Saturday, January 31, 2015

Janvier 2015

Jan 2015

"Bonne année, bonne santé" or "Meilleurs vœux" (Good year, good health and  Best Wishes).
These are the regular greetings throughout January (only the first time you see the person after the new year ) .

It has been a bit of a roller coaster month. It all started Jan 7th with the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo head quarters. The magazine is low humor (we have never bought one), but here in France, people were upset because of the cold blooded murders (face to face) and the main issue as "FREEDOM". Freedom of the press, freedom to speak, the basic freedoms of the french culture were attacked. " Je suis Charlie" was a symbol that "you attacked ME and MY freedom". It was a very emotional week and there was the sense that the french were united against terrorism, terrorism that starts to take away our rights.
The french national motto is "LibertéÉgalitéFraternité" ( Freedom, Equality and Fraternity [brotherhood]) , much the same as the American saying "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness". 

We did not live in the US at the time of 911, I assume it must of been the same emotion of coming together at a time of tragedy.

And although the 3 men were caught and shot, this new reign of terrorism probably has just started, and it will be worldwide.

Keith and I went into Dijon where estimates of 35,000 -50,000 people gathered (estimates varied!).
Dijon Jan 11, 2015
Now to a lighter topics.
It has been a month of fog, mist, rain and a little snow. I have walked my 2 miles a couple of days in light rain (and was soaked), but did not go out the last 2 days when it really rained all day.
One day there was a little frost. I am working on using a macro lens, results not perfect yet, still lots to learn.

This morning there was a little snow, we have not had much yet this year. I went out and took a couple of photos before it all melted!
vines behind our house- with a snow flake on the lens

snow on the pines

another angle of the vines behind our house
The big event for the month of January is the St. Vincent celebration. This year the BIG one was held at Gilly-Vougeot. It is not that far from Gevrey. So I decided I would go on Saturday and take photos of the parade (the statues of St. Vincent for each village are paraded through the village before the mass and after the mass). I vacillated between arriving  at 7am or 10:30am. Finally I looked at the weather, transportation options.... and picked the after mass parade at 10:30am. There was not a convient train to Gilly at the time I wanted, so Keith dropped me off a Chambolle at 10am. I walked the 3.5 km into Gilly (Keith was taking the car to Bligny). I bought a train ticket to return to Gevrey.
The walk through the vineyards was chilly! First I arrived in Vougeot and then walked over to Gilly. The two villages are divided by the highway (which was closed for the weekend). Unfortunately, I had my camera on a delayed photo!! so it took a double image and ruined most of my photos. Some of the still ones were better, since the subject did not moved when the camera did the second exposure. All in all I had a fun morning and met many people I knew while walking around. It started to snow and the temperature dropped so I jumped on the noon train back to Gevrey. Here a some of my photos. The theme for this year was "Sur le chemin des moines" (On the route of the monks)...the monks worked the vines 900 years ago -therefore some scenes here and there with monks (cistercienne).
Monks - Vougeot

panels that were along the road

another panel- made with paper flowers

last panel photo

Monks- the cheese at the monastery Citeaux if well known

at the round about -main highway

many houses put up some decoration

monks working the vines..some of the people were dressed in

she was walking around....

another house with a little decoration for the occasion

and the perfect way to go on a picnic

Gevrey's statue of St Vincent

Pretty good photo of Messanges's statue

Villages have banners too in addition
to the statues- note all those behind,
still in line for the parade

another statue for Savigny

He is from the "confrérie des chevaliers du tastevin"
at Clos Vougeot, who are part of this celebration.
(this one a bit fuzzy...and a little of the person who kept stepping i
in front of me when I was taking photos!)

Gilly - a little garden

a cabot made with ceps -Gilly

Sharing a bottle of wine after mass- Church in Gilly

Gilly - monks praying

the major of the band

and then the drums

another banner

banners for the villages hung around the village

a band dressed in costumes playing as I walked
across the bridge (train tracks below) to go to the
train station
I know, even though I ruined my photos, I stuck 25 on the site! Also, our friend Tom took some great photos. He started at Clos de Vougeot at 7am! His photos are on his site at :  Tom worked with Keith as a guide for DuVine. He is putting the finishing touches on his Bed and Breakfast the next two months ( The Hungry Cyclist Lodge). Wonderful place in Auxey-Duress if you are looking for a bike tour, wine tour, gourmet tour... .

As I said, playing with photos lately. Trying some indoor photos since there is so much rain!
Making boeuf bourgogne, so I had the
Also with PhotoClub, I am putting the final touches on the 2 photos for the May exposition. Have to submit the photos in two weeks.

Walking, yes I am still walking (missed a couple days when it was raining hard). Have not been on many walks in the woods due to the weather, but have just a couple photos of a cold day.
Stairs and setting sun

2 friends

trees on the horizon

Late afternoon and Flipper leading the way


Checking out the ducks

Setting sun on icy pond

Egret standing guard

In pottery, I am working with raku and some ideas. Have to see how some of these ideas work. Trying  some glass in the piece, or I am going to try copper too. I have a final piece in mind that I want to make, but have to see what effects I get first.

And so the month of January closes.

Recipe of the Month
Italian Chicken
Easy recipe and light also. Give it a try.

1 pound boned chicken breast ( I used without skin-see note below)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
pinch salt
pinch fresh ground pepper
1 cup fat free or low fat chicken broth (low salt too if possible)
       -OR 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 cup white wine
1 16 ounce can white beans ( cannellini ), drained
3-4 Tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes (be generous)
Olive oil or olive oil spray


  1. Put skillet on medium heat
  2. Add about TBS of Olive oil or spray pan
  3. Add chicken, rosemary salt and pepper 
  4. Saute for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add broth, beans, dried tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low medium and let simmer....maybe 8 minutes -UNCOVERED
  6. Check that chicken is done
  7. If still to much broth, remove chicken and bean mixture to the serving bowl and reduce the broth. This should be not be soupy, just a minimum of broth to make the dinner creamy.
NOTE: I used chicken without skin and chopped into bite size pieces. I wanted to make sure it cooked through. The chicken can get dry, so be careful not to cook too long. FOLLOW -UP
Tried again and cooked the beans with everything except chicken on low so all the flavors could mix. Left it to cook on low for about 1 hour. Then browned the chicken pieces and added to the bean mixture. To the heat up to cook chicken and reduce any liquid that was still left. - worked a treat.

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