Sunday, April 30, 2017

AVRIL 2017

April 2017

The first round of voting is finished! And now on to 7 May for the final vote.
The two candidates that passed to the second round have made a little history. There is no traditional left-right party in the final election, this is the first time since the 5th Republique.
LePen is extreme right ( and also under investigation for using money from the EU to pay campaign workers)! And Macron made a new party called En Marche (he is a centrist) and he is only 39 yrs old.
It would be similar to a USA election without a democrat or republican as the two candidates on the presidential ballot.
There is a rising group of people demonstrating and proposing not to vote at all, "ni LePen, ni Macron", and by not voting, the outcome could be worse . I do not support that idea, my right to vote is important to me.
The drama continues and of course we will know the outcome in two weeks.

We had a very warm March here. Now it has been cool/cold and extremely dry. Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, we had rain.  Saulieu had some snow last night (25th of April)! We had other days that predicted rain, but only a few drops of mud fell, not enough to wet the ground, just leave the car a mess.

It has been a trying time for the vingerons  Last year we had the hard freeze mid-April that destroyed 100% of the grapes in some areas. Everything here has bloomed about 2 weeks too early.
And so here we are again, Chablis had some damaged last week and this week looks worse. Not too much here locally, but with this new cold spell? Many vignerons put fire pots in the vines to avoid a freeze. But the temperature is predicted to drop again tonight (Wed 26th)!
Photo from the Bien Public newspaper-fire pots in the vines
Here straw bales were used. The bales were put at the bottom of vines, lit and let the wind carry the smoke over the vines. Tom took three photos near Auxey-Duress ( near his Bed and Breakfast)- his photos are here ( Saturday morning there was smoke all over the Gevrey, and heading south it was like a thick fog! Straw bales were still fuming.
Glad to get far enough south to be out of the smoke.

A note about Easter this year. First we had dinner( noon meal) at MT's. And what a pleasant afternoon. We started with a huge plate of white asparagus accompanied by homemade mayonnaise. It was fresh asparagus (asperge) from her neighbor. White asparagus is more promine that green here in France. Very little green is sold here...but now  to return to the meal; next the fish course, poached salmon. This was followed by the meat course, veal with quenelles. Always here in France, there is a cheese course followed by dessert- light cake with raspberries😊...and very nice wine to accompany the courses. One must remember that a dinner like this is over several hours. Arrived a noon, home at 6pm. And no evening meal. One eats slowly and talks and enjoys sharing the time with friends.

With all the ads for Easter (Pâcques), I thought about egg decorating, and what we did at home when I was young. We decorated some elaborate eggs. Even blew the egg out and decorated with beads and ribbons. Here all eggs are brown, or at least in all the stores that I shop. So no pale yellow eggs. I knew people who would not buy or eat brown eggs! Well beware of france if you are one of those people, your omelette is probably made from brown eggs.

Chocolate is popular here for Easter too. Shelves of chocolate, with a few bunnies, but the cloche (bell) is more the symbol for Easter.

I have mentioned before, I am working on the second book for the canton de Gevrey. This is a photo book of the villages today. This will be the 16 villages of the Haute Côte. Since the colza (rape seed) is in bloom, I have been taking landscape photos.  Here are a few photos from this month in landscape format (only 4 out of 16!). Better get moving!
From Reulle-Vergy looking at Ternant
Outside of Chamboeuf


 Hard to see the cows in the Chamboeuf photo, so here they are close up.
I did ask them to turn around!
There have been walks also this month, trying to get spring flower photos before they go away.
Waiting for directions.. turn right or left

anémone sylvie



 Porcelle à feuilles tachées


Anémone de Grèce

Keith and I went to a sale, flea market that is every year in Nolay. However, it was the 3rd day of the sale and the good stuff was gone. Oh there was some beautiful furniture way too big for the house, and glass ware, and ....but we did not need any of it (thank goodness). On the way home, there is a jog in the road because of a house. The wisteria was in bloom, so I took a photo.

On Saturday, we headed south (or ssw) for the city of Autun. On 22 May, the association group is touring Autun. This was a pre-tour for Keith and Mireille, the 2 guides for May 22nd.
Autun has Roman history, founded by Emperor Augusta (called Augustodunum). Here are a few photos that I took yesterday. I had 77 photos from yesterday, so it is a marvel that I narrowed it down to 7!!!
Keith and the Temple de Janus -3rd of 4th century

Belle vue- Cathedral Saint Lazarus

Pyramid Caouhard -1st or 2nd century
funeral memorial

Once a seminary- 17th century, now miltary school
Note the beautiful roof

Roman city gate (porte saint andre)- 1st century 

Cathedral Saint Lazare (Lararus)- 1120

Tympanum over the door is the Judgement
amazing sculpture
Work has started on the Tour de France. Gevrey has been picked as a relay ville, which means that we also entertain VIP supporters. They will have a VIP place with a large screen TV to watch the race. Estimated to be 150-200 people in the VIP group. I am working on decorations, the VIP section will be decorated, and if time, some of the street too. We are making paper flowers, starting with red, but we have yellow, green, white flowers ( and white and red) to go. The 4 jersey colors.
Here is a photo of our group!
From the newspaper Bien Public
On to May, tomorrow is labor day here, so it is a holiday.

Recipe of the Month
Home made mayonnaise is very common here. When someone serves something where the taste of mayonnaise is important, it is home made. As I wrote, MT always serves home made mayonnaise, and I said I made it to go with the asparagus. It is easy to make and so very good. Everyone needs a little delightful taste of real mayonnaise now and then. For other dishes where it is not the primary flavor, I use commercial mayo.


  • 2 egg yolks *
  • 3/4 cup canola oil ( I do not use olive oil, the taste is strong, but that is a personal choice)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar and /or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ( I live here, so of course I add Dijon mustard, but this is optional)
  • salt to taste

  1. Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and teaspoon salt in small bowl of food processor (you can do this by hand, but I use the food processor).  
  2. Blend until bright yellow, about 15 seconds.
  3. Slowly drizzle in about the first 1/4 cup of oil.
  4. Blend well
  5.  Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream
  6. When mayonnaise is thick, it is done. 
  7. Cover and chill. 
* Egg whites: Some whip the egg whites to stiff stage and add to the mayonnaise for a light version. I have also made meringue drops with the egg white (beat stiff, add sugar and bake on low for 30-40 minutes)

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