Preserved Tomatoes.

A couple of weeks ago we were given tomatoes by two of our friends who grow their own fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes straight from the vine smell and taste so good. So for a Winter treat I thought that I would try preserve tomatoes. Having never preserved tomatoes before I was a little apprehensive, but I can honestly say that it was quick, easy, no problem at all. So if you grow you own tomatoes or get then fresh from a farmers market buy 2kg and try it out. The taste is fabulous, much better than tinned tomatoes.

Makes 6 Jars

Time: 45 minutes, plus sterilising and cooling.

You will need:- 6 clean glass jars with lids and about 2kg of ripe tomatoes. Plus a little drizzle of olive oil.

1. Wash the tomatoes, then remove the stalks. Depending on the size of the jars, either halve or quarter the tomatoes.

2. Then start to fill the jars, intermittently adding a leaf of fresh basil. Pressing the tomatoes down with the back of a wooden spoon so that they are tightly packed.

The bulk of the preserved tomatoes were made using the above method but I also made a few the jars with slices of fresh chilli for Paul.

3. Now, make extra sure that the jars are full and packed tightly so that there are no air gaps, add a drizzle of olive oil on top. Then seal each jar tightly.

4. Submerge each jar in a large pan of gently boiling water. Then boil for about thirty minutes. To slightly cook the tomatoes and sterilise the jars.

5. Turn the heat off and leave to cool overnight in the pan of water.

These should keep for about three or four months in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep them in the fridge and use within a week.

Trust me once you have tasted the tomatoes, they will not last for very long.

The taste of Summer for the Winter months, if you can store them that long.

They can be used in sauces, stew, casserole, chilli, pasta dishes etc.
 
 

Events:-

Organ Concert in Sarlat on the 1st September at 11am.

Flea Market in Vitrac 16th September.

15th and 16th September at Castlenaud, Tournament of Medieval Fencing.
 
 

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Eyrignac Manor Garden

Not far from Sarlat are the gardens of Eyrignac Manor, where the French writer Gauthier de Costes de la Calprenede lived in the 17th Century. It is one of France’s most beautiful gardens and contains over 300 topiary sculptures and 50,000 yew, hornbeam, box and ivy plants and is well worth a visit.

Paul with our friends Hayley and Paul sitting in the shade of the Chinese Pagoda.

 

Manor d’Artaban.

 
It was Antoine de Costes de la Calprenede (1605-1689) councillor at the Presidential Court of Sarlat and appointed first Consul and defender of the town during the battles against royal power, who built the residence on the ruins of a former castle.
 

The Chapel and Dovecote.

 

Formally a smoke house for walnuts and grain.

 

The Washing Place.

 
Fed by one of the seven springs that flow through Eyrignac. It was built to accommodate six washing women. Who completed the laundry with the help from the neighbours twice a year!
 

The Florists Garden.

 
Flowers are cultivated for decoration in the Manor house.
 

Kitchen Garden with an unusual hedge of apple trees.

 

Our favourite the White Garden with its gorgeous frog fountains.

 

Superb private garden for the Manor House.

 
 

Event;- 29th July : not to be missed this Sunday, Daglan Gourmand.
 
 

Happy Birthday Michelle.

I am terrible at keeping secrets so I was very glad when the surprise Birthday present for our friend Michelle remained a secret until the last moment. Michelle was staying with Paul and I for a short holiday and arrived a few days ago. She did not know what was going to happen, only that she needed to wear trousers and flat shoes for the morning outing. “No Michelle not bungee jumping”.

Club Hippique was perfect with a friendly and welcoming trainer who has won so many medals for his (and his horses) abilities and expertise that it would take too long to list them all.

This particular horse, a Golden Palomino, was so friendly and so very gorgeous.

 

Mounted and ready for the tour.

 

The tour lasted about an hour with the trainer escorting Michelle all the way down to the river Dordogne and back.

