Spring is in the air.

Spring is here,
in the air,
you can smell it coming
on the breeze.

It seems a little early but we have seen good signs that spring is just around the corner. It has been a strange February with below freezing temperatures when I get up in the mornings to feed the stray cats (have four now). However, during the course of the morning the temperature rises to 19 or 20C. So a thick sweater is wise in the morning and a light top in the afternoon. It is great getting outside to enjoy the scenery once more.

The first sign of Spring for us is always when the flower lady arrives back in Daglan for the Sunday market,


 

with her gorgeous array of colours.


 
Daffodowndilly by A.A Milne

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind,
and curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head,
and whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead”.
 

Still quite deep and very fast flowing, the River Ceou so sparkling clean for wild life.


 

A gorgeous display of spring flowers in our neighbours garden.


 

Coccus, with their heads turned towards the sun


 

New for spring. Book selves have been placed into the old bus shelter. So that now we have two book exchanges. The other book swap is next to the Marie.


 
 

Events :
My favourite Festival in Sarlat will be held on 16th and 17th March.

Visit this marvelous event to watch and sample the Master Chocolatiers creations.


 
 

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Club De L’Amitie Daglanaise.

An excellent first meal of the year was provided after the Club AGM yesterday, created by Chef Fabrice of La Cantine which is situated in Daglan village.

Of course it is not only the food which draws people, club business, projects, election of new committee members and it is a brilliant chance for a catch up with friends and a great opportunity to meet new people.


 

Excellent service, company, food and wine.
 

Bon Appetit.
 

My main course was a delicious vegetarian option. I must try and get the recipe from Fabrice.
 

The Three Musketeers.
 

Congratulations Elaine for your appointment to the Committee.
 

Presentation of flowers or a bottle of wine for Birthday celebrations.
 

Big hugs.
 

Gorgeous smiles. Look forward to our next meal together.
 
 

Event:-La Chandeleur will be celebrated on the 2nd February. It originates from an ancient Latin and Pagan festival. Later becoming the Christian celebration of Candlemas, bringing hope and warmth in the midst of Winter.

Traditionally in France It is when people make delicious crêpes for everyone to enjoy. You should hold a gold coin in one hand while flipping the crêpe in the pan with the other. If you succeed in flipping the crêpe, you will have a prosperous and fortunate year ahead.
 
 

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.
 
 

Diamonds of Perigord.

The first black truffles of winter arrived in Daglan this morning and Paul was there ready and waiting to see the quality on display as were so many of the other villagers.

The aromatic smell and the dark brown almost black skin is amazing, they can regularly reach up to 10cm across although some can be bigger, one was found in the Perigord in 2012 with a mass of 1.277 kg.

The flesh is at first white, then dark which is flecked by white veins which turn brown with age. The best truffles are to be found in the forests of the Perigord with the help of a truffle dog or the occasional truffle pig. Pigs have the better nose for sniffing out the truffles but in recent years they are used less and less because they do enjoy eating them.

Truffles have earned the name ‘Diamonds of Perigord’.

Waiting to look and buy.
 

Catching up with friends at the truffle market.
 

I love the elderly gentleman on the right, his facial expression as he looks down proudly at his truffles.
 

Paul opted for one of these lovelies.
 

I had to be very quick taking this picture of our truffle, our cat Cleo just adores the smell. Last seen hunting the screwed up paper bag that our truffle came in, Who knows she could be the first truffle cat of the Perigord.
 

In cooking; black truffles refine the taste of meat, fish, soups, pasta, risotto etc. We love truffle eggs, truffle grated onto tagliatelle, truffle butter on fresh crusty bread or placed into a jar of rice for a few days so the magnificent aroma permeates the rice.

Daglan Truffle Market is held in the school yard behind the Mairie every Sunday at 11 o’clock until the end of February.

Pop in and buy one or two or more and enjoy.
 
 

Paul and I visited Sarlat Christmas Market yesterday, due to the Truffle market I got a little side tracked, next blog… I promise
 
 

Good News, we can still buy French bread!

There is no milk in our supermarket in Daglan. In-fact no milk and no deliveries of most things will be arriving in any Supermarket for at least another week but local bread is still being delivered.

France’s major strike by the Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) is having an effect on the Perigord area in which we live. The Gilets Jaunes are protesting against sharp increases in diesel and petrol prices which could come into force in January. This impacts on the overall rising costs of food etc. and therefore the fall in living standards for a lot of people.

We experienced the strike first hand this morning has we drove to Sarlat market. The roundabouts at two major junctions were very active with people wearing yellow vests, but traffic was flowing. On the way back from Sarlat we observed protesters who were stopping traffic going into Sarlat. Unsure for how long the delay was but expect some delays over the next few days.

More news, you can still buy local fresh vegetables and fruit at the markets… That is if you can get to them.
 

Excellent News for me this week. I have had my first Commission for my artisan embroidery work.

Truffles and truffle oil.
 

Walnuts in a wicker basket.
 

I am so trilled, excited and so very pleased that the person who commissioned me loves the embroidery pictures which will go into her two gites named “Walnut” and “Truffle”.

I am working towards an exhibition in Daglan next July and August. Which will cover a variety of themes and local interest, plus embroidered bags, cushions, pillow cases, lavender hearts etc.
 
 

Event:-Sarlat Marché de Noël, 5th to the 31st December. This years theme is Spain, I can not wait.