Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A little home grown...

A Little plant of chili cayenne bought in spring and nurtured on the balcony, north facing, breezy, and hit by heatwave in July. 

Fed and watered and placed in the kitchen window I was delighted as I saw a chili begin to turn red. I didn't think it would before the weather changed. 

As it turned out late August warm sunshine pouring into the kitchen bathed the plant and more chilies turned a beautiful scarlet. 

Tonight one large red ripe and two smaller green were cut from the plant, finely sliced and mixed with shallots, some garlic, grated ginger and finely diced chicken. And shallow fried basil leaves. 

Kai Pad Bai Kaprow - minced chicken stir fried with basil - was the result. 


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mountain sky

Dramatic sky over Mont Caesar... The gathering storm puts me off my intended mountain bike ride. The thunder thumps and echoes about me off the mountains. 

Far off the sky threatens and cloud creeps over Mont Billiat enveloping sentinel pines; elsewhere they stand out amongst their deciduous neighbours, gradually yellowing in the autumnal altitude.  

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Short Climb to Chalets d'Oche...

Even in the depths of summer a period of  prolonged rain in mountains starts to give a sense of decay. Some sycamore leaves fall slowly and silently like large butterflies and come to rest on the long leaves of lilies hanging heavily over torrents. 

Reminiscent of spring the sound of tumbling streams in full flow echoes throughout the mirky woods. 

A beautiful dog-rose illuminates the dark of its surrounding foliage. We are alone on the descending path; the long lines of hikers still climbing their mountain, others heading down out of the cloudy summits to lunch.
Our path continues with a view across the pine tops towards Mont Benand and its dotted chalets. The bluer sky lighting the lake some distance away, we are still under the misty clouds and watch as a large bird of prey, brown with light golden feather flash along the tail, no real fingers of splayed wing-tip feathers. But neither the spread tail of a buzzard, more the closed thinner type of a kestrel. Mental notes made to check it out later, we continue down and head home after a well earned enjoyable Léman bière at La Fétiuière. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Fête de la Musique - Bordeaux

Marching band pausing en route to entertain Saturday shoppers...

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A delightful, delicious wine; Menetou-Salon

Last November 1st a delightful elderly French couple, H & L, came to dinner. We have known these elegant lovely people for about fifteen years. He helped me out of a problem spot with a madman many years ago. 

That evening we had soup and a very slow roasted shoulder of lamb. 4 to 5 hours if I recall. They loved it; 5 months later they remembered exactly what it was I had cooked. As they came into the house that cold winter's night H presented me with a bottle of wine he said he bought from a 'producteur' he knew.  It was a 2011 Mademoiselle T, from Tailler, a Menetou-Salon from the Loire. A sauvignon-pinot noir blanc. 

H said he and L did not drink white wine, but we being English he knew we were likely to. That surprised us. Nevermind. But from experience I do not care for Loire wines having in the past found them too acidic for my palate. I accept of course it may be no more than my poor choices. 

That evening we drank red wine with the roasted lamb although  I have no note as to what it was. Rioja if I did my job properly. 

Last weekend we went to H & L's flat with commanding views over the lake and as we settled down apéros were offered and I chose a glass of white wine. As it was brought H said it was a wine he bought from a 'producteur' he knew. In the Loire near Sancerre. I took a mouthful and tasted a beautiful crisp flowery fresh wine that just delighted the tastebuds. Was this, I asked, the same wine he brought to us several months before?

Menetou-Salon? His eyes lit up and he fetched the bottle. The very same. You like it, he asked and I had to admit I had not drunk the bottle but put it into my bursting wine cupboard. He understood this perfectly; the opportunity had not offered itself to drink it. No accompanying meal had been researched, no idea of what to eat with it. But that will soon be put right. 

At the end of a good evening we rose to leave and H asked, "would you like a doggie?"

He returned with the bottle half empty-half full and putting it into a plastic bag handed it to me. I Iater finished it at home. Delicious. 

This wine will be sought soon. May have to stop nearby to Menetou-Salon on a future drive back to England. 

A special find is this Mademoiselle  T. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Few Days in Provence.

Twisted trunks and gnarled branches cling to the early season and already dry soils just above the celebrated sea port of St. Tropez. 

The port and town has so far managed to fend off the ugly hand of someone's idea of progress keeping the sloping lanes among the old houses desirable still. 

The money though still continues to float on the calmed waters of the Vieux Port. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013