Sunday 24 September 2017

Mosaic Monday # 54 = that was the week that was

So, that was the week that……….  it never seemed to stop raining with the odd thunderstorm thrown in for good measure.
Maybe that's why the kitchen has been the heart of the home a little bit more than usual, well when it's wet outside and you can't play in the garden there is only one thing to do. 

Keep Calm & Bake!
Let me tell you about my new toy the Panasonic bread maker, why I left it so long to get one of these beauties astounds me.
All I have to do is put flour, salt, sugar, butter and water into the bread pan, tip yeast into the dispenser, put any extra ingredients such as poppy, sesame, pumpkin and linseeds into another dispenser, choose the menu setting and loaf size, set the timer and head off to bed.
Next morning the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts up the stairs, a great start to our day. (Please excuse me if in my excitement I’m preaching to those of you who regularly perform this magic in your own kitchens on a daily basis but I am quite besotted).
The SP took me rather seriously when I said I needed to order organic flour over the internet.
The supply chest.
Sweet Sarah @ Hyacinths For the Soul recently shared the Wimberley Valley  Gourmet pecan and banana bread recipe. I’m afraid that pecan oil hasn’t yet made it to a supermarket near me (I daren’t mention it to the SP or else there’ll be another big box arriving from Amazon) so I used walnuts and walnut oil instead,  

A delicious sweet treat we’ll be enjoying often, perfect either with morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Backtracking slightly, in August our neighbour very kindly brought me a large bag of plums from his garden which I turned into jam.
A few days ago he brought apples, such a nice young man!
It took just 6 of them to make an apple cake and four jars of spicy apple, raisin & tomato chutney to enjoy on curry nights.
For the chutney I used a recipe from Mary @ One Perfect Bite, a food blogger whom I’ve followed for many years. You can get the recipe here (or from my Pinterest board) if you’d like to give it a go, so easy and very tasty.
And finally from the kitchen… on Thursday I bought a brioche loaf from some children who were out  in the village raising funds for the Cartigny L'Epinay/Verlar Twinned Town committee. On Friday 4 apples and a handful raisins turned the brioche loaf into a delicious pain perdu (bread and butter pudding).
A large dollop of crème fraiche and dessert was ready to serve..
One last thing…………just wanted mention a book that kept me company during the rainy afternoons this week “The Chemist” by Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series).
I highly recommend it, the SP enjoyed it too.

It was a good week for satisfying appetites……………………………..

Sunday 17 September 2017

Mosaic Monday alert - fail to prepare, prepare to fail

This quote is one I used often whilst organising events for the Quimper  Club it's a quote I should have remembered when preparing my MM post this week.
Wifi gremlins have struck the Presbytere and we cannot connect to the internet.
I'm using my iPhone now to let you know that there is a problem and unless it is fixed today (our service provider can't be sure it will be) Mosaic Monday will not be happening tomorrow.
So sorry!
I hope to be back later to say as is well and that MM will go ahead as usual.
Watch this space!

Sunday 10 September 2017

Mosaic Monday # 53 - life lately.............

There's been a shift in the rhythm of life lately, we no longer wake at first light to a boisterous dawn chorus instead it's the Angelus bell ringing out loud and clear at 7.00 a.m. that disturbs our sleep. One look out of the bedroom window confirms that it's still dark outside and there's a distinct chill in the air. Autumn is on her way.

And so our day begins, tea is sipped from pretty Emma Bridgewater mugs, newspapers are opened and the radio is tuned to BBC Radio 4.
Elsewhere in the world in Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States, life lately has become a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of people. Their lives devastated by hurricanes and tropical storms tearing their homes apart and making them refugees in hours if not minutes.
In Florida 7 million people have been ordered to evacuate out of the path of Hurricane Irma. With Hurricane Jose fast on Irma's heels it may be some time before they can return home.
Fires continue to ravage the Columbia River Gorge National Park in Oregon meanwhile California has declared a state of emergency in three counties as wildfires burn uncontrollably.
On the other side of the world Nepal, India and Bangladesh have experienced the worst flooding in over a decade with thousands of people killed, homes and livelihoods decimated.
Another refugee crisis looms.
In the face of all these man made and natural disasters it's hard to write a frivolous little blog post about life here in my Normandy bubble.

Some of our friends who join us for Mosaic Monday each week live in Oregon, Texas, Florida, India and the Caribbean, my thoughts are with them and their families,
I so hope that they're all safe.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Mosaic Monday - # 52 - what I did this summer

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone and welcome back to Mosaic Monday.

I'm so happy to be back hosting Mosaic Monday once again after taking a short break, can't wait to hear about what you all got up to last month.
I wonder if like me you kicked back, relaxed and enjoyed some down time (very much needed by me after our hectic but oh so happy family vacation in Florida in July).
In which case I want to hear all about how your gardens grew; children and grandchildren's visits; cakes you baked and books you read - anything at all to do with la vie quotidienne/daily life.
Perhaps August was the month you took a trip to the coast or the mountains or the country or maybe you travelled to a foreign land?
The possibilities are endless.
So come on, let's share those memories of summer.
Bring along your photo mosaics, your beverage of choice and settle in for a catch up.
The highlight of our August staycation in Normandy for me was the tour of le Château de Colombières  that the SP and I took last week.

You may remember that I featured the Chateau on a list of interesting places to visit in our area on a blog post several months ago.
If you missed that post just click here to see it.

I am so pleased that we finally were able to take the tour, our guide (the young woman in the white coat in the photo below) was very informative and told some interesting stories about the Chateau and it's history.

As I'm sure you can tell from the photographs it was a wet afternoon, umbrellas and wellies were necessary accoutrements along with a warm jacket.

Unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside the main rooms of the Chateau, so I can only include photographs of the Chateau's exterior, it's gardens and chapel interior in my mosaics.

There were some very well behaved young children in our group for part of the tour and the guide was so good at involving them in the Q & A sessions throughout, especially in the Chapel that once was the Guard room.

However, there is a video on the Chateau's website which shows the Chateau off in all it's glory, be sure to have the volume turned up!
Click here to see it on youtube