Would Paella fit through the letter box?

Food glorious food, or rather “Promenade en Gastronomy Daglan 2017”. Our first impression of the event was the unmistakable aroma of roasting chicken and paella which permeated our home last Sunday morning. Our cat Angel sitting by the front door and licking her lips was also a sure sign that the Gastronomy Sunday was up and running.

The Paella and roast chicken stall made using our front door interesting to say the least and keeping the shutters closed reduced the temptation for our cats to go on secret raids. I had visions of Angel dragging a whole roast chicken home.

The side door was also temporarily blocked by a large white van being unloaded. No problem we waited for the lane to clear to enjoy the experience.

For Sunday lunch we could have lowered a basket from the balcony.

 
Le Place De La Liberté was packed with stalls offering various types of food and drink.

 
Long queues of locals and tourists were forming to buy the produce.

 
Tempted by truffles, these looked so good.

 
The forest materialised the day before for the truffle dog demonstration. Such a gorgeous dog who found the truffles in record time, but I think that the aroma of chicken, sausage and paella was a great distraction.

 
The Boulangerie stall selling various types of bread.

 
One simply cannot have a Gourmand Sunday without garlic.

 
Or wine, this is just one of the many stalls selling wine.

 
Perhaps a little too much wine (or beer), but it looked like great fun.

 
 
Events :-

Dominique ALLAËRT is displaying his wonderful watercolours.
See and buy them at l’Ancien Presbytère, Daglan until the 26th August.
Dominique ALLAËRT, Aquarelliste.

 
 

La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day) in Daglan

The French National Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on the 14th July 1789, which was a turning point of the French Revolution. The date also celebrates from 1790 the Fête de la Federation which is for the unity of the French people, a tradition clearly upheld in our village, not only by French people but all of the different nationalities that live here.

Parade to the cenotaph which was led by our Maire Pascal Dussol.

 
We particularly love how he always greets and welcomes everyone that he meets.

 
Gorgeous flowers to be laid at the cenotaph in front of La Petit Paris restaurant.

 
A welcoming and moving speech. This little boy will grow up to be a star of film and stage I am sure.

 
After the ceremony we were all invited by the Maire to join him for drinks and snacks.

 
It was great meeting up with friends in the village. “Santé Anita”

 
And more Santé to Roy and Letitia, it was the same glass of wine honestly. Do I look like I am wearing furry slippers? Roy’s dog had taken a liking to my feet

 
 
Events:-

Sarlat Theatre Festival during the months of 20th July to 5th August, Visit the Office de Tourisms at 3 Rue Tourny for events.

Night Markets start and continue through the months of July and August. Typically “marchés nocturnes” have a good choice of locally produced food, wine and beer, and a live band playing from about 8.00pm. Seating at tables is provided and seasoned night-market visitors will take their own crockery and cutlery.

Monday – Montignac
Tuesday – Bouzic
Wednesday – Belves
Thursday – Saint Cyprian
Friday – Saint-Cybranet
Saturday – Saint Pompon

Events may be subject to change so please check with the local Office de Tourisme

 
 

The Green Finger of Knowledge.

Last Sunday morning we needed to replace a few of our plants because our kitten Cleo had sat on them a few days earlier. Being squashed to pieces did not do them any good at all. Usually we get our plants from Sandrine at Daglan Sunday market but she was not there.

Sandrine is truly a marvel with information on plants, tell her what type of plant you are looking for and she will advise on colour, flowering period and instructions on where and how to plant them. If you plant them in an unsuitable place she will wag her finger at you advising you to move the plant.

This she did a few weeks ago when we bought plants from her. She ran across the main road pointed to the plant we had just bought and said ‘non’ and them spread her arms on the wall to show that it should be planted against a wall with a trellis. Yes, we moved the plant! Well she is the expert and we are only the learners of what will grow and where in our village so any help is always appreciated.

Back to the story, Sandrine was not at Daglan market but we’d seen posters that Cénac et Saint Julien was holding a flower festival so off we went. We found the main road in Cénac was closed to traffic to be used for their Flower Festival.

