Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 2013

Octobre 2013
Back of your house across the golden vines
 (house with the dormer)
The days are shorter and the sun is moving to the southern sky. The leaves are turning to fall colors of yellow, gold and muted orange. We do not have many maple trees here, so fiery red/orange colors are all but absent in the forest.
The vineyards are golden with patches of red and the birds are flocking, hundreds or thousands flying (dancing ) in unison over the vines at the back of our house. Fall has arrived in the Cote-D'Or.
We had frost one morning, other than that, we have had some beautiful summer like days. Other days have been grey or foggy.

The vendange (grape harvest ) is finished. Now the grapes are fermenting in large vats and the village takes on the scent of young wine. It is little wonder that we are plagued by fruit flies every year at this time. The little flies enter the house in droves around sunset. I did not close the windows in time the other day and had to get out the vacuum. What else can you do when each window is covered with a hundred fruit flies.

This month we have had visitors. First an ex-student of Keith's, now a colleague, came for a visit. He is a professor at a University in New Zealand. He has a joint project with a University in Paris. Keith had gone to Paris for a couple of days to work with him the first week in October. Then when his wife flew into Paris, they came for a visit. That is when my stove gave up (see paragraph further down). Luckily we had a gorgeous day, and even had lunch on the back patio. Burgundy put its best foot forward.

Not as luckily with the second visit. My niece and great nephew arrived for a visit. So excited to see them. My nephew is 18 and really appreciated that drinking wine is legal here at 18 years. Although the weather was not at its best (cloudy and grey), I wanted to show them parts of my world. We did a cheese tasting at the fromagerie, a short tour of Gevrey, watched the vendangeurs (grape harvesters) from the comfort of our patio, went to Dijon for market day and a brief tour, went to a concert at Clos du Vougeot, learned about wine and champagne and tasted wine and Crémant at the Imaginarium at Nuits Saint Georges, visited Beaune and tasted wine, tasted wine at Meursault (hmm is there a pattern here), tossed in a couple of hikes to see the views, and dinner at MT's that ended on a grand note with a great wine. A nice evening with our friends.
But alas, the two of them left on the late night train for Venice. Sooo enjoyed their visit.  (PS The clumsy aunt almost ruined the vacation time by spraining/breaking a couple of toes...but let's not go there!!!)
Château Gevrey-Chambertin
Old door - Gevrey
Grape harvest almost in our backyard
the cutters put grapes in the containers and the two
guys right and left pick up the containers and
put them on the tractor.

On the cliffs...( WHOA - a little close to the edge !!)

old bottles in the cave at Beaune

Château du Clos de Vougeot- concert Sunday night

The concert at the Château du Clos de Vougeot by JEAN-JACQUES MILTEAU and MANU GAlVIN was a "duo harmonica et guitare". Jean-Jacques Milteau was amazing on the harmonica. They played mostly blues musique. This was part of the fall music program called the Musique de Chambertin, and it was the last concert (Oct 6th) of this years season.

My oven went on the blink just before guests arrived. I think the computer got all mixed up. It would work for a while and everything would look great, then when I went back, the oven was almost cold and the quiche was not cooked! Keith put the quiche on the grill and it did finish cooking, but I would not advise it as the best way to cook quiche. The oven would give some heat for an undetermined amount of time (less than 30 minutes). With Katie and Nicholas here, I used the slow cooker and the pressure cooker!!
The oven totally gave up this week, so we needed to buy a new one. With dark evenings now, cooking outside on the grill is difficult if not almost impossible (did it Saturday night to finish cooking part of our dinner)!! Keith installed the new one on Sunday, and it works. YIPEE

Around the house things are progressing. Here is a new photo of the front yard. It is not as lush as the photo suggests, but it is filling in nicely. I have had to cut it twice, and if the weather continues like it has, I may need to cut again before winter sets in.
Front yard
We keep looking at the yard trying to decide what to do next spring.

Inside the house, things in the living room are moving along too. We gave up on the idea that we could hire someone...since we tried and it has been a year of promises, but no show! So Keith has started to undertake the task!! The wall board is up, and we ordered the stone for the wall and have it sitting in the front hall. It will go on the wall in the next few days. After all that is done, there is striping all the wall paper and re-papering the walls! Yikes I hate this type of work! And the dust right now, please no visitors! the house is one dusty mess!!!!! Hopefully I can post the stove with stone behind it next month?!
Furring strips up on the wall

Special heat resistant wall board is up
 (believe me, it will not stay pink)
As always, there are the walks in the woods. The mushrooms are up and some are pretty to see, and others are edible. So I have been taking photos of the woods, the dogs and the mushrooms.
The two dogs playing in the woods

This is a Lactaire. See how the liquid pours out of it.
 Most are not edible, but the orange color is pretty.
And with the fall season, this year the vineyards are pretty. Sometimes we get a beautiful fall and other times the vines turn brown and drab!  I have added some fall photos at FLICKR.  I have posted a couple photos below, but for more, try this connection. Fall Photos.  I like my panoramic photo.
If this "Fall Photo" connection does not work, there is a connection below this months Blog.
looking down on the vineyards of Gevrey-Grand Cru

Fall leaf...most are yellow, some turn red

I took this with my telephoto from my backyard. The tree was
covered in birds and they were very noisy. You can sort of make out
the outline of birds on the top of the tree.
Keith has been going to Bligny, and now that the tourist season is over, it is time for repairs. They had an english crew come in to work on the trains boilers. Keith was over there a few week days to help with the translation. Boilers are fixed and passed inspection.

That is the month of October. HAPPY HALLOWEEN

post note on has been tried, but it did not rise to the level of the USA. Hard to find pumpkins again, although I could for a few years. There is some candy, but most events for Halloween are for the children at the social center or at the schools. Probably better this way....

Recipe of the Month

Stuffed green chilies
I saw a recipe similar to this on an Italian cooking show. This is my version of the recipe. It is a late summer or fall recipe when the ingredients are fresh.

For 4 people
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 long green chilies (mild - called "cornu" here -horn)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup mild cheese grated (swiss, guyere ...)
  • 4 TBS parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop the tomato, zucchini, and onion ( about 3/8 inch cubes for tomato and zucchini)
  2. Sauté onion in a little olive oil until clear ( medium heat, do not caramelize )
  3. Add zucchini and continue to sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Add tomato and stir and remove from heat –cool slightly
  5. Boil water and add the green chili that has been cut in half the long way - leave in the boiling water about 4 minutes
  6. Add the cheese to the slightly cooled zucchini tomato mixture
  7. Put the green chilies in a baking dish
  8. Divide the mixture up and fill all 4 halves equally
  9. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese
  10. Bake 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes without cover (aluminum foil)

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