Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yarn Along - Latte Baby Coat

After realizing rather late in the day that Rémi's speech therapist was starting her maternity leave a few weeks earlier than I had calculated, I finished this Latte Baby Coat in the nick of time, blocking it thursday evening to be gifted at his 8.30 am appointment on friday morning.

Had a few tense moments with the basket weave stitch, which pulled like mad, scrunching up the front sides horribly, but thankfully once wetted and blocked they settled into place.

Rémi gave her a beautiful little gift too - a small trinket box that he had decorated with a Rosace.

I liked this yarn so much that I went back and bought some more, I think it will make great wrist warmers.

Keeping me up into the wee small hours at the moment is Life and Limb - A True Story of Tragedy and Survival Against the Odds (Jamie Andrew). In 1999 two British climber spent 5 nights on the exposed ridge of Les Droites in Chamonix after being caught out in a freak storm.  Only one of them returned and he suffered the loss of both hands and his both legs below the knees.  I was already living here when this tragedy took place but don't remember it happening, ironically I only learnt of the accident years later after buying the book from a charity stand at a farmers market in Wales!

Having a few blogger problems at the moment - that is when I can actually get an internet connection.  Up until now I was receiving up dates of all the blogs I follow, now however all I'm getting is one update from which ever blog posted most recently!
Confused as ever by technology!!!

Linking-up with Ginny for Yarn Along this week.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I wish I could tell you that this was a family recipe, handed down through generations of hard working women, but it's not!

I just cut it off the back of packet of almond essence.  I've tried many Clafoutis recipes before but they all just came out tasting like scrambled egg with cherries.  This one, however, tastes divine.

750g  cherries
150g sugar (I used 100 only)
2 eggs
50g plain flour
50g powdered almonds
1 teaspoon of almond essence
20 cl milk (I used cows milk but I'm sure any sort would work)

1 Wash and pit the cherries, add 50g of sugar.
2 Heat the oven to 150°C
3 Mix the eggs, rest of the sugar, flour, almonds, essence, milk and any juice from the cherries
4 Butter a pie pan and sprinkle with two tbsp of sugar, pour in the cherries rolling them in the sugar
5 Pour the egg mixture over the fruit and cook until golden
6 Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (optional)

I have fond memories of picking cherries with  for Gaby, Richard's grand-father.  He would rig up some homemade scaffolding consisting of old chairs, stools, rotten planks and ladders made from old hockey sticks and order me up the tree, in a near suicide misson, to pick his fruit - each of which came with it's own maggot! Sadly Gaby is not longer with us so I have long since abandoned this dangerous past-time in favor of store bought cherries.  I've also invested in a 'dénoyauteur de ceries' which my trusty sous-chef is more than happy to use.

My m.i.l came back from holiday this morning with kilo's of delicious cherries, that she got for a snip of the price I paid for mine here, and gifted me a big bowl full.  I think I will turn them into pie filling and jam - not forgetting to keep a few back for our breakfast smoothies!

kale,spinach and strawberries from the garden - happy dance!
What do you do with your cherries?

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?