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Finally, my vege patch!!!!

and school holidays

overcast 16 °C

For 2 weeks from the 18th April the kids had school holidays. This meant less time to myself, but also sleep-ins.
Some days they had friends over which was better because they entertained themselves. Their easter gift from grandparents Maryvon and Bernard was a pingpong table and there’s only so many hours of ping pong I can play. Much like Uno.
Especially when I’m sure they are not quite keeping score properly and/or making up rules.
In their favour.
Good thing I’m not competitive. Even when I know that was my point, but can’t explain (I mean argue) in French why.

So the second week of holidays following Easter was, better. Less stressful for me. Possibly because I only had one child to deal with, the slightly more agreeable one. The other bus-ed off to Rome with a church group for 8 days for some theological learning.
The mornings were easy, we usually had breakfast ‘petit dejeuner’ in front of le television with cartoons such as Garfield and scooby doo dubbed in French. Easy enough to get the drift of the story.

One morning i decided a little trip was in order, needing to do more research on what fruit and veg is in season and available locally and what prices i should be expecting. The best option was a visit to a market in Simandre which was the closest that day, about 20 minute drive away. From the tourist office in Sennecey I got a list of all the markets in the Bourgogne Sud (Burgundy South) region. There’s a market on each morning in say 10 different villages or towns. I have circled them on my map so when I’m really free I can work my way through the list.
The directions I had written were minimal and thought I had missed a turn-off but the road signs came through for us and we arrived. This one was a tiny market in a tiny village, a nice drive, practice of some terrible French with the vendors and leaving with a handful of fresh fruit and veg (few oranges, beetroot, strawberries, olives and salami, and a particularly superb red melon, looks like but sweeter than rockmelon).

Other days we would ride or walk taking the longer scenic route to the local tiny boulangerie in Laives for une baguette. Nadine has an old tourer bike (as opposed to mountain bike) that I want to get a basket for so in future I can cruise to the boulangerie and the bigger village Sennecey-le-Grand just down the road and perhaps fit more than a loaf of bread.

The Tuesday I made Anzac biscuits with Amarine to mark the Day, which everyone liked and i then tried to explain what i remember about why we celebrate the Day.

A few days later I woke with an almighty cold, but with practically a home pharmacy of homeopathic medicine it has been clearing up since. No idea where i got that from, Nadine had lost her voice the previous week so perhaps a virus with different symptoms for me. I've just receovered yesterday and as yet no one else has caught it.

Friday we watched most of the Royal Wedding. And wasn’t that great! I saw that vows but missed the ring exchange until it was replayed later due to running to and from the tele trying to cook lunch at the same time. Loved Kate’s dress – absolutely perfect and appropriate in every way. Thought Princess Bea and Eugenie were dressed seeking attention and even got lots of footage of PM Jules’ arrival. We switched off after the Balcony scene so unfortunately missed the apparent cruise through the streets in the Aston Martin. Did anyone see that?

That night was a rare, spur of the moment decision to eat out at the restaurant at the Lakes in Laives, called ‘Au Bout du Monde.’ This is only the second time we have gone out for dinner, both just at small local places, and I have to say that the food quality, presentation and service does actually kick arse over Australia. Whether it’s because these have been owner run-and-managed or there really is much more pride in providing food and service here still I don’t know, but it’s a bloody refreshing change!
Afterward when the Owner/manageress saw me peering through the open kitchen door she invited me to have a look through. Ok so it was tiny and not much to see as it looked like the cooking was finished, but I asked a few questions about the preparation of the desserts on display - all made in house too.
For a little over 20 euro we each chose a 3 course ‘formula’ (kind of set menu). I chose Grenouille for my main course - ie frogs legs, this time served 'Provencale' ir with diced tomato, parsley, garlic and butter. This is the second time I’ve had this (3rd if I count tasting Bernards at the first dinner outing with the family in the Laives Auberge/guesthouse restaurant). It was a tad on the oily side but deeelicious!
I dodn't take my camera with me no pics, but I'll be ordering that again somewhere.

Last weekend was fantastic. Sunny and 25 for a start which meant digging to the back of my wardrobe for the 1 pair of shorts I brought with me. Maryvonn an Bernard spent the arvo here. I love when they’re around anyway, but it also means the rest of the washing and tidying up is taken care of as I think she quite likes doing those motherly duties, while Bernard busy’s himself in yard with Frederic.
Saturday morning they got around to hiring a soil plough/cutting machine to rip up and area of land for a vege patch. I have been waiting for this since i arrived :)

Then after lunch Nadine and I went to the garden store to buy soil and finally some seedlings! We raked, watered and planted:
About 30 strawberry (frais) plants that we had rescued from the amongst the weeds a few weeks ago,
3 varieties of tomato – cherry, roma and ‘coeurs du beouf’ ('heart of beef' -huge wrinkled round ones)
4 courgette (zucchini) of 2 varieties
2 aubergine
1 round pumpkin-like squash
1 yellow and one red capsicum(=’poivron’)
1 each of coriander, basil, chives, rosemary and parsley.
Almost got broccoli but they were all out.


The rhubarb (mmmm rhubarb) was harvested today also so hopefully that’ll be cooked soon. At least it’s one thing that it still good after being overcooked, if that is it’s fate. Which is likely (in my opinion).

  • update* the rhubarb was overcooked and slushy, but that's my fault. I got distracted while it was on the stove stewing away. Next time it goes on a lower burner...*

So, je suis content (I am happy)
If I can manage to not spend 100% of the next 2 weeks doing the final uni project and enjoy being in our garden I will be even happier. Best be getting back to that now.

And a BIG Congratulations and virtual hugs to a certain brand new mum in Perth !!! :)

Posted by Madeline84 12:33 Archived in France Tagged patch vege

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