Showing posts with label Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wine. Show all posts

11 July 2015

Market day

I haven't been to Piegut- Pluvier market for a long time.
It's rated as being the best market in our area and stall holders come
 from far and wide, it's always very busy especially during the summer season;
so we like to arrive early. It's about a 25 min. drive from where we live.

 Most times I go to the market with our visitors or a friend.
It's not very often Mr France comes with me, but as we were up early
 he came with me. Here he is with my straw market basket.

We started off buying lots of fruit.
The Apricots were almost as big as the peaches.

I needed to stock up on fresh garlic so searched out my favourite stall.
It's always much cheaper to buy them loose.
I only buy the platted strung garlic as gifts.
Next I wanted summer fresh vegetables.
I'll be making summer salads with the Haricot vert beans.

This is how I make a quick simple bean salad.
Top & tail the beans. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
cook the beans just enough to still have a crunch, about 7 to 10 mins.
drain in a colander, then plunge them straight away into iced water,
this will keep them green.
Put the beans into a serving dish, and drizzle some good quality olive oil over them,
  add some thinly sliced spring onions, toss tog. season with ground black pepper.
If you make a large amount, they will keep for a few days stored
in a sealed plastic container, in the fridge.

I noticed a lot of the stalls I used to visit were not there anymore,
so I decided to look around to find a new source for good fresh veg.
I saw a queue, at a  stall I'd never seen before, this is always a good sign.
 It was all Bio vegetables, which is usually more expensive, but their prices 
were very competitive. I had a peep first and all their produce looked top quality 
so I tagged on at the end of the queue. I noticed most of the people had
crumpled brown paper bags in their hands, which I assumed were from
their last visit and they must be regular customers. 
So not only were the producers Eco friendly all their regular clients were too.
So I'll certainly be buying my vegetables from there again.

 I bought a kilo of plum tomatoes with the intention of slow roasting them,
but I made a tomato salad drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled 
with fresh basil with a crunchy baguette for lunch,
I wish I'd bought more. I'll have to buy more next week .

My last purchase were olives to have with our evening aperitif.

So many types so I left that purchase for Mr France to choose.

He chose Greek and Moroccan, black olives

 There were lots of wine stalls, we only looked this time.
maybe next week we'll try wine from another region.

 Vin Rosé seemed to be the most popular.

I was pleased with the fresh fruit & vegetables I bought.
 Here's my straw market basket full of all things fresh.

I hope you enjoyed joining me along with Mr France at our favourite market.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

30 November 2014

Advent Calendar idea.

I've often mentioned my love of Danish decorating
These photos of my grandchildren were taken a good few years ago
when they were little toddlers, during one of our Christmas holiday visits.
and the wreath I previously showed you here

Are you looking for a new and original idea for an advent calendar ?
 I've just had this idea shared on my face-book page from Monica a Danish friend
 so if you're stuck for ideas how about trying this.
A little parcel for everyday wrapped and numbered,
then hung on the wall, simple but original.

She has a lovely boutique in Copenhagen
and also sells on line here
there is a special 20 % offer on during the advent period.
Take a look for gifts a little bit different and all Danish products.

I'm looking forward to the Christmas fair....
I wonder if we'll have a white Christmas this year ?

This is where I get to taste warm Glogg and
æbleskiver ( warm doughnut balls, served with icing sugar and a strawberry sauce.

As I will be spending Christmas in Denmark this year
my decorations will be just a little something here and there.

Similar to this.

Recently I was doing some re-arranging and brought this cup & saucer set out from a cupboard
where it's been hidden for years, I put it on display in the entrance hall. I know it's delicate
but it's so pretty I've decided I should use it.
If I was at home this would be  the cup I'd choose for Christmas morning breakfast.

Some gifts to share.

An advent wreath, picture from
Isabellas Christmas magazine

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian

10 September 2012

Vin de Noix - Aperitif.

I'm now back home after a busy summer, making sure  all of our visitors had an enjoyable holiday in our gites So now I can get my life back to  normal, what ever normal is.
When we moved here to France which is now 23 yrs ago, our English friends asked what will you do with yourselves when you get to retirement age? That's another thing, what is retirement age? I used to think it was when you reached 60 and stopped working, and you where automatically slotted into the category of being too old to do most things. Well I've well past that age & everyday we are doing things I had never dreamt I would be doing.
This summer I had the chance to experience making Vin de Noix, which is an aperitif in the Dordogne region of France, which is well known for it's Walnut trees.
While I was holidaying at my daughters her 'Belle Mere' (mother in law) was also visiting, so we spent a very pleasant time together and picked some walnuts from the trees in my daughters garden, then she showed me how to make  Vin de Noix. This is her old recipe which was passed down from her grand mother, which I will translate for you. There are lots of variations of making Vin de Noix, but I like the idea of using an old traditional method. 
Maybe next year if you get the chance to find some walnuts at a market or be fortunate enough to have a walnut tree of your own, harvest them while they are still green, which is very important! you might like to try my now cherished French recipe.

Recipe for Vin de Noix


3 litres of GOOD red wine.
1 Litre l'eau de Vie (alcohol des prune 45 deg )
20 Green walnuts
750 gr. sugar

Chop the green walnuts into small pieces & put into a wide necked glass container. If you can find an old flagon or demi /john similar to the one shown in the photos which we used, all the better. add the  alcohol and leave for 1 week. Then add the red wine and leave to macerate for 45 days. Now add the sugar and give it a swirl from time to time to make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved. Pass the liquid through a filter taste & if necessary add more sugar  to your required taste. Leave in a dark place, the longer you can leave it the better the taste.

Just a tip. use gloves when cutting the walnuts as the tanning will stain your hands. or do as shown in the pics. put plastic bags over your hands in true French country style, also do not use a wooden chopping board as it will be no use after.

l'eau de Vie

Cleaning the demijohn


The walnuts are usually ready at the end of June around Saint Jean’s feast day 24th June which is the correct time, specified by French tradition. Important thing  about this recipe is unripe walnuts, still in the green outer casing and feel soft when pierced with a pin.  If you're reading this in the autumn, you're too late to make it this year. But you’ll know how to make it  for next year. Bon chance.

Chopping the walnuts.

 Vin De noix

Good health, Cheers, a la votre.

A bientot

Barbara Lilian

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