Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 2015 - Août 2015

Château de Gevrey-Chambertin
This is the month of relaxation. It is the month that France is on vacation.
It is hard to get things done! Our air conditioning (in our bedroom) went down at the end of July ( with the heatwave of 95 degrees or plus). They came (it is under warrenty) and said " hmm it will be August 2 weeks,  the parts will not arrive until September".
And so it goes.

Our baker is back this week, so good bread again without driving all over to find a good bakery open.

School starts this Tuesday (it is called -"la rentrée"). An funny note on the rentrée, every year at this time, there are several commercials on TV for lice shampoo.

August is always a quiet month in the cities and towns. At the tourist attractions and the beaches, it is another story.

I have started this Blog without photos. I went to write it this morning early (while most of you were sleeping) and the computer refused to start. The system is now doing a backup (on the external drive) before I restart it and try again. I have no idea if I can recover or if the computer is at the end of its planned obsolescence. Since I have lots of photos, even the backup is going to take hours ( 5 hours and it is 77% done). So here I am writing without any photos. Computers- love / hate  relationship!!!

Anyway, onward with the Blog.

YEAH   4pm and my computer has been recovered..I now have photos and I will complete this Blog. And also my good camera is back after a visit to the camera hospital. Just came in the mail yesterday.

This month I have been retaking photos of Gevrey. We are going to try to make a book (photo book by one of the online publishers) of Gevrey for the history Association. We have laid out all the chapters and the idea of photos for each chapter. I have been doing a lot of photos of the vineyards, especially the Grand Cru. I have also been trying to find all of the cabottes made of stone. Ah what is a cabottes? It traditionally was a shelter built of stone in the vineyards. The old ones are dry stone structure, newer ones used cement and stone, and now the new ones are even stucco.
I have been taking photos now, just before the vendange (grape harvest). Even though it has been a very dry summer, the vines with the deep roots have mostly survived. We have had some rain this month and it saved most from the brink of disaster.
Although I have taken photos of the vineyards, I did not often walk through them, especially the Grand Cru. Hidden in places I have found some of the cabottes. It has been fun exploring and taking photos.
Cabotte in Clos de Béze vineyards-Grand Cru

Cabotte in Mazis vineyards-Grand Cru

Cabotte in Charmes vineyards-Grand Cru

Cabotte Verroilles vineyards Premier Cru

Grand Cru Chambertin

Premier Cru Verroilles and the Combe Lavaux
Isn't it beautiful

Premier Cru Clos de Saint Jacques
very humid yesterday when I took this photo

Keith was away at the beginning of the month, and now the close of the month. He has been doing cycle camping. Right now he is in the Alps. He wanted to get in at least this one more chance of riding before his trip to the USA. He is going next week to Chadron NE to visit his parents.

Mid-month the History Association had an outing to Noyers-sur-Serein. This is a small medieval village about 1 hour 40 minutes from here. It is a very pretty village, however for us, after a summer of drought, it decided to rain that day (even though no rain was predicted). We had a guided tour with off and on rain. We had planned a picnic, but with the rain we took refuge in the lavoir (lavoir was a place to wash cloths). No place to sit, raining and cold, we ate our lunches! Some people opted for the restaurant, but by time we checked, it was full. Other good restaurants in town, with very large lunch menus, so we passed and ate what we had brought with us.
Old town gate at Noyers

It was umbrella at the top

River Serein 

River Serein 

One of the old buildings in the village

Lavoir - pretty place, not ideal for lunch

I have not been in the woods a lot this past month, with the extreme heat. Some of the woods near here, above Chenove, were burned in a fire. Fortunately, house in Chenove were not damaged.
Because of the dry spell (secheresse), there have been no mushrooms. A friend did stop by the other day with a large Bolet Satan (Boletus satanas). It was a beautiful specimen, however this mushroom is toxic.
Bolet Satan
September will be a busy month. Photo Club will start soon, as will pottery and the History Association. Summer vacation will be over. 

The vendange (grape harvest) will be early this year, it has already started south of Beaune. Around here, some has started, but most will start around the 10th of the month. This is about 10 days earlier than the average date of September 20th. 

I am going to end here while everything still works!!

Recipe of the Month

Velouté is often a word used for soups here in France. Some definitions say the soup contains milk or eggs. This soup is pureed and creamy, but technically not velouté (no mil or eggs). But it is “oncteuse”  (I love this word, it means smooth, creamy).
With fall here, it is easy to use other great garden vegetables in this recipe.

  • ·      2 tablespoons oil
  • ·      1 onions, chopped
  • ·      1 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ·      2 zucchinis medium, cut in slices
  • ·      3 sprigs fresh thyme *
  • ·      1 sprig of fresh rosemary*
  • ·      10 leaves fresh basil
  • ·      ground white pepper and salt to taste (careful and taste before you add salt, some broths, if you use prepared broth, already are salty).
  • ·      2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

*tie sprigs together
1.      In a large frying pan, with oil; add onion and sauté until translucent.
2.      Add diced potato, zucchini, thyme/rosemary sprigs and broth.
3.      Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
4.      When cooked, add basil and puree in food processor or blender in batches (careful with hot soup in blender). I use the hand held and put the pot in the sink and blend.
5.      Salt and pepper to taste

6.      Serve hot or cold

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