Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 - May 2014

Same monthly link up, new name!
Linking-up with Christine for Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9
My mothers-day gift - tray - and card from Tino
Finally got around to making Kefir! - much like making yoghurt really - that no-body apart from myself wants to drink!  Richard and the boys all got horribly sick this month, with the three of them needing antibiotics. However, the nasty bugs and germs left me well alone - perhaps it was the Kefir?

tastes better with a drop of elderberry syrup mixed in
Another first for me - Kimchi - using Evi's recipe.  It smelt fantastic when I first stared 'bashing' up all the ingredients, but after a while the odor started to turn on me.  Not sure I bashed for long enough as I didn't have much liquid.  Turns out in the end I didn't like it - just tasted like salt to me.

I want to showcase a few of Rémi's little woodwork gems this month.  I'm so impressed with the way he transforms his ideas into real objects and by his competence in using electric tools!!!

The garden is well underway, there are still a few seedlings in the cold frame but everything else is in the ground.  Despite waiting until after the passing of the Ice Saints (11, 12 & 13 May), after which the garden is meant to be safe from frost, we lost all of our corn on the particularly chilly night of the 15th!!!!

Now I'm sure slugs have their place in the grand garden scheme of things, but I just wish they'd find their place in some other garden!  For things that move so slow they certainly eat fast!  So far I've tried wood ashes, wood chips, ground coffee, crushed egg shells and saucers of beer (which they drown in),  thing is, apparently they like a little tipple AFTER eating!  In all honesty if I didn't have kids, chickens and a dog running around the place I think I'd bring out the poison!  A neighbor told me that ducks are very good at keeping the slug population down so I'm working on Richard - he's saying NO NO but the other morning I found him 'googling' ponds!!!  Another friend suggested copper tape but as we don't have raised beds I'm not sure how I would put it in place.

The local council had a promo day in each village where they were selling compost bins for 15€.  We've always had a compost heap but now we have a bin, which looks a lot neater.  In the winter I think I will continue to use the heap as we have a lot of deer that come to eat during the long cold snowy months.

Quite by accident, whilst out walking with Ringo, I happened upon the remains of the old ice shoot, which was used at the beginning of the century to convey huge blocks of ice down from the Glacier des Bossons to the village below.  The blocks were then loaded on to horse and cart, by amongst others, Richard's great-grandfather Léon, and transported to hotels as far away as Paris, where they were used to keep food fresh.  Amazingly the blocks lost only 20% of their initial size during the journey to the capital.

The Chamonix valley is criss-crossed with many mountain biking trails but has no bike lane down at valley level.  I'm always weary of biking into town with the kids as some folks in cars don't seem to see us in their rush to get wherever they happen to be going at top speed!   The same group that organized the anti-pollution protest walk back in february, put together 'Velorutionn'air', this month for all those who wanted to show their support for the construction of a bike lane.  Rémi completed the ride into town with his cousin, but Tino and I had to turn back as his legs were tired and he need to rest them by climbing trees at the lake!!

Where did May go?  Don't know about you, but for me it just flew by!  We started the month with a lovely - short but very very sweet - visit from my oldest friend, Amy and her husband Andrew.  A while ago Andrew gifted me this fantastic drawing of a Chamois that he done especially for me. 

Mid-month we had friends over for Paella.  Tino prepared some delicious cocktails for the other kids, I'm sure he won't mind me sharing his recipe:

frost and chill 4 glasses
crush a chopped lime with 2 tbsp of brown sugar
divide between  glasses
half fill with pineapple juice
fill to top with sparkling mineral water
decorate with a strawberry on a stick
mint leaves
 two straws each!

And we ended the month with la fête des voisins.  All over France, neighbors (voisins) are encouraged to get together for a celebration of each other.  Our village society organized a pot luck dinner, a local orchestra provided the music and a great time was had by all!
How was your month of May?


  1. le fete des voisins such a simple but wonderful idea, I live in a small village so we are blessed with still having a fete and carnival in the summer but nothing to encourage being a good neighbour. A lovely post.

  2. May? Uh, you are making me think too hard right now, ha ha! Looks like you had lots of fun.

  3. Hi, Emma,
    Just wanted to let you know that I answered your duck/bunny questions on my blog! :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. oh my gosh emma! how wonderful was your may! you make me want to visit so much, your view is incredible alone. loved all your create grow green titles... so much happening there (kimchi is a bit of an aquired taste? now tino's drink, sounds amazing! happy mothers day, your boys are so sweet.

  5. What an amazing view from your vegetable garden! Having the tradition of the Ice Saints sounds like a good way to remember not to plant too early, even if it doesn't always work perfectly! I have a vague idea about avoiding frost here (Australia) until August or September...not so useful!

  6. Lovely month...the cocktails look grand and the woodwork is lovely!

  7. I have never been able to get past the smell of Kimchi! Ugh! Once again I am stricken with envy for your view and will spend much time praying to be content in my home! :) Have a beautiful June!

  8. A lovely round up Emma. So many interesting things and projects you have been making. Does the kefir taste good, what time of day do you eat it? What recipe do you use? Love the woodwork projects and the cocktail sounds great I would like to order one please!

  9. i can never believe you live there!