Paul and I walked along with them to enjoy the stunning views of the country side so occasionally we needed to catch up.
“We need to be on a horse the next time we plan a tour Paul”.
 

Happy Birthday Michelle.
 

So cute, mom checking baby is right behind her. Only born three weeks ago to an Arabian stallion and mare.
 

We all had a wonderful time, thank you so much.

 
 

Events;-

Visit the Daglan Expo Art plastique which is open every day until the 8th July.

Night Markets start in Sarlat 28th June to 30th August.

Saint-Cyprien Folk Festival 29th June. The event is celebrated each year in a different town in the Perigord, this year it is the turn of Saint-Cyprien. Singing, dancing, story tellers and a concert in the evening.

 
 

New Happenings in Daglan.

A few years ago you could not buy any vegetarian products in France. Well slightly not true, you could buy the freshest vegetables you have ever tasted, picked that morning to sell at the market. However, tofu or soya etc was not to be found. Even restaurants gave me a sympathetic ‘poor thing’ response when I said that I was vegetarian. With one response saying that they would “take the meat out of the soup”!

In more recent times things have changed for the better. Now you can order vegetarian meals in most restaurants and you can buy vegetarian products right here at the 8 à Huit in Daglan. Tofu and BIO foods, absolutely brilliant.
 

Here you can see more of the range of products on offer. Do come and try out a few.
 

Chris and Virginie are always there to help.
 

They also sell a good range of wines too and are open from eight in the morning to eight at night during the summer season.
 

Daglan is in full bloom and more and more planting is taking place.
 

Gorgeous, well done.
 

Last but not least a wonderful new jewellery stall has appeared in the Daglan Sunday market.

Superb jewellery made from Capim Dourado ( Brazilian for golden grass). The plant which is transformed into such gorgeous jewellery is indigenous to the central region of Cerrado in Brazil and is only harvested from the end of September to the end of November.

Capim Dourado, with its sustainable and environmentally friendly growing and harvesting is the main source of income for the Xerente ethnic group of people that live in the area.

In order to import these golden jewels a partnership was developed directly with the local artisans. So that the entire collection’s origin is certified, all of the jewellery is handmade in Jalapao to the strict regulations of the area.

The only material used in the collection is the ‘golden grass’, with gold-plated mounts in order to keep the jeweller’s quality. Which is amazing and so light. I particularly like the ear rings and the bracelets.
 
 

Events:-

Free Rock Concert on the 21st June at La Roque-Gageac from 7pm in the village.

Fête de la Music begins 21st June in Sarlat.

Sports Day from 9am, hiking, football, archery, paintball and a bouncy castle on the 24th June at Vitrac.
 
 

New Gems for Sarlat.

I never get tied of taking a picture of the stunning architecture around Sarlat Medieval Quarter and this sunny morning was no exception. The square was beginning to come alive for the tourist season with huge parasols welcoming people to sit down, have a rest, drink coffee or delicious hot chocolate and take in the sights.

Medieval Quarter.
 

A sculptor has opened a shop to show his art so take a walk inside and look at the many exhibits, they are very good so you may be tempted to buy a few.
 

This shop is full of witches, trolls, dragons and of course ducks!
 

If you like olives this is the place. Yummy.
 

All the artisan cheese you could ever wish for, plus a good selection of wine. They even have truffle cheese which you can taste before you buy.
 

Walk down any street in old Sarlat and you will find interesting buildings dating back to ancient times. On the monumental portal, an inscription in Latin signifying: “May God watch you enter and exit”. (Psalm)
 

A new leather goods store selling all hand made items. I particularly like the handbags.
 
 

Events:

Put on your dancing shoes for this event in Sarlat.
 

Also, do you own a Château?

Do you own and run your own French Château? Or are you planning to buy one with renovation in mind? Kindling Media would like to talk to British Château owners about a potential series of Escape to the Château DIY, with Dick and Angel Stawbridge. Which will be filmed and shown on British television.
If you are interested please email info@kindlingmedia.tv with your contact details and write a few lines about your story.