Christmas traditions and Christmas customs, two millennia of worldwide religious and secular celebration, yuletide is celebrated around the world in lots of different countries. Merry moments are just around the corner! It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.
Last Saturday was our big day: we could fetch my early birthday present from my kids: our Orpington chicken! We got 7 large, fluffy hens and a magnificent rooster we called Lancelot, they are top-notch reliable chicken. Of course we want to keep them for eggs, but they are known as wonderful pets too (and many see them as excellent meat providers or fair table fowl). Yep, fallen in love!
We’re still chopping up wood for our wood stove. In France they say “having a wood stove warms you up three times”: chopping the trees, sawing the trunks/splitting them and the heat of the fire of your wood stove, real thermal comfort.
Great was my surprise to find unusual exotic looking vegetables in my weekly local surprise fruit and vegetable pack: hard pear-shaped objects named Chayotes. They are actually a fruit, I was told. The Chayote (Sechium edule), is known as “mirliton/ choko” in the US and “christophene” in France, and obviously sometimes called “vegetable pear”.
Vibrant orange colours pop up near Halloween and so do these charming, tasty, ever so popular here in France as top selling fall crop, miniature pumpkins. With its vigorous vines they are an arts-and-crafter’s dream, just visualise them as the cutest but smallest Jack O’Lanterns.
One of my lovely memories whilst visiting my mother in law in England, was getting a lovely breakfast: a toast buttered and spread with a thin layer of a thick brown spread called Marmite and a boiled egg sliced on top, it made me a forever fan of “Marmite”. This was long before I realized that for me, as a veggie, Marmite is the best B12 provider possible, super food for veggies/ vegans. But then I met Dan and his idea to use Marmite combining it with another food spread I adore…
Fall is prime apple season. The wonderfully warm, crisp scent of harvest apples, their heavenly aroma, makes delicious, healthy and mouthwatering desserts come to mind. Apples loaded with fibre, help preventing type 2 diabetes and protect against Parkinson’s, on top of that they maximise your antioxidant intake.
Every week we pick up a local basket of vegetables and fruit, eggs, a plate of 3 cheeses, an initiative of the farmers here in the South. The advantage of buying locally, straight from the farmers, is that there are hardly any transport costs and you’re sure they aren’t treated with chemicals for preservation in countries that have less strict laws concerning the use of them, than here. Eating what the seasons provides here in our part of the country, often offers us long forgotten vegetables and sometimes a challenge, even if they do come with a recipe! So did the Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower, or here in France “Chou Romanesco”.
Sitting outside on a windy day, observing all nature’s beauty around me , I finally picked up writing to you all again. Hearing the sounds of the crows, tractors for the “vendange” (wine harvest of the grapes for the famous Blanquette) in the background, seeing a last courageous wasp, even a lone bumble bee flying about, my dogs sitting all around us and of course the beautiful passion flower, whilst we’re sitting under our pergola to be, I know it is time to let the muse in.