I am on the right buying basil from one of the many stalls.
 

I was so tempted by these gorgeous roses, the colours, the aroma, wow, but space being at a premium, practicality won.
 

We did buy flowers to replace the squashed ones from the stall above.
 

We found Sandrine with her magnificent display.
Just a few of the large selection on offer from the expert gardener.
 

I think that we need more help from her in order to achieve the above.
 
 

Event:- France Election this Sunday for the second and final round of votes for the two remaining candidates. Keeping fingers crossed all day!
 
 

Hidden and not so Hidden Gems of St Cyprian

Arriving at St Cyprien you are first greeted, by the commercial area with Carrefour Supermarket which has a very handy chemist, plus other stores including a DIY and a household electrical stores which we have found very useful. Head up to the town and you reach the main street the Rue Gambetta.

Along this charming road there are many restaurants and bars, a good fresh fish shop and a number of boutiques, there is also an excellent shop selling beautiful cabinets and stone hand basins for the bathroom. If you are looking for a coffee, a meal or simply a stroll taking in the French atmosphere, this is the street to head for. The tourist information office is on this street and they can give you a very useful map for exploring the old town.

Our not so Hidden Gem. If you use the Credit Agricole bank in St Cyprian you will have noticed across the road from the bank a very interesting Roman style sunken garden which is I am afraid to say is somewhat neglected now but you can imagine how wonderful it once was.

It looks gorgeous even now.
 

A market is held every Sunday morning throughout the year and Wednesday mornings in the summer season.

The array and variety of fresh produce is outstanding.
 

Every basket you could possibly want is on display
 
Our Hidden Gem. A weekend Brocante is held each April and is hidden away at the back of the Sunday market in and around the Salle des Fetes.

Does anyone remember these dress makers models? My mother used to have one like the model to the back, right. Very awkward to use, she had to take it apart and rebuild every time she needed another size. With my help due to the fact that it was always very difficult to attach the pins.
 

Our purchases from the Brocante. Blue and gold leaf coffee cup
 

Plus a red and gold leaf tea cup and saucer
 
 
Event:- Cenac this Sunday, 30th April for the Flower Festival
 
 

Truffle Festival

This is undoubtedly the highlight of January, Sarlat Truffle Festival which ran for two days last weekend. There are not many things that would entice me to leave the warmth of a log fire when the temperature outside is -2 and I have a bad cold but the prospect of buying a truffle wins every time.

At up to one thousand euros a kilo the fusty, musty, heady truffle is among the worlds most expensive foods, comparable to caviar that is a similar price.

You can find truffles used in moose, macerons, chocolate, and thinly sliced on top or in various meat and vegetarian dishes. When Paul and I had a holiday in Umbria many years ago we were introduced to truffle ice cream, sounds a bit icky but it was so delicious.

Due to the fact that it can be used to flavour foods before you actually use the truffle it can be quite economical. Dropped in with other foods such as eggs, pasta, chicken or rice so the truffle aroma and taste will permeate most food products you can make a small truffle last for several meals.
 

Medieval Quarter in Sarlat Medieval Quarter in Sarlat where truffle hunters and Chiefs from all over the Perigord Black sell their truffles and truffle creations.

There have always been truffles in the Perigord Black but due to the First and Second World Wars, the nurture of the truffle went into decline, on one hand due to the loss of the smallholders and on the other hand the shrinking forests due to changes of land use and the exhaustion of truffle friendly trees. Across France in the 1930’s, the truffle harvest was roughly 1000 tons. During the 1960’s replanting of trees such as the French Oak was introduced plus other trees to test the growth of truffles. Now however is the constant threat of climate change. Hotter Summers and less rainfalls in other parts of France is reducing the growth of the truffle. So as the harvest starts to decline so the price increases. Today in sharp contrast it is only about 50 tons.
 

Truffles on displayVery proud owners of the truffle selling their finds at various weights and quality.
 

