Fête du Printemps

You do not need to wait until May to see the flowers in bloom.

From the moment that March begins signs of Spring are all around. From lighter mornings and evenings, to the multitude of gorgeous flowers, plants and trees emergeing into bloom as soon as the sun begins to shine.

Our Spring delight is of course the Daglan Flower Festival. Which this morning was brimming with vivid colours and intriguingly inviting perfumes of new blooms.
 

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet,
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

From a song written in the 1930s by Will Holt.

This one on sale today was magnificent.

I love lemons:- Reminders of Lemoncello which we drank for the first time on a very hot day in Sorrento, gorgeous. Lemon flavoured cakes, puddings, main courses the list is endless.
 

Every flower that you could possibly think of was for sale today, plus exotic trees and shrubs, herbs and honey.
 

Hush, you can hear it?
The rustling in the grass.
Bringing you the welcome news that Winter’s day is long past.
Soft, can you feel it?
The warm caressing breeze,
Telling you that the buds are bursting from on the trees.
Look, can you see them?
The primrose, daffodil and rose.
Now you must believe it, Spring is here again.

It Must Be Spring by May Fenn 2014.
 

From Exotic trees and shrubs…

… to gorgeous perfumed roses – and everything in between.
 

All of the proceeds from this cakes, biscuits and drinks stall go to the local schools of Daglan, Castlenaud, and St Cyprian.
 

There was also potpourri mineral, packets of seeds, ornaments, garden equipment, pots and in the Ancien Presbytere, talks and information on orchids and bee keeping.

Not forgetting books for sale in the Salle de Fetes were you could also buy hot or cold drinks.
 
 

Event:-

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Yummy Galette Time.

The word Galette comes from the Norman word ‘gale’ which means flat cake. It is a word used in French cuisine for various types of flat round or free form crusty cakes that are eaten during Epiphany from the 6th January, it symbolises the fertility and renewal of the earth, which is linked to the extension of sun light during the day.

In Christianity it is a symbol of the manifestation of Jesus among men and celebrates three episodes:- the arrival of the Magi, the wedding in Canna and the date of the baptisms of Christ in Jordan.

Inside the galette is a small bean or china gift which dates back to Roman times. It was white or black and was used during the Saturnalia festival to elect the king of the Feast. Today, the person who finds the gift in the galette becomes King or Queen for the day and wears the crown.

Tradition says that the galette is to be shared with guests who are also offered a glass of cider, muscat, sparkling wine or champagne. Which is very popular in South West France.

This particular fragipane filled galette was purchased at Delices De Pito Cénac, complete with the crown and flags. The flags are placed around the galette, it is cut into portions and served. The king or Queen and their guests act out what is written on each flag. For example ‘make a grimace face’, ‘recite the alphabet’ or ‘draw a mustache on your face or a guests face’. The fragipane filling originates from Marie de Medici, Henry IV’s second wife who brought the recipe to France.

If you find a special yellow bean in the galette from Pito, with the words ‘Bravo, vous avez gagne un mug’ written on the bean you take the bean back to Pito to receive a special gift a decorated yellow mug.
 
 

Events:- Truffle Festival in Sarlat this Saturday and Sunday. Also, Daglan truffle market on Sunday at eleven o’clock.
 
 

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Over recent weeks Sarlat has been transformed from a beautiful medieval town to a wonderful Christmas village. The highlight being Sarlat Christmas Market (this year with a Spanish theme) and outdoor skating rink. Open until the end of December, with up to forty wooden chalets selling traditional arts and crafts, mulled wine, cakes, hot roasted chestnuts and caviar! But I saw no tapas on our morning visit!

Snow flakes flutter down in this tableau scene at the entrance to the Christmas Market.
 

I particular like the traditional Christmas tree ornaments for sale in quite a few of the chalets. Glass baubles, wooden hearts, and lots of red bows that are very popular in this area of France.

