Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mai (May) 2015

Laser de France (flower) at the Combe d'Orveau
Mai 2015

The month of May is almost over and it is time to crank out the monthly Blog.
It has been a busy month
Flowers are blooming and birds are singing and Sue has been out in the woods and Keith has been riding his bike.

First though, the Photo club exposition. Our exposition was May 9th and 10th. We had to set up the exposition Thursday evening and final adjustments Friday afternoon. On Friday we had the vernisage ( grand opening). About 50 invitees came to the opening, and the mayor spoke, and then Crémant and hors-oeuvres were served.
Lighting needs to be perfect

Photos on the wall, lighting fixed,
table set up for the vernisage
And as I have explained in past years, we had the traditional pizza party after the vernisage. Oh yes, a pizza party with an appetizer (some chacuterie), salads, pizza, a cheese course and of course dessert. Wine with each course, and I must say, some very good wines indeed. Only here in France can a pizza party turn into a four course meal. We ate and talked until midnight.

Over the weekend we had 510 people come through and see the exposition. The public votes for their favorites and the club members vote separately. My photo was second by the vote of the club. The theme this year was Multi-Photo, which meant that there had to be at least 2 photos in the final composition.
For my first composition I took inspiration from P Mondrain and I called it Graphic Boogie Woogie. The second composition, I viewed the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe to get some ideas. The Graphics is the photo that took 2nd place. I am very content to have won second place by the votes of my peers.
Louvre in the red, next Hancock in Chicago, then inside the musical hall at Reykjavik,
 a building in San Francisco, ceiling at the Alesia museum,
 a walkway at Museo in Marseilles, glass front outside the music hall Reykjavik
 and finally the Golden Gate. Of course I played with color too.
My Georgia O'Keefe flowers

The winners
1st public vote is Eric with water drops in the middle, second is Joce with
the small young girl, and 3rd place is Laure with the butterfly at sunset.
Vote of group; 1st is a photo of the skyline of New York (left), me in 2nd place and
Joce with the young girl was 3rd place
If interested to see more, here is the site (in french) with the photos:
Just scroll down for the photos
Clubs here are part of the social life. There are clubs for just about anything; painting, writing, history, genealogy, car clubs, photography, books, singing, sewing, biking, archery, petanque, hiking, skiing, stamp collecting, cards such as bridge or tarot, and the list goes on. Some are just small get-togethers, others are officially registered clubs with bylaws and elected governing body. If the club is registered, then using the city facilities for meetings is free.  Both the Photo Club and the History, Patrimoine, Genealogy Club are registered.

The expo being over, I have taken a few walks in the woods. There are many beautiful flowers in bloom this time of year. I love that fact that there are wild orchids and also that the woods are so accessible for hiking. I also organized a hike to the Combe d'Orveau on the May 19th. Beatiful place and lots of flowers. We spent a couple hours taking photos.

A picture is worth a 1000 words, here are a few photos. Still working on the macro lens.

 Orobanche de la Gendarmrée
Ail des ours 

Buds on the Lys Martagon 
Laitue Vivace 

An Euphorbia -red there are 2300 diffrent euphorbias! 
Orphys Mouche 

Orchid Militaire 
Orchid Bouc

Raiponce delicate
Polygala vulgaris (about 2 1/2 inch tall)

Sceau de Salomon
Ochid abeille

Butterfly Gazé
Orchid pourpre

Phalangère à fleurs de lis
Ascalaphe soufré

Raiponce en Epi
Aconit tue-loup

Grémil bleu pourpre
Orchid Homme-pendu

The Combe d'Orveau has a beautiful overlook and then we usually walk through the forest.
Some people walking towards the edge, OMG, not me!!!
Hike through the woods

During the month of May I have also worked on my garden. It is coming along nicely.
It will need to be weeded soon, waiting for
some of the little sprouts to get a little larger
Also, we need some rain!!
OK, it is still small...maybe 3 inches diameter
But looking real good ;)
But the snails have been nibbling on my green beans! Gone are the bean tops and gone are the snails by morning (nocturnal little buggers)!

Also getting the patio ready for summer.
The table is covered in case of rain, but the rain did not come!
Herbs mostly in the little garden with some flowers for color
Along with the garden, I have my herbs in order and have cleaned the patio( herbs - chives, mint,parsley, coriander, sage and rosemary). I had planted sweet peas a couple of years ago to climb the trellis, but instead, it has become invasive and spread out on the lawn. Not at all what I expected!! The rose is still on the trellis, but really not that many flowers, one every so often!

