Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out in the Garden at Bandouille!

Painting from Geoff Kersey exercise

What a wonderful weekend we just had! The weather was autumly wonderful! Full of the colours you would expect at this time of year.
Foggy in the morning, warm and sunny during the day and chilly in the evening. Enough chill to warrant the woodburning stove being on enhancing the cosy quality of our farmhouse  kitchen.  I love these days!

We were working all weekend clearing the garden and all around the lake using the tractor and the chainsaw.  We had a few dead trees that needed to come down or just pulled out..  Now these have all been chopped up and loaded on the tractor and stored in the barn for two years before they can be used for our huge fireplace in the lounge.

Our chimney sweep! M. Behlas
Knowing that it is now fire burning season we thought we would call in our local chimney sweep but were unable to get hold of him…..but left a message nonetheless just for him to call us!   The next thing we know he arrives chez nous in the afternoon and offers to clean the chimney immediately…Very unusual service!….A bit befuzzled, we agreed and ½ an hour later one ready to use chimney…..Hoorah!   

So on Saturday evening -  with two large bonfires lined up to burn tomorrow. Logs stored. The lavender bushes trimmed, and some of leaves raked up and front garden mown…..all good things had to come to an end…The siton mower packed up and on waking up on Monday morning after the howling winds in the night the garden is again covered in leaves and more clearing of dead twigs and branches is required.GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! 

And if that wasn’t enough ….its now pouring with rain……But I have to add much needed rain for our rapidly diminshing lake and very thirsty trees and plants.

Lets see what tomorrow brings! 

At least some of us are enjoying it!......Oh well.... C’est la vie!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Simple as ABC - A Bandouille Chutney!

 A glorious morning across Bandouille Lake and the first show of frost on the ground.

Felt some cooking coming on.  Ideal plan for a cold Autumn morning and thought I had better try and relieve some of the heaving apple and pear trees in the orchard and collect some figs before the frost detroys them.

(1 hour later)
Now with all my fruits gathered am off to the kitchen to find out what I haven’t got in my larder to continue!

(2 hours later)……..

Well lucky me….all the things that I needed for completing the chutney were safely stored in my larder area.  I based it on a recipe found on the internet - http://www.ocado.com/webshop/recipe/apple-and-pear-chutney/1503       and added some star anise, cardomon seeds, chillis, oranges and celery and then  left to cook for a couple of hours. I bypassed the bit about putting everything into a processor as I like my chutney to be chunky….it all simmers down to a good pulpy mix anyway.

Hey presto!!!!! This is the result…..15 jars of very rich and dark and spicy Apple, Pear and Fig Chutney…..Yum! I doubled the quantity by the way to get 15 small/medium jars......

Last year I made some similar with Quince added and walnuts too and we ate the last jar of this a couple of weeks ago.  Beacause of the vinegar content it stores quite happily in a cool dark place.

Am now going to do some experiments with the figs……will let you know what I come up with.

Off to put some labels and lid dresses on these babies and then have to think who will get one of these at christmas!

Enough for now…see you later!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome to the Bandouille Blogspot


Yay!..................Our first blogpost  has been launched.

Visit us here to find out what we are doing at Bandouille.  This may be renovations to the property or Art holiday information relating to our www.francepaintingholiday.com site, fishing information relating to our www.francefishingcarp.com site or me just rambling on about stuff that I have found out around our local area and recipes that work.

Who knows! But its going to be fun and I do love to ramble on the internet so what better spot to do it on.

Please feel free to roam both the above sites and also visit our facebook pages (france painting holiday and france fishing carp)..and don't hold back on the"likes".....we need the "likes"!

There is loads of information on these pages including wonderful photos of people that have visited and lovely artworks that they have created and huge fish that have been caught.

If however you have any ideas on what else you would like to see on this blog (keep it clean please!) then just let us know.....this afterall is for you and not for us! And if the information is not forthcoming give us a poke......and let us know!

That said and done am now planning what to post for the initial pages and please come back to have a look on what I have decided!

A bientot (as they do say in France) and have fun! B