Sunday 30 September 2018

Mosaic Monday # 103 - a postcard from Tenerife

That's right I'm still here in sunny Tenerife, enjoying spending quality time with the Senior Partner at the Royal Hideaway, Corales Beach Hotel.
Here's a peek…………………………..

Back next week.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Mosaic Monday # 102 - postcards from Normandie

For Mosaic Monday #100 Nick V linked a post from his NixPixMix blog which he called "Australia I.D."
I wonder if you also saw it whilst MM blog hopping? If not just follow the link above.
I was quite taken by this project so trawled through my massive pile of photos to come up with a tribute to Normandy.
Of course once I started playing with the postcard idea I had to send you one from the seaside.
M'selle Fleur did consider going in for a swim with her new friend last week but decided getting her paws wet was enough to be going on with.
Talking about beaches...…………….. 
The Senior Partner are heading off tomorrow to find us some sunshine again, this time to Tenerife in the Canary islands staying at the Royal Hideaway Corales Beach Hotel in Costa Adeje.
It is our first visit and we're looking forward to experiencing the island with a ride up to the summit of Mount Tiede in a cable car or possibly taking a boat trip and hopefully encountering dolphins and whales.
I'll still be hosting Mosaic Monday for the two weeks that we'll be away, keeping to the new timetable as it seems from your comments last week that it's working for most of you, however it could take me a while to get around to visiting your blogs.

Sunday 16 September 2018

Mosaic Monday #101 - a case of deja vu

I was up in my attic craft room/office last Friday morning prepping blog posts, as you do, when the Senior Partner yelled (it's a big house) up the staircase "We've got another visitor - I'm off to the farm"!
Grabbing my iPhone I ran (walked steadily) down three flights of stairs to see who it was.
Surprise, surprise.
Remember the heifer that jumped the fence two weeks ago to munch on our lawn?
Well, she was back.
A little while later "the Farmer" and his cowman arrived to assess the situation.
A walk of the perimeter revealed just one place where she could have jumped the fence this time and the decision was taken to return her to the field via the same route.
She didn't want to leave as you can see in the mosaic below.
Meanwhile her herd mates took notes.
???Question for you???
I recently changed the hours of MM to offer the chance of linking up on Sunday rather than on Tuesday. From what I've seen so far that doesn't seem to suit your schedules as much as I hoped it would. So, my question to all MM'ers is shall we go back to Monday 7.00 am to Tuesday 7.00 pm (French time) or stay with the new timetable?
Either way works for me so please let me know which you'd prefer.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Mosaic Monday # 100 - playing with my food

These past few days I've spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen attempting to turn the fruit which we received from GN last week into something temptingly edible.
What to do with grapes, I asked myself. Grape jam/jelly came the answer from
I had a packet of jam making sugar in the pantry so thought I'd give it a try, cooked the grapes as directed and drained the juice. Grape juice, sugar and lemon juice boiled together until setting point reached.
Well, that didn't work.
The result could best be described as a very sweet grape coulis.
Here's a link to the recipe.
grape jelly
Let me know if it works for you!
Next I made a tarte tatin using those lovely looking red apples and a recipe from Raymond Blanc.
The end result didn't look very much like the photograph on the website but it did taste good served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Not to be defeated I tweaked an apple crumble recipe that appeared on my FB page one morning, using walnuts in place of pecans and baking the mixture in several small dishes instead of one large one.
My thinking being that I could freeze some of them for another time instead of having to throw half of a large one away because, after all, we are only two people with normal appetites and the dog won't eat sweets.
As with the tart tatin it wasn't a pretty pudding but it was edible.
Thinking about it later I decided that it was probably the dark muscovado sugar that turned both desserts such a dark, unappetising colour.
My final attempt at using up the apples was a success!
If only I'd thought to turn all the apples into apple sauce I could have saved myself an awful lot of time and effort.

I did think twice about blogging my less than perfect culinary concoctions this week but one thing I do know is that even though not everything in life turns out the way we would like it to it doesn't mean that we can't have fun in the process!

Sunday 2 September 2018

Mosaic Monday # 99 - bucolic Normandy

According to the Meteo Autumn officially began on September 1st and certainly here in Normandy we are beginning to notice some changes.
Although the weather is still dry there is a definite chill in the air in the early mornings and quite often there's fragrant wood smoke on the breeze as folk start to light cosy log fires and wood burning stoves in the evening.
As I went to make a cup of tea one afternoon recently I got quite a shock when I looked out of the window and saw a cow happily munching away on the lawn that last year replaced my vegetable garden.

Earlier in the day the farmer who's cows graze the fields surrounding our home had transferred some to another field and apparently after they left this one decided to go walkabout. The SP drove up to the farm to let him know that we had an escapee in the garden and he swiftly arrived with a couple of helpers to escort the heifer back to where she belonged.
I did video the procession as they headed back to the field but sadly it has since been deleted from my phone, the next morning I saw that she was back with her friends looking none the worse for her adventure.
Our generous neighbour called round on Thursday afternoon bringing with him masses of juicy red grapes from the vines in his garden. 
As a thank you I gave him a jar of the plum and preserved lemon chutney which I'd made the previous week.
Trying to explain to a non English speaking Frenchman just what chutney is was extremely difficult.
"You can eat it with cheese," I said. "Quoi?" he replied.
"It's good with curries", I said. "Quoi?" was again the response.
"Cuisine Indienne" I replied. "Je n'aime pas le curry" he stated!
At this point the SP interjected with the suggestion that he buy some English cheddar cheese at the supermarche and make a sandwich!
You can imagine how well that suggestion was received.
The GN (generous neighbour) then asked if I wanted any apples this year and no sooner had I said "Oui" he promptly drove back across the lane to his house, returning with a very big bag of them.
This time I had a better "swap" to barter with - a large bottle of pommeau, an apple aperitif, produced by a farmer friend of ours.
"C'est pommeau Normand?" the GN inquired, "Mais oui, bien sûr" was my reply, no further explanation was required!

As Keats once said...……………..
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;