Sunday, 22 October 2017

Mosaic Monday # 58 - fall foliage, fungi & family

Looking back through October posts from previous years I noticed a theme...............conkers/horse chestnuts; leaves and mushrooms.


October in Normandy is special to us because that's the month, 21 years ago, that we moved into this old house.

early June 2017

The Virginia creeper that covers the front of the house is green no longer.
It seems that almost overnight the leaves have turned a million shades of red and gold, they remind me of how the house looked the day we drove up with the removal van close behind.


The horse chestnut tree in the back garden has once again, true to form, literally covered the grass with fallen leaves and conkers.


I brought some indoors to display in an antique pewter dish on the hall table.


After a couple of days of back breaking raking and wheel barrowing the Senior Partner and I called it a day because today our brother in law and nephew are travelling from the UK to help us get the garden sorted before winter arrives.
Hopefully the weather will be kind to us as we'll need to have a garden bonfire before they leave.
There are also plans to empty one or two attics of unwanted possessions junk, the garage space will be getting an overhaul too, if time allows.

A large white van has been rented, they'll collect it in the morning, to take everything to the dechetterie (recycling).
We're also expecting deliveries of gravel for the driveway and pine bark mulch for the flower beds.
It's going to be a very busy week, hopefully I'll have some photos to share next time.

A selection of fungi found growing at the bases of trees, in the grass and also on the compost heap this week.
Although they look pretty harmless some of them might not be so the closest I got was to capture them with my iPhone, they will not be making an appearance in the kitchen!

Wish we had a sweet chestnut and not a horse chestnut tree in the garden, at least then we'd be able to eat them.


À bientôt.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Mosaic Monday # 57 - discovering Quimper pottery with friends

Fall is the season of the year that collectors of French faience who are members of the Quimper Club International enjoy the most because that's when they hold their annual meeting.
Although I'm no longer an active member of the Club myself I am still close to many of the friends that I made whilst attending meetings.
During the years that I was a member I travelled to Nice, France; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL;  and Washington, DC to name a few.
We visited museums; cathedrals; pottery factories and art galleries, one year we even toured a Plantation in Georgia!
Wherever we went there were amazing collections of Quimper pottery to see when fellow collectors graciously opened their homes to us.


You can see some of the posts about those trips by clicking here for Savannah, 2010 and Dallas, 2009 here

In 2017 the venue for the annual meeting was a little out of the ordinary when members were invited to join an 11 day cruise, sailing from Montreal/Quebec City to Boston/New York, with post cruise visits to view collections in Connecticut and New York.



The meeting ended just yesterday and what an incredible trip that must have been, I'm so looking forward to hearing all about it from my friends.


If you'd like to know more about Quimper pottery you can visit the blog lovequimper which I managed for several years but which has sadly now closed or visit the QCI web page.



Last week we toured the Maison du Biscuit together and I teased you with a giveaway for this lovely torchon recette de macarons.


Just 10 names went into the draw and the winner is Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
please let me have your address, Pat,
so that I can get this little sweetie off to you as soon as possible.






Sunday, 8 October 2017

Mosaic Monday # 56 - La Maison du Biscuit

On Tuesday, as the weather was fine the Senior Partner and I decided to ditch the idea of working in the garden and go visit La Maison du Biscuit  which is situated about an hours drive north from us on the Contentin Peninsula in the small hamlet of Sortosville-en-Beaumont.
Our friend, Sean the Gardener, had raved about this unique one of a kind café and food emporium when he was over here working last month.
He said he knew it was the kind of place that I would love.
A House of Biscuits, really, what's not to love?

As you approach the building the eye is drawn to the beautifully crafted façade which resembles a street of small independent shops as they might have appeared at the turn of the 20th century.


However, the construction is not as old as it first appears.
Although generations of the Burnouf Family have been in business in Normandy as bakers and patissiers since 1903 La Maison du Biscuit was established in 1990 by descendants of the original baker, Paul Burnouf.




Click here to read the family's full history.







Once inside the visitor is free to wander through the various downstairs rooms which are filled to bursting with delicacies of every sort.
It isn't possible to tour the production kitchens due to health and safety regulations but everywhere you turn you can see the results of their endeavours.


Caramel cookies using caramel d'Isigny the birthplace of Walt Disney's ancestors!



The décor is amazing, it's as if the eclectic furniture and ephemera of several turn of the century homes has been gathered together to furnish the spaces, creating lovely vignettes and displaying the goods for sale "the old fashioned way".







I really enjoyed showing you around the Maison du Biscuit today, hope all the photographs didn't exhaust you?


Tell you what let's head to the tearoom for some tea and biscuits whilst I tell you about a little giveaway attached to this post.......................................


One of my collages today is of three recipes, handwritten in chalk on black slate.
If you mention in your comment what those three recipes are I'll put your name into the draw for this pretty "torchon recette de macaron" (tea towel printed with a recipe for macaroons) which came home with me after our visit.


The winner's name will be announced in next weeks MM post.
Bon chance!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Mosaic Monday # 55 - S is for..............................

Trying to be organised and not swamped by the enormous number of photographs sitting on my phone I recently sifted through them looking for blog inspiration and discovered that in September the subjects that most caught my eye began with the letter S!
Just a coincidence, I wonder?
S is for September and also for sky; sunrise; sea; sand; ships (well boats really); shellfish and shadows.
Here are just a few............................


shadows
on a house wall, a field of maize and a simple stone calvaire


at this time of year we experience stunning sunrises

sea fishing 2 ways
shellfish 2 ways

After being mainly wet and cold September finally treated us to some lovely fine days which we made the most of.
Walks on the beach and al fresco dining are two of our favourite pastimes, in picturesque Port en Bessin we often indulge in both.


17th September saw the start of the hunting season here in Dept. 14, Calvados.
As I've often mentioned before M'selle Fleur is not a fan of loud noises so we are trying our very best to avoid country walks which we know from past experience will make life less stressful.
I captured this big blue sky on a visit to a quieter, more peaceful, location earlier in the month.


A favourite lane to wander down in summer but definitely one to be avoided when the shooters are out, no matter how inviting the shadows may be.


and that's a wrap for September.