Friday, August 1, 2014

juillet 2014 (July)

JULY 2014  
Time flies, end of July. This summer is going way too fast....I wish I could command it to "Slow down", "Whoa".

Of course there was the Tour de France. This year had some interesting twists to it. For those that did not follow, an Italian Nabali won the yellow jersey. Go figure, the first three days in "sunny" England, then pouring rain here in France for the next four days.

We went to Messanges on the 12th to celebrate the 14th (Fête National in France). Now there is a good explanation. First, the 12th was a Saturday night. Most fireworks are done on the 13th of July. However the evening of the 13th was the final for the World Cup (football here- soccer in the USA). If France had advanced to the final, everyone would have been in front of their TV's the evening of the 13th. So the fireworks were moved to the 12th (unfortunately France was not in the final).
 After an evening of chatting and eating and drinking, we walked down the road where we could overlook the field and have an unobstructed view of the fireworks. I had never taken photos of fireworks before, so I had my camera and tripod and was ready to give it a try! I mounted the camera and then we waited. Do you know how many explode not in the frame of the camera? The camera is stable and the fireworks are not! Many photos of tops, or bottoms or sides...but it was fun and I actually captured a couple of photos. It was a fun night. I am usually in bed by the time the fireworks are done here in Gevrey. I think I have seen them about 4 times!!

I did watch the National parade on the 14th. The parade is on the Champ Elysee and is a review of the military. This year the theme was the 100 years since WWI. The parade started with all countries in WWI (friend and foes of 1914), each having 3 soldiers in uniform. I was very taken with the Greeks in full dress, so I took a photo of the TV screen..not the best photo, they were marching.
Greek military in full dress and the special Greek march
To commemorate WWI, there were french soldiers in old uniforms of WWI.
WWI uniforms of the french military 
The one last photo of the parade, the regular military part of the parade always includes the Foreign Legion.  I love their uniforms.
Foreign Legion with leather aprons, beards and they carry an ax! This is parade dress.

The Fête National is a big holiday (much like the 4th of July in the U.S.). The highways going south are always jammed with traffic; shops and businesses start to close, and summer vacation is here. Of course August is the height of French vacation or rather it is more of European vacation time. Here in Gevrey, the village is not a big tourist attraction. There are always a few passing through looking to buy that special bottle of wine, but it never gets over crowded. It is a quiet town.

Our English friend arrived the 3rd week and as always came prepared to buy wine. The first  few days it rained, so we made the rounds for wine. Then on a sunny day, MT had proposed a visit to the Jura. We went up, up to the top of the Col (summit of the montagne). From 28 degrees C to 14 degrees Celsius!! It gets chilly at the top. It was a little foggy too, but still beautiful. We all took photos of mountain flowers.

It was a long, but breathe taking outing. The photos do not do it justice!

Looking at Switzerland...hard to see in the haze, but the white
band above the land horizon is Lake Geneva ( Lac Léman)

What views, still some haze!

Haze moving in on was sunny down in
the village of  Les Rousses 

Mountain flowers
Now to bore you with more photos of mountain flowers, they were so pretty!
Sainfoin...found all over

Maybe Millepertuis perforé ..needs further research

Centaurea montana

Gentaine- gorgeous flowers

The whole flower or plant GENTIANE..they
are about 1.5 meters tall!

need to research this one a little!

On the road again....oops a slight delay 

Oh la vache

Mountain cows with bells...she posed so nicely
and then again, another pause...but this is the mountains and some very good cheese in this region!
And the little ones too
Then a little stop in Chapelle des Bois
Tried a panoramic..Swiss border..beautiful scene and very tall cliffs
Not a hill as it looks in the panoramic, but more like a wall.
The panoramic makes it curve down at the ends-distorts it 

Church of Chapelle des Bois..the bell tower with the rounded
top is typical of this region

We did get in a short walk one day between the rain showers and I took a few more photos. We went to the parc in Fixin ( fee san  soft "x").  General Noisot was under Napoleon. He built the parc and had a statue made of Napoleon. 
"Waking of Napoleon"

just an old buidling

even older

View looking over Fixin...and the old church
I took a couple of other photos while we were out walking.

On Sunday, the last day of the Tour, the ride into Paris was slightly boring. Keith and I went out, to waste a couple hours, in search of the elusive mushroom. It was dry in the woods, in spite of rain we have had.

Went out today to take a few more photos of the memorial monuments; I need some photos of the details While at it, I took a couple of photos of the villages where I was stopping
Lavoir of Chevannes_ Lavoir had a water source and
it was used to wash clothes 

church tower of Chevannes _ colored tiles of Burgundy

a chateau of Collonges with colored tiles

Fountain in Ternant
Pottery is closed for the summer also. Here are a few photos of my last pieces before the summer break.
Was going to be a small waste basket, but not now.

a vase and a paper weight - raku pottery
Then there is Keith, he took off on this bike with his tent strapped on back rack. He called tonight from Normandy. He will be home when he comes home.

That sums up our month.

Recipe of the Month
A great way to use the zucchinis in my garden and have a refreshing soup on a hot day.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small garlic chopped fine
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis  (courgettes), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth ( or vegetable broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons  of fresh mint leaves chopped (reserve a small leaf for each serving)
  • 4 Tablespoons  of crème fraiche ( or cream)
  • Salt and pepper(preferably white pepper) to taste
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  5.  Add stock and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Simmer, partially covered, until zucchini is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
  8. Add the mint, lemon zest and the lemon juice
  9. Puree zucchini mixture in a food processor
  10. Add the crème fraiche
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. Blend well
  13. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving
  14. Dish into a bowl and add a small mint leaf to decorate

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