A changing visual diary of the seasonal fare and
daily life here…
From The Forest
9th January. I am never quite sure what I will find in the forest.
Looking for a rock shelter, instead I unearthed shoes and boots…
the era is not yet clear, nor why they are buried behind the belvédère.
It’s possible they are part of a deposit of household waste, yet in
a border area that has seen so much ‘passage’ – those exiled during the war
– there may well be another story…
Tuesday 15th January. It’s been snowing for a few days and the peaks
have received a heavier dusting today, as temperatures once again
fluctuate… from the high of 23 last week to 3-4 degrees today… snow
flurries turned the view into a snow globe as the air was filled with
whirling flakes. punctuated by spells of sun.
Thursday 31st January. A magical day that started with a walk around the belvédère…
In The Garden
The leeks have now finished and I have just picked the last celeriac,
and herbs to dry, before another frost arrives. Garden beds have been
mulched with a thick natural humus of leaves and decaying branches.
Thursday 31st January. Surprises as warm weather once again takes
over and vegetables are saved from frost and snow…
Exploring The Region
1st January. Travelling to the mountains of Cerdagne to celebrate
the New Year with friends and family.
From Further Afield
Enjoying the unpasturised goats cheese from a farm in St Maure
de Touraine (near Tours) fresh, and then another slightly aged
and coated with ash. Typically the centre of the bouche, or log,
contains a fine natural straw, engraved with details of its origins.
Delicious ‘tuiles’ of orange flavoured chocolate with tiny
crunchy pieces of caramel embedded, a speciality of the region
Drinking the rosehip syrup that was made at the beginning of winter,
once open the bottle lasts up to a month in the fridge,
Experimenting with brioche I have yet to perfect the texture, but it’s
still delicious toasted for breakfast.
Artichokes are in season – at the market rather than in our garden –
and I have been trying them cooked different ways: roasted with
garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice; and lightly blanched in
boling water with lemon juice, dunked in iced water and served
with a lemon and parsley vinaigrette, as leaves are torn off by
hand and the tender base of them eaten, down to the inner petals,
before removing the fluffy thistle section and finishing the rest
of the base.
As temperatures rise above 21 degrees, we have been able to enjoy
the warmth of the sun, even dining outside…
22nd January. And yes, they have plummetted again as the icy ‘Tremontane’
blows in from the north, and Mina is once again curled up near the fire…
31st January. As it finally warms up, Mina accompanies me on
The orchid in the kitchen window…
Crocus flowers are earlier than expected, and open as the sun’s
rays touch the pot.
Growing on the front terrace, also content with the return of
our usual Mediterranean climate.
Picked from the vegetable garden, the marigolds have lasted
through cold conditions.