Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Les Lyonnais Bouchon...
# Sausisson à la Lyonnaise, pommes vapeur,
sauce vin rouge et sa garniture...
# Andouillete à la ficelle, sauce moutarde,
flan de courge et pommes gratin au muscade...
# Côtes du Rhone - Chateau des Amoureuses -
07700 Bourg St Andéol.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
"Remember, remember, the fifth o' November!" went the rhyme I would as a kid chant without ever really knowing or wondering where it came from.
Much later having moved to France and living amongst Catholics as if it makes any difference at all on a day-by-day basis which of course it does not; I encountered an English woman who had with her husband and large brood of kids moved to this same area. She happily announced to a bunch of immigrants to France from eastern Europe, South America and North Africa gathered to learn French in a rundown Collège, that she and her family celebrated Guy Fawkes Night with fireworks and a bonfire.
I distinctly recall the sight of their faces. Some just thought she was stupid. Others were quite horrified that their beloved religion was the subject of such mockery, and even others thought the savagery of the English and their ignorant celebration of that memory quite odd. She was oblivious to those others.
She made an effigy of Mr Fawkes, a Guy; which would be made of old clothes; paper stuffed down an unwanted pair of hubby's jeans, a threadbare pullover stuffed likewise and tied to the "legs". A mask depicting the cartoon face of poor old Mr Fawkes would adorn the apology for a head and the finished item placed atop the bonfire to burn - as Catholics were burned, centuries ago in Merry Olde Englande.
And as the whoosh of the rockets, the cracks and bangs of the fireworks, children's delighted shouts and the crackling roar of the bonfire drew the attention of her neighbours and they peered from the nearby chalets to find out the reasons for this unknown celebration; she could tell them in her gutteral estuary tones...
"It's Guy Fawkes Night innit? We 'ave a bonfire, fireworks and the kids hold sparklers and we 'ave baked beans and sausages, and sometimes spuds cooked in the coals of the bonfire! What?
'ho's 'e? He's the Guy. He's the guy what tried to blow up Parliament...'oh long time ago, now..."
Yeah! 'eesa Cafolik, innee? Yeah, I know you are too...but that's different, innit?"
Yes. 2008; we celebrate the burning to death of a Catholic in 1605 in what is called the Gunpowder Plot.
We've moved on haven't we, we English?
When the reality of that hits home to middle-America; the fly-over States, how will they react?
They've moved on, the Americans. Haven't they?
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Fog across the lake and an invisible Switzerland encouraged a foray into the mountains towards Samoëns and Sixt. We thought it should be sunny further back into the Chablais and away from Lac Léman, the surface size of it holding the damp cloud close to the French shoreline, and the surrounding villages and up onto the plateau de Gavot. A picnic bought at La Croustillante and we were off...
The sunshine hit the high mountain tops and tree line above us although not often penetrating down into the Dranse valley below Morzine. Les Gets was quiet as we drove through and as we descended down towards the Tanninges/Cluses valley floor we were disappointed to see the mist filling the valley and away towards Samoëns and further on towards the mountains surrounding Chamonix.
The weather of late had meant warm autumn sunshine and over the past few weeks it had been dry mostly with little rain. This suggested the waterfalls in the park would be mostly dry but even then a peaceful almost empty valley in which to walk awaited us.
We met a parapentist who had hiked up to a Col and launched himself off. Once he'd landed and was packing his 'chute we asked if he'd had a good flight and he was almost speechless through the beauty and the wonder of it all.
"Grandiose" was all he could say, smiling and wishing us a good sunday walk.
We sat upon rocks in the midst of what at other times of the year would be a raging torrent, and too dangerous to attempt to cross, but today we sat, ate, greeted a cyclist who was carrying his bike to the end, the height of the valley before setting off to ride down. A few other hikers walked past; otherwise all was quiet. And very beautiful.A few more still photos taken show one of the many waterfalls; this one still in action. We'll have to return next May or June to catch the splendour of the snow melt.
Friday, 24 October 2008
Carpaccio della Casa - thinly sliced Turkey with shavings of Truffle and Wild Boar Sausage.
Pappadelle and Wild Boar Sauce.
Ravioli with Ricotta and Sage stuffing with fricassé of Sage leaves in butter.
1/2 bottle of Rosso di Montalcino Vendemmia 2005, Carparzo Montalcino -13%.
