Les Jardins De Picami.

If you are staying in a gite near or in Daglan you must visit Les Jardins De Picami for excellent bio vegetables fresh from the farm. Situated just outside Daglan on the D60 road leading to St Pompon. Leave Daglan and you will see the farm a hundred metres or so on the left, so drive slowly or you will miss it. The farm is only open to the public to buy the vegetables on a Thursday 4.30 to 6.30pm.

Two Signs to look out for.
 

After turning left at the sign there is a steep slope down to the car park, drive slowly because they have free range chickens.
 

A delicious variety of tomatoes. The white tomatoes have a wonderful sweet, fruity taste.
 

All organically grown on the farm.
 

Les Jardins De Picami.
 
 

Tomato Chutney made from the farm tomatoes tastes delicious and goes particular well with home made tomato and black olive bread and a cheese of your chose.

250g onions.
500g mixed tomatoes
1 fresh red chilli pepper
140g brown sugar
 

Method
1 Peel and finely slice the onions, roughly chop the tomatoes, de-seed and finely slice the chilli.
2 Put everything into a pan, season to taste and stir well to combine.
3 Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until jammy. Pour into well sterilised jars and leave to cool.
 

The chutney will keep for up to two months. Once opened one month in the fridge.
 
 

Summer In Our Village.

A few months ago when Paul and I where planting seed potatoes in pots in our courtyard I thought how good it was to live here. Spring was in the air, leaves and buds on our apple tree were starting to show themselves. The birds were singing as we walked to the the river Ceou about five minutes away. Spending our lives in a relatively small area without seeing our friends and family did not occur to me.

It all changed here due to the outbreak of Covid 19 just like England and other places around the world. One of the hardest changes was being isolated from family, friends and people in general. The French are very tactile and love to meet and greet people with a kiss on both cheeks and a hug, which we have adopted and love. Our food shopping habits had also changed, no self respecting French person would dream of buying fresh produce without looking, feeling and smelling the produce on offer. These are just a few of the simple pleasures that I have missed.

As the restrictions started to be lifted France was divide into different colour zones with the lifting of restrictions being delayed in orange zones. Perigord, being in the green zone made us very lucky indeed. Although we still had keep to social distancing guidelines, wearing of face masks and disinfecting everything in sight we were able to go outside to the newly re-opened Sunday market.

Now, my goodness we can talk to people (social distancing and masks of course) and it feels so good to just ask how they are, how have they been copying over the last few months etc.

This morning, just inside our gate, I discovered a present of lavender from our friends who recently arrived back at their Daglan home after several months in Germany. The perfume is gorgeous, thank you so much.
 

Daglan in bloom. Our new pink and white roses are next to our apple tree which looks like a good crop this year.
 

I love the courtyard of a friend of ours, it is always full of flowers of every description.
 
 

La Petit Paris is open for outside eating with the metre distancing restriction in place. So book early in order to insure a table.
 

Summer flowers adorn La Cantine, all ready to welcome you for lunchtime in the sunshine.
 

Bon appetit
 
 

Sunday Morning in Daglan.

There are no barriers at all now!

Gone are the barriers that kept people away from the produce in the Sunday market. However, we still have the social distancing rule and of course the wearing of face masks recommended to keep control of the spread of Covid-19. Although we did notice that only about half of the people were actually wearing a face mask yesterday morning which is a bit of a worry.

The easing of the lock down has seen more people attending the market and other attractions in the village. Through the week I have noticed tourists taking photographs of the various picturesque buildings that surround Le Place de la Liberté.

Not having seen many people or camper vans for such a long time it seems like odd behaviour to me now. It just shows that people can become accustomed to what is the norm in a lock down situation.

Anyway I digress, the market was excellent, the different produce, the colours, the smells of herbs, strawberries and of course cheese was a delight to the senses.

First a visit to this wonderful stall selling hand crafted jewellery made from Brazilian Capim Dourado or golden grass.
 

The Fresh fruit and vegetables look so colorful, what a great variety of delicious tomatoes.
 

