France July and August  (click france july...)  again scroll down and there are 10 pages

I was lagging behind the others as I stopped
to munch a few berries. I quickly took the
photo as an after thought!

One last note for the month: food you find in the woods. I have talked before about food that one can harvest from the woods. Now the berries are ripening. Had to eat a few blackberries yesterday (mure in french). Oh so good right off the vine.

That is all for August.

Recipe of the Month

This month I was not sure what to write here. I actually made a couple of great dishes, but made them by taste, not measurements.

So I must go back and measure if I am going to give you a recipe. 
One was stuffed aubergine (or eggplant...really now, aubergine is a much more melodic word than eggplant).

It started as a vegetarian dish that I saw on a cooking show. Hollow out the two half’s of an aubergine and sauté an onion; garlic and tomatoes and the chopped aubergine that was scooped out, for 3 minutes, stuff the two half’s, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan and bake. Somewhere along the line I added more cheese and a little chorizo. It was sooo good.

Then there was the italian chicken. Borrowed some of the marinade from a recipe; lemon juice, rosemary, garlic and oil. This was a recipe for grilling. But then it rained. Browned the chicken (set aside), sautéed onions, garlic and then added a little broth, and some of the marinade sauce and
cooked down. Added a little herb garlic flavored cheese and reheated the
chicken in this sauce...ohhhh

And then not french at all, the grilled fish tacos.

But I can not give you exact measurements. It was all by taste!! Good food though.

So I will leave you with a couple easy hors d'oeuvres. Cucumber and below that a fig recipe

Cucumber Snacks

  • 1 cucumber
  • Cream flavored cheese
  • Chives for garnish and/ or paprika

  1. Wash cucumber
  2. Peel or partially peel the cucumber as in photo 
  3. Cut 1/2 inch slices
  4. Scoop out the seed center (I used the small end of the melon ball tool)
  5. Fill the center with flavored cream cheese, herbal* Also I used the ball tool again and dipped it in a glass of water before I made each cheese ball.
* there are various brands on the market or take a plain cream cheese and add your own herbs. I used a garlic herb, but have to say the garlic was a little strong. That is according to the other person in the house, but who ate about 10 anyway!!!

It is the season for fresh figs. I did not take of photo of my figs, but they were used on a salad.

  • fresh figs
  • honey
  • fresh goat cheese
  1. Wash figs
  2. Cut in half, stem to bottom (cut off stem too)
  3. Place on foil
  4. Drizzle with honey, about 1 tsp each (nice flower honey, nothing too strong)
  5. I put this on the grill because I was grilling. You could use the oven grill
  6. Let cook about 10 minutes.
  7. Cut goat cheese into slices
  8. Place on top of fig
  9. Continue to cook just until the cheese starts to melt
That is all. Not a bad dessert either. Maybe top with some shopped nuts!

No comments:

Post a Comment