VOILA, pool is full

Water in the large tank
Been spying on the neighbor too, watching him get ready for summer. For the last couple years he has had a soft sided pool. Not easy to fill. But when you have friends in the wine business, they can sometimes have just what you need!

We went to a "Vide Grenier" or "Empty your Attic" sale in Quicey a couple of Sundays ago. Saw lots of stuff that I did not need, so saved lots of money by not buying anything. Quincey is a small village just south of Nuits St. Georges, so why not go and check it out. Next Sunday June 7th we are setting up a table in Auxey. See how that goes!
Anyway, back to Quincey, two pictures I took in the village. In the small villages here, you are always a house away from the country.
Looking for treats?
By the stream in Quicey
Keith has been riding his bike on nice days and did a little long rides. In the meantime, he has been trying to organize the garage (his workshop space ). 

I do believe that winds up this great month.

Recipe of the Month

JAMBON PERSILLE by Tom Kevill-Davies
( I have added notes in bleu)

I am using a recipe from a friend. Tom has a Bed and Breakfast in Auxey. He loves to cook and loves to ride his bike. He even wrote a book on his ride in the Americas (Hungry Cyclist). Now he is the proud owner of the Hungry Cyclist Lodge ( 
He adds recipes to his website, along with some beautiful photos (he is into photography too). The lodge was an old mill, so the stream passes by the house.
Jambon Persillé is a very Burgundian dish and it is great. I was going to make it this week before I did this post, but have not found salted pork (mostly a winter dish)...found it and made it June 5 . I have noted a few things that I would change, but Jambon Persillé is really delicious. Probably none of you will ever make this dish, but you would be missing something!


  • 700g of salted ham hock (I had to ask a butcher to prepare a ham hock- une jarret)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bundle or fresh parsley, well chopped
  • 2 sheets of gelatine ( 1 packet - Julia Child says for 2 cups use 4 sheets or 1 packet)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced ( I tossed a crushed one in to cook with the ham hock)
  • Pepper corns   (also about 6 in the broth )
  • sprig of thyme
  • sprig of rosemary. 
  • 2 glasses of dry white wine.


  1. Put the ham hocks in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for one hour. 
  2. Skim all the grotty foam off the surface of the water and drain the ham hocks. Rinse the pan and recover with cold water (important because of the salt).  Add the onion, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a gentle boil ( I added the crushed garlic, 6 pepper corns and a carrot). Leave to simmer for 3 hours until your house smells wonderful and the meat falls away from the bone. 
  3. Take the hocks from the water and set aside to cool. Add the wine to the remaining water. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. ( here is where I got into trouble- I had lots of broth, I reduced the broth first, tasted pretty good, added wine and reduced to 2 cups!-I did not taste and it was too saltly...big mistake. Since I had so much broth, the reduction donw to 2 cups concentrated the salt. Next time, 2 cups broth, 2 cups water, 2 cups wine and reduce to 2 cups..this is my advice, Tom has never had this problem- maybe my ham had more salt? taste your broth before you add the gelatine...make sure it is good , you can always diluted with wine or water at this point if needed).
  4. In the mean time soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. 
  5. Brush the garlic into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped garlic and mix through with your fingers. In a terrine, add a good layer of the garlic and parsley mix.
  6. ( here is where I would change the recipe.Jambon persille usually has the parsley mixed with the broth so it is throughout, around and coating the ham. This is just a personal preference. So for me, as the broth has cooled, I would add the parsley to the broth, do a small layer at the bottom and the rest in the broth)
  7.  Break up the cooked pork in your fingers in to chunky finger sized pieces, and discard any slimy bits. Mix through with ground black pepper and then layer all the meat on top of the garlic and parsley and gently push down with your fingers (this take a while, so think about the timing of everything)
  8. Add the gelatine to the cooking liquid and stir until dissolved ( while the liquid or broth is still hot or warm-when cooled a little and has been strained, add parsley). Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and pour over the layered meat until covered. Add a weight on top of and refrigerate over night ( I actually put it in the refrigerator until it had was a little set, the broth thickened some. Then I covered with plastic wrap and added the weight).
  9.  To serve  turn the terrine upside down on a plate and tap unitl it comes loose. Serve with conichon ( small type pickle here in France) and a crisp glass of Les Grechons, Ladoix Premier Cru from Bertrand Ambroise  ( must say that is an excellent wine suggestion).

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