Sunday, 9 July 2017

Although last week we had some cooler weather and much needed rain, the week before was extremely hot and the poor sheep didnt know what to do with themselves their fleeces had grown so long.  Luckily our sheep shearer Adele was shearing at a neighbouring farm and took some time out to come over and shear our little flock.  She said they were very nice sheep.  The sheep seem much happier now although the flies do seem to bother them now they dont have their fleeces to protect them.

Aimee was also feeling the heat, she had a really thick long coat, so we took her along to a dog clipping service up in Corlay and had her coat cut off.  She looks so cute now with her moustache and eyebrows and her fur which is obviously her undercoat is like velvet.  Nigel keeps teasing her asking her what she's done with our Aimee.  I think we are getting used to how she looks now but it took a little time.

Veggie Patch Update

 As can be seen our veggie plot is coming along nicely, flowers on all the beans, swede and turnip tops standing up well, the brocolli is doing fine, sweet potato plants spreading all over and we have had our first harvest of mangetout! and very tasty they were too!

Friday, 16 June 2017


Every so often we love a pastie so Nigel sets to and makes them for us, he quite often uses the ready made pastry you get in the supermarket for pies and quiches but always makes his own pastry for pasties and I must say his pastry is good!  We've found the best cut of beef to use for pasties here in France is either Bavette or Hampe which is the french equivalent of skirt (I think).  Beef is very expensive here and quite often really tough so we very rarely have a beef roast but have found by soaking in brine overnight it helps to tenderise it.  This week in the SuperU they had packs of cheval meat (horse) which we really like and it is more than half the price of beef, so we got a pack for 4.50 euros which had 5 slices which will give us 3 meals (the extra slice will be cut up and put in a stir-fry).  Another page I have joined on Facebook is Surviving In France On A Budget and they have some really good tips and recipes.

The Kohlrabi Blunder

 Luckily we were able to laugh about it, Nigel so carefully tended our Kohl Rabi seedlings and they seemed to be growing really well.  Then Nigel happened to notice other KR growing around the garden and it turned out he had been nurturing common groundsel plants instead of KR - WEEDS!.  Never mind, like I say we had a laugh and now have another space in the patch to plant something different.  Probably put in some more beetroot which always grow well and we both enjoy eating.
The rest of the patch is progressing, slowly but surely, although the Spaghetti Squash never showed so Nigel has resown some more seeds, fingers crossed!  The swedes, broccoli and mangetout are doing really well and the six runner beans that came through are doing quite well, Nigel has put some more in the spaces in the hope they will show.  My brother Bobby kindly sent us a packet of runner bean seads from the UK.  I've joined a Gardening In France page on Facebook and the pictures other people are putting on of their potagers and the veg they are already picking is a bit deflating, but then I tell myself we were late in starting to plant plus a lot of these people live further down in the warmer parts of France.  We've both agreed we need to give the plot a good fertilize before next years planting.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

English Bread

Bread is unfortunately one of my biggest downfalls, I love bread, any sort of bread, especially french bread.  I don't miss too many foods from the UK but I have to say I do often miss a fresh baked bloomer or split tin.  We had a lovely meal yesterday evening, pan fried haddock (dry fried in seasoned flour) with new potatoes and peas and sweetcorn (my faves).  After cleaning my plate I said to Nigel the only thing missing was a piece of bread and butter.  Lo and behold when I got up this morning there was Nigel kneading away at a lump of bread dough, he had found a Paul Hollywood bloomer recipe on line.  I've just had a warm crusty end spread with butter and it was heaven!  Gorgeous, I must say it is Nigel's best bread loaf to date!   He's such a treasure my hubby!!

Biscuit O'clock

Dogs are such creatures of habit aren't they, our two get five dog biscuits each twice a day, once in the morning and once early evening (they get fed their main meal around lunch time).  They both know when its "biscuit oclock" as Nigel calls it because they pester (especially Joli) and when Nigel comes out with the biscuits they have their specific places where they sit and Aimee always expects a little tease play with Nigel taking them away and giving them back etc.  Billie has recently decided she should join in and have biscuits too, the first time she had a sniff at Aimee's biscuits she was put in her place and snarled off, Joli, being Joli and soft as anything, moved away to let Billie get in there and I swear if she could have got one in her mouth she would have eaten one.  So now at biscuit oclock Billie has her own little pile of Dreamies cat treats (on the settee where she sits).  This morning when he had finished his biscuits Joli came over to have a sniff at Billie's and was sent away with a swipe of her paw, claws out!  He really is a big softie!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Yorkshire Jam Cake

We have loads of fruit in the freezer from the garden which we are trying to use up, loganberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, so Nigel decided to use some loganberries in this Yorkshire Jam Cake.  It was a favourite of my mum's and the recipe Nigel used was an old handwritten one which I think came from my auntie Sylvia up in Scarborough.  However here is a link to a very similar recipe on  Cant wait till after dinner to dig in, will be gorgeous with a spoon of greek yoghurt.