Incidentally, many French Christmas traditions originate from Alsace and it was in the town of Selestat that Christmas trees first appeared in the 11th Century. People used to decorate their trees with real fruit but one year the harvest was poor and a local glass blower from Goetzenbruck in Moselle tried to replicate the fruit by creating glass balls to hang on the branches. However, I have heard of a few more places that have been named for the origination of glass ornaments! Wherever they came from, they are gorgeous.

Facade of a Spanish Finca welcomes visitors to the market.
 

I do love this little donkey standing outside the chalet of the Donkey Sanctuary where you can buy gorgeous soap, aprons, tea towels etc. The profit goes to the upkeep of the Sanctuary.
 

New to the Christmas Market is a chalet selling Neuvic Caviar.
 

Spanish Flamenco dancers or matadors decorate many of the chalets.
 

Prints of Salvador Dali paintings hang from the trees. This painting is a particular favourite of mine.
 

Paul admiring the traditional wooden Christmas tree decorations in this chalet.
 
 

Event:-Daglan Truffle Market every Sunday from 11am until February.

26th to 30th December Merlin at Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. This is a narrative show for young children in sound, shadows and light. Shows are at 11 o’clock, 2.30 and 3.30.

Sarlat Truffle Festival 19th and 20th January.
 
 

Enter three Witches.

“When shall we three meet again.
In thunder,
lightening,
or in rain”.

A great place to meet on a Daglan Halloween was not the Heath but at the village 8 à Huit supermarket. It was a hub of life or should that be death with skeleton decorations placed around the till area, and a table set up near the entrance with drinks, cakes and candies.

The table is where I treated myself to a slice of chocolate cake, which was very yummy. There was also vanilla cake, chocolate marble cake and candies. Which were all much appreciated by the customers.

A yummy treat.
 

Getting into the spirit of things we see Virginie standing outside the supermarket.
 

We had a busy Halloween this year with nine groups of children and adults calling, all in costume and all looking amazing.

Look at these two trick or treaters, so cute.
 

There are many interesting folk legends in France, one that is less blood curdling is the Sarramauca.

A cauchemar (nightmare) was long thought to be caused by a creature that came at night and sat on the chest of the sleeping persons to stop them from breathing correctly. In the Occitan language, Sarramauca means ‘to tighten the chest/stomach” and refers to the feeling of breathlessness.

In our home the Sarramauca is our cat Angel who delights in sitting on my chest in order to wake me up in the morning for her breakfast.

Long ago many deaths were attributed to the Sarramauca and people would try remedies similar to those used to protect themselves against witchcraft. I wonder if they would work on Angel! Animal friendly ones of course.

No such remedies here, I love the eve of Halloween.
 

Where the place?
Upon the Heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
I come, Graymalkin.
Paddock calls anon:
Fair is foul, and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
(From scene 1.1 Macbeth)
 

No tricks here please just chocolate treats.
 

Awesome costumes. Thanks to everyone for stopping by, you made our night.

 

Due to illness both here and in England there will be no blog next week.

So take care and we hope to blog again the week after.
 
 

Food, Food, Glorious Food.

Everything on sale was to delight the senses at the Promenade en Gastronomie in Daglan village yesterday. From truffles, gateau, saucisson, escargots, to vegetables, fruit, candies and of course cheese and wine to name just a few of the delicacies on offer.

The View from our balcony.
 

I had to buy my Sunday treat of strawberries which are picked that morning by a local grower.
 

One simply cannot have enough garlic. I love the little dishes for garlic, oil and herbs.
 

One of the wine sellers with a sign that I totally agree with.
 

Once again we were unable to use our front door for the chicken and paella seller. The aroma drove the cats wild. We had to keep them away from the balcony in case they pulled in one of the chickens!
 

A gorgeous smile from Corrine selling various fresh baked breads and petite gateaux in front of the Boulangerie.
 

Always a teat to watch, the truffle dog who needed a little encouragement in the form of cheese snacks to find the truffles. I think citing the truffle hunting area next to the sausage stall could have something to do with the dogs inattention to his task.
 

 

Next Blog;-Dominique Allaert who is exhibiting his oil and watercolours in the Ancient Presbytere, plus a couple of interesting embroidery works.