Monday, 22 September 2014

Look, Up in the Sky...

This fascinating cloud formation sailed over the Chateau Gaudrelle caves on Friday evening. They looked ominous, and Alexandre Monmousseau, the winemaker, who had been all smiles previously, regarded them with some unease. He's holding off harvesting until 26 September at the earliest, trying to gain as much ripeness as possible with the warm, sunny weather and the north-easterly breeze. The recent few days of storms have had a bit of useful rain, but otherwise been just a lot of sound and light. The big worry is hail, but very few places in the Touraine are reporting any hailstones falling. These clouds are, I think, mammatus, which means they look threatening, but are harmless (although the clouds they form from may not be).

Then the next day, over our house, Simon took a series of photo of lightning. There was lots of rolling thunder, but not much rain out of this. One lighting bolt lasted over 2 seconds which is longer than his camera will take a series of shots - this is the middle second of that one bolt of lightning.
A la cuisine hier: Muesli, made from mixed rolled cereals (4 flocons, in the bio section of Auchan), sultanas, toasted almonds, chopped dried apricots and linseed.

A bin bag full of homegrown chard, blanched and frozen.

A dozen homegrown pears, poached whole in white wine syrup and bottled (because I've run out of freezer containers).

A chicken, pork and mushroom pie which Simon pronounced delicious (and was so filling he nearly couldn't eat dessert!) Served with spicy red cabbage.
Jim's Cancer Fundraising Ride: Jim Budd will be cycling through the Touraine today on his fundraising mission for teenage cancer. Get out there and support him in person on the cycle path if you can, and even better, make a donation to either the Teenage Cancer Trust or the Fondation Gustave Roussy. If everyone who reads this donated just €5 it would add up to something really significant!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Down in the Canyon

In 2006 I joined my family on a trip that included walking Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory. That's my sister in the first photo and my dad in the fourth. The lovely white trunked trees that grow in the bottom of the canyon are River Red Gums Eucalyptus camaldulensis.
A la cuisine hier: Omlette stuffed with onion, tomato, basil and a little parmesan cheese, served with a big green salad. There's no doubt about it, tasty high protein eggs are the go for fast days, combined with vegetables for bulk.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wickham's Grevillea

Wickham's Grevillea Grevillea wickhamii.
A lovely Australian desert shrub with scarlet spidery flowers and grey-green holly-like leaves.

Friday, 19 September 2014

What Do You Call These?

Where we are, these go by the name of pains au chocolat, but I have been reminded that this isn't always the case in France. In the Touraine we use the northern term for these chocolate filled pastries, but just across the border, in Poitou-Charentes, to our south-west, which we have visited rather a lot in the last few weeks, I try to remember to ask for une chocolatine in the hospital cafe. They use the southern name for the pastries there.