Ristretto and square of dark chocolate.
What more could one want for lunch on a warm late summer day in Chianti country?
Thursday, 23 October 2008
There are occasions when I get frustrated with living in France; this large beautiful country with at least three police forces.
However I do not often get angry with it. One of the reasons for that is that La Belle France celebrates its freedom by not watching its people all of the time.
If I were now living in the United Kingdom would I be angry? Would I be just frustrated or would I be frightened? If frightened; then what about?
Perhaps the suggestion, hidden among myriad CCTV cameras all around the country, that a passport would be needed to buy a mobile phone. And it is alleged, all to help fight terrorism and crime.
Britain must get rid of the corrupt Government that is (nu)Labour.
In the last 11 years it has lost freedoms gradually being eroded away in such a manner that many people do not notice.
I read a newspaper piece recently by Anthony Beevor where in a review of a book about the Nazis before and during the war, he suggests the Nazis 'sold' their awful policy to the German people in just such a manner.
If people do not make a stand at a time like this over such a trivial matter when will they stand?
Monday, 20 October 2008
Saturday, 4 October 2008
A few days before it had been like this ...golden leaves and warm autumn days...
but as I'm off to see family and friends in England for the next few days, I thought I might leave these scenes up here for anyone passing ...
Sunday, 21 September 2008
These people are just taking the M2 for FUN!! Saturday and the new M2 is up and running up the hill into town and beyond and at each stop there is a musical event of some sort to inaugurate the new service...a folk group with costumes I could not identify but with most of them playing a variation of the bagpipe. Wonderful sounds of lowly laments.
And there at the Metro stop Riponne - M. Béjart, in the square outside the Musée des Beaux-Arts was an enormous stage onto which Amadou and Mariam were led - and off they went; a free concert to inaugurate a new Metro system...
Brilliant. London might do as well for the Olympics in 2012
Monday, 15 September 2008
The tourist trap restaurants selling beer and table wine and not offering a lot of choice in the food stakes; we sloped off to the little place in the square opposite the church.
A service was in full swing, at least the incense was; the singing of the choir filled the dome and as more people piled into the huge space, they momentarily dropped and crossed themselves while others left, and turned and crossed, dipped a knee towards the altar and the mother.
An elderly woman in her fragile later years, almost tripped as she turned and, finally on level ground her hand came up and her left thumb pressed the 'on' button of her mobile phone which lit, played a tune and told her she was in touch.
Meanwhile across the square a man was waiting outside the restaurant we had chosen. His choice of shirt & pants could not have contrasted more severely with the bunch that gradually assembled in their bored but safe selection of mid-range greys and something else...
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
"Just peel it, without boiling it, slice it up", he said, "and lay it out with a few leaves of basil and olive oil..." His fingers pinched together and he kissed the tips of them, in appreciation of good food, as Italians do.
"Voilà, magnifique," he said... "Bon appetit."
He waved as he turned away and walked back across to his own house and I went back in and showed the 740 gram tomato to Mrs Pondlife and suggested we should eat it the next day.
So the following morning before going off to earn a crust, I weighed it, and it came in at 741 grams; so I peeled the tomato that weighed 741 grams and the juices ran through my fingers and into the bowl over which I was working. Then I began to slice the tomato that weighed 741 grams, and the juices began to run quickly. I opened a bottle of olive oil and took a pinch or two of coarse salt and then went out onto the balcony and pulled several fresh basil leaves off the plant that has provided so much this summer. I tore the leaves and the smell permeated the kitchen and wafted into the living room and rose up and into our bedroom above; the fresh fragrant pungent perfume of basil. I sprinkled then over and between slices of the 741 gram tomato and splashed some more olive oil and a few drops of a good balsamic vinegar I'd just brought back from Italy.
I covered the bowl and put it into the fridge thinking we shall have that tonight with some fresh bread from 'La Croustillante'; Numéro deux fils wouldn't want any as he was going into Geneva to meet with mates and find a pub showing the England v Croatia game. But I was more interested in the taste of tomatoes that can weigh 741 grams...
...and so enthusiastic was I in the taste and the supper to come, that I forgot to take a photograph of it... so you'll just have to believe me. However, I went back the following day and photographed some more tomatoes hanging on the vine, and you can see Aurèle's hand giving scale to the tomatoes hanging, still ripening in the September sunshine.