Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Petit Randonee a Septfonds

A few days ago we managed to have our first walk of the year. Mercifully, the weather has been much cooler than we we expecting and there has been a gentle breeze and even a suggestion of rain. This makes it very pleasant to walk and we did about 7km all around the village of Septfonds. We were hoping to see ye famous old dolmens and amazingly we actually found one, the tomb of the giant. It was really fascinating and as you can see the countryside was looking fresh and beautiful. I love walking because you get to see all the butterflies and plants which you just don't see from a vehicle. The little bees were having a lovely time in the teazles.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Here in Verfeil it is weeing down with rain which is actually rather lovely, as everything is green and fresh and feels cool. The whole village smells of green, wet vegetation. Spike is fascinated by the rain drops; as he is, by and large, an indoor cat he's hardly ever seen rain close up but here when the screen door is up he is virtually outside. It's hilarious watching him as he tries to follow the falling drops. He can't keep up with the speed and it looks as if he is nodding furiously.
Rain aside we have had some good days so far with a combination of productive work and little trips to keep us busy. We've sorted out all the sheets and ordered some more ready for the coming influx of guests, John has been working on his play and Ive been sorting out the WG pottery report. Yesterday we had a trip into St Antonin. It's such a beautiful drive and it always makes us nostalgic because it was the route we took when we first came to see the house in 2003. Verfeil is completely screen by trees as you approach it from the road ans we couldn't see any sign of the house or village until we were here whereupon we fell in love!

St Antonin is the home of the most wonderful soap shop. My dearest friend Joey jokes that I have shares in it because we always take visitors there and because at home in East Harling the bathroom looks like an outpost of the shop. Anyway, as you will see from the pictures the shop is the most marvellous Aladdin's cave filled with glorious scents and colours and as the soap is made with all natural ingredients it does not make me itch! Orders now being taken for such delights as coffee, vanilla, lychee, rose, orange blossom and tutti frutti, all of which smell heavenly and come as liquid or bars. The bathroom has never smelt better!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spike supervising the process

All finished I wonder how long it'll last?

Mmmmmmmmmm or in French Miaaammmmmmmm

All ready to go into pots

Boiling it all up was hot work

Hurrah Hurrah we've arrived, so far I've slept for two and a half days and with the other half day I made jam. The strawberries which grow in this area are amazing. They have an intense and perfumed flavour which actually makes you go mmmmmmm strawberry.

I made 3lb of wonderful deep red deliciousness ready for immediate consumption and hopefully also to take home. Now, those of you who know me will be saying "jam, jam, she doesn't eat sugar so why is she making jam?" Well fyo I made it with fructose, proper pure fruit sugar, none of that nasty glucose fructose syrup malarkey but low GI fruit sugar using 3kg of strawberries and only 500g of fructose, (kindly not the use of European friendly weights!). I added lemon juice and because the fructose is very sweet it really works although you need to keep open pots in the fridge. One teaspoon of this now and again is fine for me so cheers cheers. The kitchen smelt heavenly and Spike only tried to help one, narrowly avoiding a nasty jam burn. Silly boy.

Anyway these very special strawbwrries are called Mara des Bois and they are a cross between a culitvated stawberry and a wild one so they are quite small and quite expenseive, but the nice strawberry man on the ,markewt in St Antonin gave me a good deal on some less than perfect specimens meant for the purposes of jam making. Merci mon brave.

All this french houswifery which has also included washing and waxing the floors...don't ask, attacking the wisteria which has gone mad and defending John and Spike from a hornet has all taken its toll with a touch of Verfeil backache so Im going to lie down now. More anon.