Mer…. no not the sea

Meringues for my Mama Mary to only dribble over sadly as she cant be here with us, for a lil visit ūüė¶ IMG_2540.JPG

Peur-etre Pere Noel will look to see if she is on the good girls list, Mais I have heard she likes to be naughty !

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Just one of the cake shops in Carmaux.

 

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Sunday Lunner ***

So the day started early with our first trip (not bad waiting for 4.5 semaines) to the local Boulangerie 9.1 km away as we had Martins daughter (who was still in bed) visiting for 46 hrs. And he wanted to give her a ‘french breakfast’¬† a treat as we all know it, it’s called le petit d√©jeuner ( little lunch). We drove about a few different streets till we trouver it. We had heard the storied about the this lady how she looks after her regulars but not letting strangers come in the shop and buy more than their ‘fair allowance’ of wares, She delivers in a small van to our hamleau¬† a couple of times a week, but only what you have¬† pre-ordered and only if its regular. Upon arrival into the shop same as any other shop you say bonjour¬†Monsieur‘dames and they ‘the customers and assistants’ greet you back in the same way. We stood pondering the glass display of goodies, others came in and we allowed them to pass while we decided, until we got shouted at ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ… before, we would have worried but all was ok when we realised this old lady was deaf. So he bought a selection of pain au chocolat (for Her), pain aux raisins (for Himself) et croissant aux amandes(Pour Moi) and des luxurious ‘Buerre’ straight croissant.

 A grand Flute (for him and Lunner).

We had been waiting to see some brocante & troc/truc (second-hand markets). We had visited the previous week to a shop that was froid, damp et smelly, the old guy in the corner puffing on his Gauloise tabac certainly did not enrich the experience but I least I knew I was in France. So the day had come that the Carmeau Ecole Vide Grenier (which mean Empty Loft – that’s right a bootsale! Everyones old S*** and thats exactly what is was held in the school yard on tables, no Car boots and not what we had been hoping for… although Martins daughter did manage to get two handbags out of her dad.

Disappointed Martin said lets see if ADAM BROCANTE is open (bear in mind its Sunday or any other day it seems are non trading day or hours) it a sign post on the main road we had seen several times somewhere on out route home. So I drove cautiously reading every small road sign on the right (that is all I could recall) Martin was sat in the back. Eventually we found it and I turned in the road, over the simple railway crossing and we ended up in some guy (I guess he may be called Adam)’s backyard, I hesitated and backed up the single mud track. Martin jumped out to investigate or peut-etre more explore. He disappeared behind the bushes then came back and waved us out! Sunday at 12:00 – Lunch waits for nothing how roode of us. The man came out half-dressed in his vest reeking of yesterdays booze and tabac but proceeded in amongst chewing and popping back and forth in his house I guess to finish his meal to spread out his ware that blocked the entrances to his out buildings more shed than outbuildings he was very pleasant. We mooched and Martin rooted in the corners with his iTorch. I like to watch a programme called Money for Nothing, or maybe it was Bargain Hunt or some other but I had recently seen what I though was something similar to this porcelin-water and on the programme there was what looked like damage around the tap, anyway it turned out to be crusties and grott like limescale and dirt which cleaned up nice and made some dollar!¬† So whilst Martin was scrabbling through everything not in the foreground, I decided to make some french conversation to deviate away from the awkward standing and looking uncomfortable.

So as I had a quick rummage I saw a couple of these simple enameled white with blue like Nana’s apple pie plate or Mam’s rice pudding tin (the one with the seule yaune fleur) and I

said “qu’Est-ce que c’est” as I picked it up and showed it to Adam…

“c’est compliqu√© “he replied I laughed and showed more interest
“c’est m√©dical” he claimed… I leaned in further intrigued¬†

The international language of hand signals and pointing along with some words I didn’t manage to catch, got him pointing and playing charades with the Jug in one hand the imaginary water into the jug flowing through the equally invisible pipe that led from the raised jug into his bottom! It’s an enema or vagina douche I realised followed by laughter blushes from me and “Elle comprends” with equal laughter from him.

A drive by via Plan de l’eau Roucarie, up to La Mayrie – click here¬† the latest house which has some interest we saw it earlier in the week with a Gorgeous ( Said Liza Tarbuck style) young agent From Century21 s’appelle lui-m√™me Aurelie

Back home they took a bonding session walk with Fidget while I was preparing dinner but the rain came so it only lasted dix minutes or so and they were back.

Menu

Rosemary et Garlic Baked Camembert

avec Flute & Plums

Beouf bourguignon avec des quenllese de baguettes (Encore!)

  Also with buttered green beans (Again!)

Tarte Tatin avec glace à la vanille

 Castaway & Mamma Mia DVD were chosen

>>> Bed…

need to get up early again to get back to the airport.

Au revoir.