Truffle mooseTruffles made into moose with grated truffle on top, or thinly sliced between pate.
 

Two young Chiefs Two young Chiefs competing for the best truffle macerons. We did buy two macerons from them and ate them while the Chiefs waited for our response. Truly delicious boys.
 

Truffle maceronsOf course we had to buy two large macerons from another Chief to take home with us. You can not beat coffee or chocolate macerons made with truffles, the flavour is magnificent.
 

Our little truffleOur little prize along side a dessert spoon, we only paid fifteen euros so a really good price. We placed the truffle on top of eggs and left them over night. The truffle had permeated the egg shell by the morning giving the scrambled eggs the luxury flavour of truffle. Now the truffle is sitting in the rice container to flavour the rice.

A pig or a dog is usually used to sniff and find truffles in the forests, however I think that we may have the first truffle cat! Our kitten Cleo loves the smell of truffle.
 

Events:-

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 28th and 29th January for the International Céou Canoe Race.

Daglan 19th March for the Second Spring Festival of Flowers.

Doctor Zhivargo comes to Sarlat!

Sarlat Christmas Market.

The Christmas market in Sarlat consists of about forty chalets, all offering artisan products from Christmas decorations, toys, paintings, candy, macaroons, chocolate, scarves, hats to beer, mulled wine, snacks and more. Our first visit to the market was last Thursday but I am sure that there will be more. I love Christmas and the Christmas market in Sarlat fills me, and I am sure many others, with joy. This year the Christmas market and indeed the Medieval Quarter and the main streets all have a Russian theme, which looks brilliant.
 

Entrance to Sarlat Christrmas MarketEntrance to the market along the red carpet, which is to be found in the main car park in Sarlat. The Commune have spent over a month getting the car park transformed into a winter wonderland.
 

Russian Winter sledgeRussian Winter sledge which brought back memories of the film Doctor Zhivargo, I could just picture myself sitting wrapped up snug and warm alongside Hugh Jackman. I know he was not in the film but a girl can dream.
 

Russian dolls I love this collection of Russian dolls for sale, such vivid colours.
 

Fresh baked PretzelsFresh baked Pretzels, oh my another temptation, trying to loose a few pound before Christmas has never been so hard, I think that I will leave the diet until the New Year!
 

Artisan potteryAll hand made pots in different colours.
 

St PetersburgSt Petersburg back drop in the centre of the Market.

There is also a large ice skating rink for all ages and of course Father Christmas is to be found at the entrance. The market is open until the 30th December.

Recup’acteurs

This was our first visit to Recup’acteurs warehouse who are holding a craft market today and tomorrow, ten until four.

Recup’acteurs is an eco-citizen activity with the idea of reducing waste, it is an excellent recycling centre run by a none profit organisation for the Perigord Noir. If you have any goods you no longer use that could be given a second home they would be welcome. It is to be found at ZAE du Perigord Noir, Vialard, Sarlat. It is well worth a visit on any Friday or Saturday when it is open to the public from 10:00-19:00.

Recup'acteurs The various craft stalls at the entrance to the warehouse.

We were told that the lady displaying gorgeous table lamps makes the shade from Victorian linen bloomers, brilliant idea and fantastic quality.

There are refreshments of home made cakes, biscuits, coffee, soup and mulled wine, all made by the expert hand of Judith, the proprietress of Le Thé Vert. Paul had a coffee, I opted for the mulled wine, it was very warming on a cold day and delicious too.

Everything to buyThere is everything to buy including chandeliers, tableware, glassware, pottery, furniture, electrical goods, books, linen and much, much more.

Toy and Teddy And a wide selection of toys and teddy bears.

dscn2015I did buy two items of Limoges pottery, price… one euro the pair, The water jug will be on display in my bedroom and the dish will be used for storing soaps in the bathroom.

Recup’Acteurs websiteFacebook page
 

Events:-

Christmas Fair at Vitrac on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00

Sarlat Christmas Fair opens on the 7th December