Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 2016

Wild Morning Glory
September 2016

I will start with my usual weather report. September started hot, in the 90's. Then suddenly it was fall, days 60 to 70 and cool nights.
Still unusually dry, just 2 days with some rain. Obviously, no mushrooms so far with the extreme dry spell we have had.

And of course the days are shorter. Sun sets here with the cote in the west at about 7:15pm.

The 3rd of September, the History, Heritage and Genealogy association (I am a member)  had an outing. Part one, the canal called Cent-Fonts (100 springs), and part two a tour of the abbey Citeaux. A little history about this. The abbey of Citeuax is a few miles from Gevrey. It was established 1098 (monks are known as cistersians or trappists). Then at the start of the 13th century they needed water, so they built a canal to transport water from Fénay to the abbey. The canal is 11km long. Work started 1212 and was finished in 1221. In the village of Noiron-sous-Gevrey, the canal passes over the stream Chairon.

The hiking group started in Noiron-sous-Gevrey at the bridge (the bridge is called Pont des Arvaux), ready to hike the 9km to the abbey. It was a little warm, very sunny day, but the morning was cool.
Water passes in the canal above, Pont des Arvaux 
On top of the bridge

The canal a little further down stream
Then of course there were flowers 
Cardère sauvage (Dipsacus fullonum L.)

beautiful path next to the canal

Still a few km to go!
Hops- how did this get there?

Laitue vivace (Lactuca perennis L.)

Crételle des prés ( Cynosurus cristatus L.)

Centaurée scabieuse (Centaurea scabiosa L)
Saponaire officinale ( Saponaria officinalis L.)
Used as soap
Eupatoire à feuilles de chanvre (Eupatorium cannabinum L)

When everyone arrived at the abbey, we had a picnic. As usual, there was too much food. Everyone brought a lunch and also had food to share.I had my egg, tomato and cheese. Due to the generousity of others, I also ate cold zucchini terrine (excelent), wonderful cheese tart(wow), prune tart and a little white wine from Gevrey (family private stock), mmmm just a little full.

A step into history, we took the tour at 14:30. There are only two old buildings remaining. The tour is mostly verbal history of the abbey over 900 plus years. The abbey still functions as an abbey and is also famous for its cheese. Have to live here to be get the cheese!
The library is one of the older building still that existing.
old library and scriptorium

old library and scriptorium
Work in progress

Upper level

Example of the monks work- person picking grapes

library et scriptorium
The down side of the day, I lost my small camera. I turned around on the canal walk at about the half-way point to retrace my steps. I did not find it. I was picked up back at Noiron to go to Citeaux for the picnic. I went back with a couple of people on Sunday (next day), and still no camera.  The camera started to have a few problems, and it had a dead battery. Zut alors, I have to buy a new camera ;-).

Because of the extreme heat, Keith and I had not gone out on a picnic all summer. So I threw some things into a bag and off we went. We went over to Saint Roman. Pretty village built into the hillside. Of course, I took a couple photos.
Walked out to the Cross and belle vue

Belle vue from the point
Picnic near Rocheport
Pull in and park, a still at the stone table (Keith is at the table)
Vines near to the picnic area (grapes not so good)
View from picnic area
Just down the road from our picnic was a view of the
chateau Rochepot...beautiful roof

Keith had a thought to search for a old village from the XIV century.  The name of the village was Dracy. It is known that it was deserted by 1420.
Took a while to get there, a very narrow dirt road goes up the hill and then runs along the hillside. Whew!! It was hot by this time.
There is a sign there about the village and the archaeology study and location of the buildings. The place is now very overgrown.
Not a lot left here, more all covered in forest growth

Then as is habit (comme habitude) got a walI went for a walk with MT. We went to Mont Myon, to a field that we visit every so often,  and it was full of fall flowers and butterflies.
Gentiane d'Allemagne (Gentianella germanica)

beautiful butterfly "Paon du Jour"

Looking toward Villars les Fontaine

Taking photos and dog waiting

Grasshopper (maybe Grande Sauterelle Verte-femelle)

Flipper happy in the woods

light through the trees

although very dry, found these mushrooms
Only ones!!!

Then on Wed the 28th, the Reserve Naturale de la Combe Lavaux organized a hike on Montfée by the village Semezanges. It was a great hike through the forest and ferns. Mostly information about the forest and prairie and difference. Great hike
Sun in the forest- beautiful light

Tree is very vrey tall and the branches are twisted


The forest was cut away for the electric line, and this jungle
of ferns has taken over. A little further along it was shoulder high!

As for Keith, he took off to climb a couple mountains in the Alps. Just a two and 1/2 day trip, before the snow starts. He is filling up his cards (brevet) of France. One visits a region (by cycling of course) and get stamps from specific villages of the region, and when full, send it in the to the national federation of cycling. He gets a small medal for each brevet completed.

Keith just noted that the Tour de France is going through Nuits Saint-Georges next summer. Wow!

Recipe of the Month

SQUASH AND APPLES SOUP (or sweet potato and apple soup)

I looked at a lot of recipes, and then put my recipe together. I thought it was great. Keith thought a little bland. It is pureed, so very smooth. 
I ate it cold the next day, and all the flavors were there, more so than when it was hot. 
I think it is worth a try, and like it or not, Keith is going to get it again. It is a easy soup to change and create your own version. So think of the flavors you want and give it a try.
I really like it, and will make it again. I did not go for a strong sweet taste. It is up to you, I have added notes (ideas) below.


  • 400 grams (14-15 ounces) of butternut squash-peeled and cubed ( or for sweeter taste use sweet potato)
  • 1 apple ( I used gala, many recipes use Granny Smith-not my favorite)peeled and cubed
  • 1 leek- use white end cut in small circles
  • 1 small onion-chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 regular size potato ( or if using squash, maybe a sweet potato here?)-peeled and cubed Note, the potato also thickens the soup to a nice texture. Cream is not necessary, but if you want add some cream at the end of the process-but not much
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (sweeter if you add all apple juice and no chicken broth-less apple flavor if only use chicken broth- I would recommend some apple juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 inch of ginger-chopped ( add more if you want a strong ginger flavor)
  • salt and pepper

  1. Melt butter in pan and add onion and leek and saute until translucent.
  2. Add ginger and stir about one minute
  3. Add sqaush, carrot, potato and apple
  4. Add juice and broth
  5. Simmer until vegetables are cooked through
  6. TASTE- add salt and pepper and any other adjustments
  7. Put in blender, about 3 or 4 batches (never fill a blender with hot food)
Done, serve warm or cold. maybe add a little blue cheese crumbled on top when serving?