Saturday, April 30, 2016

Avril 2016

April showers
April 2016

April showers bring May flowers. Well this place should be covered with those bloody flowers soon. It has been a wet month and cold too. We have had rain, sleet, hail and even a few white flakes!

We had a freeze Tuesday night, and it may have taken out a lot of the grape crop. The new little leaves froze, so unless the weather changes here soon, the vines may not push out new buds. It was estimated in the paper that 40% of the crop  may be damaged. Sure hope not.

We have had a fire in the wood-stove for many nights now.We had a couple of glorious days this month, and I thought it was truly spring, but they were few and far between!
Waiting impatiently to work the garden. With the rain, it is too muddy, and with the cold, too early to plant anything. Lately, patience has not been a virtue of mine.

Had a walk planned for my Flora and Fauna group the first Sunday of April, but it was pouring rain. Postponed it for the week after, and it was one of those gorgeous days! Wow what a great day to be out. There were some flowers in bloom and some interesting views.
Start of the hike in a place called
Bossière -part of the côte of Gevrey
It goes to the top of the hill in the background
As we went up and through the woods there was moss everywhere, and little violets sprinkled here and there.
Finally, when we reached the top, unfortunately it was not covered in flowers. Luckily there were some flowers in bloom.
Anémone pulsatille

Valeraine tubersosa

Orphys Male
Daphné lauréole (tall plant, this is just the top
where the flowers are hidden under the leaves) 

Some of you know and understand that I have a bit of fear of heights. My plan was to go up one forest path through the Combe de Chadron and down the other side on another woodsy path. Well all plans go astray. Once on the plateau, and near the path to descend, we also were very near the cliffs. Everyone wanted to have a look. Along the edge is a trail, "sentier bleu". I avoid it!!
Have to admit though, it was gorgeous view (but I stood back a good 6 yards from the edge)!!
This is from the top of the Combe Lavaux. Note the road below on the right.
Also, although not common, Mont Blanc was again visible..the white on the
High isn't it!!
Then there was a short walk along the edge! (I looked at my feet and sang a little tune). We finally came to a place referred to as Château Renard (renard is fox). It is a ridge with the Combe that we went up on one side and the Combe Lavaux on the other side. What a view (ok I was a little nervous and the photos did not really turn out). After descending a little (and climbing down here and there) we arrived at a place where there was once a structure, but very old. Not much left now.
This dry stone wall was made in the 8th or 9th century!!!

The descent from here was iffy, a steep path that had been covered with gravel. Any idea how slippery gravel can be? Luckily a few small trees and sturdy bushes to hang onto going down!

The next Sunday the photo club had an outing planned to work on Macro photos. It was not the best of days, it was cold and cloudy! Also it had rained during the night, so add muddy. Not ideal for photos.
The sheep herd had passed on Saturday, so a lot of the flowers had been trampled or eaten! Monique had checked it on Friday and it looked like a great site for Macro photos. Oh well!
And then to top it off, I arrived with a flat tire! But a nice young member of the club had a electric pump for tires, so he inflated the tire for me (it was integrated into the trunk of his car).
Few photos that day, and then a couple days later with some sun I took some violet photos and a dandelion.
Called CouCou, Primevère officinale

Orchid called Ophrys araignée

Hellebore Fétid





Thursday night at photo club we again had a session on using a macro. On Friday, I went out and took more photos. It was a sunny day, with a little chill at the top of the plateau at Chambolle.
View from the top - Chambolle combe d'Orveaux

Polygala vulgaris-tiny little flower

Orchis poupre

Orchis mâle

Butter cup

Solomon's Seal

This last month I have done some translations for the Tourist Office. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is not. The words translate, but it is the concept that is also needed.

When the wine here is described as the "gout de la forêt" this translates as "taste of the forest", or "le goût de la fourrure", "the taste of fur", is that appealing to the english reader or wine drinker? I think not.
So maybe instead of fur, maybe say it has a wild flavor!

Another example is  a common expression " gout de terroir". Someone once sent an article in the New York Times  about her visit to the burgundy wine region. She ended in the article with saying that "gout de terroir" was used a lot, but that she never had the nerve to bend over and taste the dirt. Oh my!! This expression means that the earth gives the taste to the product. Often used with wine, because the soil is very important to the wine. Vines growing not that far apart can taste very different, all due to the mineral make-up of the soil. No one here ever puts dirt into their mouths! Oh la vache ( oh the cow, but more like "holy cow").

Enough of the translation.

As an update, the electrician came and put in an outlet for a dishwasher and a few other corrections. YEAH...and we finally have a dishwasher. Keith promises that the shelves will be done soon, so things are looking better at the Klein house (well the entry way is stacked with some of the things from the kitchen). Now to get the new counter top.

The month is over.....

May 1st is the workers holiday and also the day to give Lily of the Valley flowers to the one you love.

The next weekend is the Exposition of the photo club. 60 photos this year.

Recipe of the Month
The asparagus season is upon us, and I love it. One of our favorites is ham and asparagus for dinner. Keith likes mayonnaise with lemon, however another sauce is rich and so good. Here in France there is more white asparagus than green. Here I am going to give you a recipe from Julia Child. It is a blender recipe. So grill up some ham and make some hollandaise sauce for the asparagus.

Hollandaise Sauce in a blender


  • 3 eggs yolks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 ounces of butter

  1. Egg yolks salt and pepper and 1 tbs of lemon in blender
  2. Melt butter in a pan
  3. Blend egg yolks for  2 seconds at top speed
  4. Take the cover off while still running the blender and start pouring a small stream of butter into the blender- be very careful
  5. The sauce should start to thicken
  6. Taste and add more seasoning if needed, including lemon juice
Serve while still warm