Fête du Printemps

You do not need to wait until May to see the flowers in bloom.

From the moment that March begins signs of Spring are all around. From lighter mornings and evenings, to the multitude of gorgeous flowers, plants and trees emergeing into bloom as soon as the sun begins to shine.

Our Spring delight is of course the Daglan Flower Festival. Which this morning was brimming with vivid colours and intriguingly inviting perfumes of new blooms.
 

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet,
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

From a song written in the 1930s by Will Holt.

This one on sale today was magnificent.

I love lemons:- Reminders of Lemoncello which we drank for the first time on a very hot day in Sorrento, gorgeous. Lemon flavoured cakes, puddings, main courses the list is endless.
 

Every flower that you could possibly think of was for sale today, plus exotic trees and shrubs, herbs and honey.
 

Hush, you can hear it?
The rustling in the grass.
Bringing you the welcome news that Winter’s day is long past.
Soft, can you feel it?
The warm caressing breeze,
Telling you that the buds are bursting from on the trees.
Look, can you see them?
The primrose, daffodil and rose.
Now you must believe it, Spring is here again.

It Must Be Spring by May Fenn 2014.
 

From Exotic trees and shrubs…

… to gorgeous perfumed roses – and everything in between.
 

All of the proceeds from this cakes, biscuits and drinks stall go to the local schools of Daglan, Castlenaud, and St Cyprian.
 

There was also potpourri mineral, packets of seeds, ornaments, garden equipment, pots and in the Ancien Presbytere, talks and information on orchids and bee keeping.

Not forgetting books for sale in the Salle de Fetes were you could also buy hot or cold drinks.
 
 

Event:-

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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.
 
 

Bonne Année.

Looking back over 2018 it has been an unusual year full of stress, worry and a few high notes. With the prospect of more eventful times to come with Brexit casting its dark shadow over our heads. Things are, shall we say, very uncertain.

What I thought is needed in these difficult times are a few delights and some positive thinking to bring a smile to our faces.

What could be more delightful than teddy bears, which started to appear in shops, cafes and Metro Stations across Paris not so long ago, not as a publicity stunt but just to bring a smile to peoples faces. This wonderful idea has gone nationwide and teddy bears started to appear everywhere. So it came has no surprise that they have been spotted in Sarlat.

Sarlat Tourist Office, adorned with Seasonal decorations and Teddy Bears.
 

Next to the Cathedral. Brilliant, it made me smile.
 

Another smile from an heart warming tale that I read recently. A stranger paid for the entire remaining stock of a sandwich shop so that future customers could eat for free. The man in his fifties, who wanted to remain anonymous, surprised staff at the Sandwich House in Grenoble by paying 238 euros for everything in the shop, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, pizzas and panini.
 

Who could not smile at our fury baby Cleo who was very excited on Christmas morning. “Another mouse”, and lots of crinkly paper… what a happy girl.
 

Angel, looking so gorgeous.

She is unwell at the moment but the vet gave us good news, she just has a tummy bug and she should be feeling better by Monday.
 
 

So staying with good news, the best time for truffles is here.

Daglan truffle market opens in the school playground every Sunday at eleven o’clock until the end of February.

Sarlat Truffle Festival is on the 19th and 20th January. Not only can you buyg truffles but there will be demonstrations and tasting of truffle creations by master chefs. You must try the truffle macaroons, they are gorgeous.
We tried grated truffle in creamed potato for the first time last week, so good.
 
 

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Over recent weeks Sarlat has been transformed from a beautiful medieval town to a wonderful Christmas village. The highlight being Sarlat Christmas Market (this year with a Spanish theme) and outdoor skating rink. Open until the end of December, with up to forty wooden chalets selling traditional arts and crafts, mulled wine, cakes, hot roasted chestnuts and caviar! But I saw no tapas on our morning visit!

Snow flakes flutter down in this tableau scene at the entrance to the Christmas Market.
 

I particular like the traditional Christmas tree ornaments for sale in quite a few of the chalets. Glass baubles, wooden hearts, and lots of red bows that are very popular in this area of France.

Incidentally, many French Christmas traditions originate from Alsace and it was in the town of Selestat that Christmas trees first appeared in the 11th Century. People used to decorate their trees with real fruit but one year the harvest was poor and a local glass blower from Goetzenbruck in Moselle tried to replicate the fruit by creating glass balls to hang on the branches. However, I have heard of a few more places that have been named for the origination of glass ornaments! Wherever they came from, they are gorgeous.

Facade of a Spanish Finca welcomes visitors to the market.
 

I do love this little donkey standing outside the chalet of the Donkey Sanctuary where you can buy gorgeous soap, aprons, tea towels etc. The profit goes to the upkeep of the Sanctuary.
 

New to the Christmas Market is a chalet selling Neuvic Caviar.
 

Spanish Flamenco dancers or matadors decorate many of the chalets.
 

Prints of Salvador Dali paintings hang from the trees. This painting is a particular favourite of mine.
 

Paul admiring the traditional wooden Christmas tree decorations in this chalet.
 
 

Event:-Daglan Truffle Market every Sunday from 11am until February.

26th to 30th December Merlin at Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. This is a narrative show for young children in sound, shadows and light. Shows are at 11 o’clock, 2.30 and 3.30.

Sarlat Truffle Festival 19th and 20th January.
 
 

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