*** A late lunch and early dinner like brunch… is there an offical name for it ?

Grand Old Duke of York at Cordes Sur Ciel

Today (Saturday) we collected our first visitor and drove straight to Cordes bit of a mad dash from Toulouse, as the flight was slightly delayed and so we only just made it to lunch in time ( more on that on a separate post) through the constant rain. The photos speak for themselves although lashing down and donned with rain coats and a chill, in the rain it was still beautiful to walk carefully, even if out of breath and heart in aerobic beating fashion from the restaurant at the bottom through the winding cobbled & artisanal filled streets to the top and as soon as we reached the summit with ‘The Duke’ whose idea it had been to visit despite the weather marched us, back down again, as he was cold and wet and his shoes were letting in water… not even a pause for coffee at the top.

 

Just one of the Artisinal boutiques… amazing hand painted fabric…amonsgt many other treasures.

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Strange girl behaviour from Essex

for the cat lovers

 

 

 

 

Foire de Mariage

So Mandy I’m so handy, is showing her wares at this exhibiton.

Salon du Mariage -espace Gérard Philippe, 31620 Fronton, Midi-Pyrenees, France.

This weekend 5 /6 novembre 2016

Julie took me round to Mandy house as previouly planned earlier in the week with Mandy, however she wasnt there as her daughter Chloe had come off her Motobike (she only got it back two or three days ago after it was repaired) and so Mandy had headed off to hospital to get Chloe checked out. Fingers crossed that she is okay.

So here you see her demonstration cakes for the Wedding Faire between Montauban & Toulouse. Im sure her exhibiton stand will look much more professional than my snap shots.

Completly edible including the Flowers (not the ribbon or Stalks)

Get your orders in after you put your eyes back in and stopped dribbling! Even if you dont plan to be a bride thers always a Anniversaire (Birthday) or Celebration even just to celebrate Cake! ūüėČ you know me!

Weather Catch up

So today was a fixed public holiday here in France, All Saints Day.  The 1st November every year no matter what day it falls on that is the public holiday so folk often have yesterday off to bridge to the weekend and make it even longer.

So nothing open and Martin had to work all day, Boohoo… I know you are all feeling sorry for him and rightfully so. It’s a tough life after coffee break pre lunch… trying to relax for 5 minutes as I.T. has him very stressed today.

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Not wanting to rub anybody’s nez in it but the temperature inside the pierre grange – clearly doing what its supposed to do… stay cool.

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17.5 in the cold shaded stone Barn

But outside Martin was testing the water…brrrr and the food…yum quiche fromage de chevre epinard avec salade crudit√©s

The temperature was around 28 earlier I even got ‘Corned beef skin’ through my linen shorts! Whilst eating my lunch outside. You know, that blotchy red-hot skin from standing too close to the fire!?!

And this is how the seasons are changing, the long shadows down the steep chemin, one of the roads leading out from our calme hamleau, the tree half-way down overwhelms my eyes with its abundant colour party going on!

Halloween

These are not for Halloween lanterns but some of them look just as scary.

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Is this scary enough… sat next to me on the step sadly it was dying.

DSCF7100.JPGOr this sun set sky from the spare room fenêtre

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M. Raferin is a scaredy cat couchon when he gets hand fed by the lovely Michelle notre gentile voisine.DSCF7055.JPG

Or this giant topiary chicken running away along the horizon

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or the natural spooky mist rising from the river either that or someone has the dry ice out again!

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Drifting, Dams, Drops…

No trick photography here but to see with your own eye what a treat!

HA HA HA ( Deep Voice scary Laughing)

Happy Halloween!!!

Three’s Company

So this evening in France I cooked my first three course French meal with French ingredients in a French farmhouse on a French cooker with a French guest we drank French Wine and French aperitif oh and a London Gin & Tonic… eek!

I had a little help from my friends Rachel And Julia. You may remember Rachel, gorgeous dark-haired chick lived in a Paris Apartment wears clothes in the style from the 50’s so dresses and looks like a real woman. She cooked on her two ring cooker in her tiny kitchen for guests that waited on a long list to be seated in her two covers a night living room restaurant. Yes thats her Rachel Khoo. Remember her ? Well she suggested to me to cook;

Entrée 

Salade tiède de pommes de terre

et pommes avec des miettes de boudin noir

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Plat Principal

Beouf bourguignon avec des quenllese de baguettes

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Served with some buttered steamed fine green beans and a few carrots and of course bread! It wouldnt be true French otherwise!!!

