30 November 2013

Transport Strike

Taking it to the streets!  A tax on French transporters that is unfairly not assessed on all other non French trucks. The truckers blocked all but two pistes of the toll booths. Civilized rebellion. The protester that handed us the paper apologized for the inconvenience. 

29 November 2013

Autumn Afternoon

After so many years in the beauty of the central coast of California with its subtle season changes, the almost abrupt and grand arrival of autumn here in the South of France still amazes me.  The air is crisp with smoky tinges.  The days are so much shorter than the long hot days of the summer...you have to push yourself to not begin to hibernate! The sun is a glorious contrast to the frost tinged vineyards.  How blessed are we to live in such a magnificent place!!

25 November 2013

La rénovation encore!!

And so it begins once more...This time we start with the attic.  In the never ending battle to halt all cold air from entering our cosy abode and lower the evil EDF power electric bill, Mike has torn down all of the existing ceiling in the attic to replace all of the insulation and reseal it with proper drywall.  In doing so we have also added about 80 cm of floor space to the main guest room!  It seems so much more spacious!! 

Next phase is new tile flooring in the lower part of the old section of the house and finally moving the kitchen to where Mike's office is and creating a cosy tv room in the current kitchen.  Gotta get my head around the fact that we will live in a dust storm for the next year!!

02 July 2013

Chez Navarre en Toulouse

If I were to dream of opening a restaurant,  it would be just like Chez Navarre in Toulouse.  This warm and welcoming restaurant is like eating Sunday dinner at your grandmother's house... if she was living in the French countryside. Tables are shared with others.  Three or so salads are passed along with pâté, pickles and chewy pain de campagne. There is a hot or cold soup depending on the season,  a simple but delicious main course,  and a table of tasty desserts such as riz au lait,  bread pudding,  moelleux au chocolat and so on. 

10 June 2013

Les Vignes Buissonnières - Words to Ponder


Les Vignes Buissonnières 2013 - The Amazing Views!!

Les Vignes Buissonnières 2013 - This and That

These are now the trendy party favor for the Balades.  José was our test animal and failed fabulously!!!  Luckily we had both of our sons as our chauffeurs!!

Our pouches carry our silverware, wine glass and tasting notebook.  

We were a muddy mess by the end, but SO happy and full!!

Les Vignes Bussonnières 2013 - Wine and Food!


Mise en bouche
La  soupe de  cèpes glacés  au  vinaigre de xérès, 
Escalope de foie gras poêle, crème légère à l’huile de truffe et coriandre.

Entrée froide
La noix de St Jacques poêlée, tartare d’asperges au gingembre
et tomates confites, fèves en vinaigrette d’agrumes,
quelques feuilles de roquette.

Entrée chaude
La raviole de queue de gambas grillée, fondant de carottes
et poireaux au piment d’Espelette, jus parfum de crustacés.

Plat chaud
La pluma  ou secretto de  Pata  Negra  Ibérique grillée,
Samoussa  de légumes du soleil et artichaut en purée,
jus léger à l’ail doux.

Pélardon deux affinages

Le parfait glacé à la verveine et citronnelle,
coulis de fraises fraîches, Sorbet à l’huile d’olive
et langue de chat aux olives noires.

Mise en Bouche


Entrée Froide
Entrée chaude

Plat Chaud

Le Fromage

I will sing the praises of this region of wines to the four corners of the earth!  They do cost a bit more than the wines of Languedoc Roussillon, but they are consistently rich and strong year after year.

Some of our favorites from the Balade:

Mas de Figuier, Seigneur de Leuze, 2012
Chateau de Valcyre Benezech, Maxime 2011
                                            Rosé, 2012
Mas de Farjou, Hautes Terres, 2011
Domaine de Mirabel, Le Loriot, 2012
                              Les Eclats, 2011
Domaine Chazalon, Cariclos, 2012
Domaine Clavel, Bonne Pioche, 2011
Chateau de Lancyre, Grande Cuvée, 2011
Domaine de Villeneuve, Chant des Roches, 2011
Mas de Jon, Aparté, 2009
Mas Bruguière, La Grenadière, 2010
Mas Gourdou, Joseph Onésime, 2011
Domaine de Mortiès, Pic Saint Loup, 2010
Chateau L'Euzière, Les Escarboucles, 2010
Mas de L'Oncle, Jules, 2010
                         Emy, 2012
Domaine de L'Hortus, Grande Cuvée, 2010
Domaine de Villeneuve, La Sorbière, 2009
Le Chemin de Rêves, Gueule de Loup, 2010