Handmade cheeses are so good.
 

A new comer to the market is the pottery artisan, visit the website at Terria Potteries. Again hand made to a high quality standard and all at a reasonable price.
 

On our walk around the market we noticed a new seat at the side of the church.
It will be excellent to sit in the shade away from the sun for a few minutes contemplation.
 

Around the base of the tree plus a very interesting Tilia Tilleul bush. Which when it is in flower will produce an excellent perfume. The plant won a price in the 1930s for its use in medicine.
 

Walk just past the tree and its new seat, on the right hand side of the chemin you will see a gorgeous garden outside the library which has been planted by the commune.
 
 

And Now, A Little Something To Do While In Lock Down.

We are still in lock down, so much so that we get excited when we see someone walk past our window to go to the supermarket or a van or car goes by. As you can imagine nearly everyone is wearing a face mask and are keeping to the social distancing rules.

The tourist season normally wakes our village up from its winter rest but it is almost always silent now.. No tourists, no camping vans or bicycles, it does seem eerily strange for this time of year. The good news is that the wild life, animal, birds and plants are really thriving. I particularity enjoy the bird song in the morning it seems richer and stronger, which is probably due the reduced noise of the traffic and the pollution it brings.

More good news, I can now visit my physio, I know, how great is that. My back is feeling terrible at the moment but with my physio’s help I should be on the road to recovery soon.

And Now, a Little Something To Do While In Lock down.

Why not try the recipe below it is delicious. Or something new from your recipe books. Bearing in mind that some ingredients may be difficult to find now. For example, in our local supermarkets most flour has been out of stock for weeks but you can still buy bread flour from the supermarket next door to us in Daglan. Limited to one packet per person.

And now the recipe.

Salmon With A Tarragon Mushroom Sauce.

Tarragon has a distinctive aniseed flavour which is gorgeous with fish, cream and mushrooms.

Serves four people

50g unsalted butter
4 salmon steaks
175g mushrooms, trimmed and sliced.
200ml of chicken or vegetable stock.
2.5ml about half a teaspoon mustard
50ml cream
45ml chopped tarragon (use less if using dried)
5ml white wine vinegar
Boiled new potatoes or small roast potatoes.

1 Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan and cook the salmon on a moderate heat for about eight minutes turning once. Transfer onto a plate, cover and keep warm.

2 Heat the remaining butter in the pan and gently add the mushrooms and cook until the juices start to flow. Add the stock and simmer for 2 minutes.

3 Add the mustard, cream, tarragon and vinegar.

4 Spoon the sauce over the salmon and serve with potatoes salad or vegetables.

The sauce also goes well with chicken or steak.
 
 

Another Week, Another Lock in.

It is very strange not seeing people, cars and normally at this time of year camper vans and tourists. Daglan is usually a bustling village but it now feels like you are living through a movie just waiting for the alien to come over the hill and walk through the deserted villages.

The supermarkets here are well stocked with fresh produce and other goods which is brilliant. On the down side we can no longer shop together and with Paul being the only driver it is inconvenient but unavoidable. Plus you can only buy produce from the nearest supermarket so Paul can only go as far as Cenac to shop at the small supermarket there. No large supermarket shopping for us which mean a limited choice of food to buy. But it is worth being more restricted if it means no virus in the village.

On a positive note we are still able to go for short walks of less than an hour duration and we must stay within a kilometer of home. A few days ago we walked down to the river Ceou which is only a few minutes away from our home.

Paul hiding his face from the camera… or waving!
 

With spring festivals cancelled and garden centres closed we cannot buy flowers to plant out but supermarkets have a plentiful supply of seeds so many homeowners are using them to bring in the spring.

Gorgeous Spring flowers in bloom.
 

Even in our shady courtyard there are flowers.
 

We have planted seeds in our hanging baskets and pots, we also planted potatoes in tubs yesterday which should be ready for eating in June and July.
 

No gardening or walks today, I hope you can see from this photograph that it is snowing and extremely cold outside.
 

Take care everyone and stay healthy.