Dessert

Poires Belle Hélène

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Pastis

Cafe

I have to admit these are not my actual photos but those from the recipe book after all how odd would I have looked to my french guest Jean ( who looks remarkably like he could be¬† Johhny Depp’s dad) if he had seen me pause for a photo shot after each course. I was going to take a photo of the empty plates again but then that wouldn’t get you salivating in quiet the same way.¬† Go ahead google the names of each dish and see what they consist of, I already did the hard work shopping and cooking, if you want to try them then get looking ūüėČ

The evening was very nice and great company as was the food even if I am telling you … I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh and the other help was Julia Childs  Рa must see DVD Julia & Julia then you will know who I mean.

Tournesol still smiling

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Well it’s not the same champ we past before that I spoke of but it just proves there is more than just one field left at the end of October this one on the D27, where the leaves are changing colour so beautifully & falling from the trees along with the Conkers and Chestnuts. However the less pretty sunflowers that have been looking to the ground all forlorn and blackened, making oil, in the champ near where we habiter, have aujourd’hui been decapitated and gone to the great oil press in the ciel

Driving over Marrons

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Okay Okay D’Accord I hear you they are ch√Ętaignier which are a lesser quality than marron which is generally a larger fruit and often used marron glac√© is a confit marron that is covered in caramel. However I have stolen the idea for the title from a book I read called ‘Driving Over Lemons’ where Chris Stuart the founding member of ‘Genesis’ the band and original drummer wrote about his early experiences after giving up life as a band member and moving to Andaluc√≠a, Spain. Where he seduces his readers with the charm for example of how its impossible to avoid driving over the fallen lemons that are in abundance. A great read for anyone interested. I highly recommend it.

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So we foraged on Sunday had semi wild raspberries and collected these at the bottom¬† chemin of the hameau calme,¬† where we are staying, first I did a bit of learning to find out about how to tell which is edible (chestnut) and whic is toxic ( horsechestnut or conker¬† as most of us know it and the two easiest ways and plese correct me if I get this wrong are the husk one warty one spiney prickles and the 2eme way is one has a single seed/nut the other has many. I’ll let you do you own research, I cant be held responsible if you eat the wrong one by mistake!!!

Speaking of eating is the

F√äTE DE LA CH√āTAIGNE

Depuis 1963, la f√™te de la ch√Ętaigne et du cidre doux est un rendez-vous incontournable de l’automne en S√©gala. Which is this weekend in Sauveterre de Rouergue ( see 2016/10/15 post of the same name) where we can celebrate with the sweet cider and chestnuts but as a real regional treat we can have

8h : déjeuner tripous Рyum Martin is so not looking forward to that but everyone here is excited and looking forward to it! so will report back on that if we attend.

Staying on the same subject of food & eating: This is the laundry room snack, that hangs above the door of the buanderie.img_1179

Dinner date at Jules gaff

Monday night not having to cooking for me, I donned my heels( still boots!) and a tad mascara as we had been cordially invited for dinner at 7:30 next door at Chez Julie et Andy’s our Landlord and lady. Julie is a teacher, she does a bit down in Toulouse which is about a 1.5-2 hour commute each morning 2×2 days a week teaching french engineering students conversational English and it seems general culture of being a grown up she’s a fellow northerner although they have been here 12 years and call it home. Andy who is also very hand is a tad more quiet than Julie who also runs her two on-site gites and a third on-site that belongs to their besties back in England and maintains several others with Andy when he is not being an odd job man as he put it because he being modest with his renovation work. They have two grown girls un-identical twins Blonde petit Sarah who is full-on chatty and tall dark timid Hannah who are both lovely and as you would expect SOOOOO different. they off to visit Uni’s in Scotland and Ireland during half term Hannah taking her Dad to Ireland, then off to Harry Potter World(they both giggled and got excited every time it was brought up in converstation.Im sure all HP fans understand that ay C?) Sarah and her mum (surprisingly not Mam in Redcar) are off the Aberdeen.¬† The Girls had gon on an overnight school trip with their wellies so it was just the four of us, the table was set with their wedding present dinner service and lovely old-fashioned cutlery.

MENU

aperitif

G&T

Mixte Olives

Vichyssoise (traditionally served cold)

Leek & Potato to me and you served hot

Coq au Vin

Chicken in red wine with mushrooms onions lardons etc

Tarte de Pommes avec Creme Fraise

Needs no explaining РLUSH the base was made similar to a shortbread biscuit.empty-desert-plateThere was not even this much left but it would have been roode to take photos but it all looked and tasted Formidable and Julie had worked hard and did her self proud.  The Gaillac wine flowed withe the conversation and we rolled home ( ok so we walked) over the pebbles after a great evening. Thanks to The Butters.

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So here’s the plat I cooked for Sunday dinner – I used the word ‘cooked’ loosely the Confit du canard (Duck) came from the tin and the Truffade( potatoes with cheese) came out the microwave but I did steam the carottes and haricots verts. It was lush although I couldn’t finish mine but now as I share it I feel I ought to do the walk of shame, however I did take a walk prior to dinner down and around the hamlet.