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
 
 

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.
 
 

Food Food Glorious Food.

The Fête de la Gastronomie was a great success. The rain clouds had rolled away and the sun was shining brightly on the vast number of people who attended the event in Daglan yesterday. Fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, wine, bread, cakes, the list goes on. Everything that you would want to eat in the square or to take home. No need either to look for something to drink there were wine sellers, artisan beers and a bar selling wine and soft drinks. They also had cooking demonstrations and a truffle dog who always seems to be attracted to the aroma of the sausage stall.

It was an all day event which everyone enjoyed.
 

Not only in the Place de la Liberté, there were stalls lining the main street too.
 

“The bar is now open for customers”.
 

The aroma of French markets is wonderful. I particularly liked the spice stall.
 

Bunches of garlic for sale.
 

An excellent selection of cheeses.
 

Who would say no to a bottle or two.
 
 
Events :-


 


 
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From Extreme Heat to Refreshing Rain.

Over the last few months the temperature has been so high, in fact too high for me and far too high for our cats to tolerate. Ranging from high 30s C up to 43C every day and reaching 36C in the shade. Staying in doors was the only option
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However, Cleo had a good idea when she found a little water at the bottom of our bucket that we keep on top of the well. Front paws were easy, now how to get the back paws into the water. Try has she might it was impossible, but so funny.
 

The heat of the day melted our candles on the veranda.
 

I have never been so glad to see the rain that arrived yesterday
 

Ever resourceful our local supermarket was collecting the rain in the large bin. The rain came down so heavily that it was like having your own waterfall at the side of the supermarket. Needless to say the temperature has dropped to a very comfortable mid twenties, all ready for the Fête de la Gastronomie in Daglan tomorrow. All local produce from the area, plus the amazing truffle dog.
 
 

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.