31 December 2008

New vegetable that we discovered in Lyon

We had these at a very yummy lunch in Lyon and were immediately fascinated. They have a crunchy outer shell and a melty interior with a flavor somewhat like a potato or turnip. Suffice it to say between their appearance and their texture, they could pass for something that moves around. They were tasty enough for Mike to search them out at our vegetable stand and prepare them as a side for our yummy New Year's Eve dinner. Now we know they will also bring us more good luck in the new year!! Here is some technical info on them. See if you can find them atthe vegetable stand near you.

Crosnes - tachys sieboldii (chorogi [CHAWR-oh-gee] and knotroot)

In Japan Chorogi and also referred to as a Chinese Artichoke where it grows wild in Northern China. The word chorogi means "longevity" and is tuber is considered considered to be a sign of good luck.

The plant is in the mint family but the edible part of the plant are small white tubers. The tubers can be eaten raw as one might a Jeruseleum artichoke (no relation) or cooked like a potato or other starch.

Crosnes as they are called in France were introduced in the late 19th century and named after the village where they were first introduced. Crosnes du Japon was the given name by Paillieux (of Paillieux and Bois, Le Potager d'un curieux, 1882)

How They Are Used - Varied uses include sliced raw and used in salads, pickled, steamed or in stir-frys. Tubers can also be dipped in tempura batter and fried. Crosnes are never peeled.

Chef Charlie Trotter, restaurant "Toque" includes them on his menu Roasted Monkfish Tail on the Bone with Pig's Tail Pieces, Crosnes & Mustard Vinaigrette.

Elizabeth Schneider offers several usages contributed by chefs including:Use pickled Crosnes for Martinis - Chef JohoPink Pickled Chorogi on Black Soybeans - Chef MorimotoMackerel Tartare with Crosnes - Chef Anita LoSee credits section below for book reference.Select and StoreTubers should be pale and firm (not rubbery).

Can be placed in an open basket or container, refrigerated for about a week.

This is the classic French preparation:


1 pound crosnes 4 tablespoons butter Salt, pepper


Wash the crosnes by soaking them in water and scrub gently with a vegetable brush taking care to get all dirt and sand out of the nooks and crannies. Heat butter over medium-high heat in a heavy pan. Add the crosnes whole, stir, reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

25 December 2008

Pictures Christmas 2008

A fine Christmas was had by all followed by a wonderful meal of prime rib and Buche de Noel...chocolate of course! We are all now just in a stupor with our heads in the clouds! It was so nice to have a day of relaxation and nowhere to go...no schedules to keep!

Joyeux Noel 2008

A traditional carols and reading service was held in a beautiful old church in Fontes. This is the first year that we attended the Christmas services in English... and Episcopal/Anglican to boot. This service had an organ accompanying the choir and the acoustics were amazing. The voices just floated up to heaven and back down to us. Mike was a reader and the only American accent in the group. Well done, Mike!!

07 December 2008

Decking the Halls

Celia, Eugenie and Armand decorating the family room tree. Celia babysits them every Wednesday afternoon and gives them an English lesson.

Mike used to buy the TALLEST tree on the lot and then whack off two feet when it was too tall for our house. Now we are in the land of munchkin trees...short and broad...and way less expensive!!

06 December 2008

Happy 15th Birthday Nathan!!

In what is turning out to be a yearly tradition, we feted Nathan's 15th birthday at Sequoia, a beautiful restaurant with innovative cuisine in the outskirts of Montpellier. We were not disappointed by the artistic presentation of the meal. It was a really beautiful evening.


We had a warm and convivial Thanksgiving feast...the adjectives used by our French friends. A table of twelve, lively conversation and yummy food!

02 December 2008



Also, this website is a live webcam of the large main plaza in Montpellier. All of the small little roofs are the chalets for the annual Christmas market that is held through Christmas Eve featuring everything from food and treats to artists works to junk.


This link takes you to a map with icons of cameras. Click on a camera and you can have a 360 virtual tour of some of the best places to see in Montpellier