Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What a lovely Christmas

We’ve just spent our very first Christmas in France and it was quite different. Much quieter and more low key than in England, especially as there’s no Boxing Day either. Even though there would only be the two of us, we had decided to have a traditional Christmas with a lovely turkey dinner and crackers. But just a few days before the big day, our son booked flights to come and see us. To say we were excited was an understatement. We had 6 fantastic days with him, eating and drinking too much, going for lovely walks, making silly faces and relaxing. He brought us lots of goodies to eat, things that he thought we might not be able get here – Paxo, Bisto granules, Matchmakers, Chocolate Brazils, Fudge, Lime Pickle, Coconut curry sauce, Pickled onions, Gherkins and loads more. When he found out that I hadn’t planned to make yorkies, he said he would make them. They were brilliant and a rose lot better than mine. But, note one is missing, apparently it needed a taste test, so didn’t quite make it to the plate!!  We Skyped and phoned our families in England to wish them a Merry Christmas. It’s great to have the technology that brings everyone together. Sadly our other son couldn’t make it as he worked on Christmas Eve, but we hope to see him in the New Year.

Christmas 2014 (23)
Christmas 2014 (47)
Me and Daz
Me and Roger

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Joyeux Noël

Chez les Houmeaux

 Wishing all our family and friends
a very
Merry Christmas.
Have a fantastic day xx

The photo was taken at Chez Les Houmeaux. A little hamlet not far from us which is totally decorated with all things Christmas. Here’s a video of last years decorations.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Homemade Yogurt

Lets not make homemade yogurt, without working out what time it would be ready first!! In my excitement of wanting to use my new yogurt maker (early Christmas present), I didn't take into consideration what time it would be ready. So silly me had to get up at 2am to put it in the fridge. But the yogurt was worth the early alarm call, it was delicious with a dollop of rhubarb compote on top.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Repas de Noel

Yesterday we went to our first Christmas dinner at St Coutant. There were around 60 people there all enjoying a fantastic lunch. Everyone took starters for us all to share, followed by either poached salmon or venison casserole. Of course, you then have cheese followed by either a chocolate or raspberry desert. Everything was washed down with plenty of wine or orange juice followed by tea and coffee. At the end we sang a few carols in French and English which was a challenge. Great company and a good laugh, we will definitely go next year.

Repas 2
Repas 4
Repas 3

Sunday, 14 December 2014

All sold

As an update to yesterday, we made just over 400 mince pies, and sold them all by 3.15pm. I sold 24 to one man who said they were delicious. I bet they won’t last until Christmas !!Selling Mince Pies 13th December 2014 (3)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Making Mince Pies

Yesterday, myself and group of lovely ladies made zillions of mince pies, to sell at Lezay market today. Zillions is probably an exaggeration, but we must have made over 500. Last year 200 were made and they sold in a flash, so more were needed this year. We made everything by hand, apart from the mince and had a great production line going. A lovely lunch was provided of wine, soup, cheese and fruit to keep us going. The French love mince pies, which surprised me, and as you can’t buy them in the supermarket, it’s a great way of selling traditional English Christmas fare to them. I’ll let you know tomorrow how we got on.

Mince Pies (1)
Mince Pies (2)
Mince Pies (6)
Mince Pies (13)
Mince Pies (14)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Market and a walk around St Romans les Melle

Well our first Christmas market was frankly, very disappointing. Roger described it as thin on the ground. There were games for the children, some crafts and a few foodie bits, but nothing that made me feel really Christmassy. There are some more to visit next weekend, so hopefully they will be better.

After the market we took a lovely walk around St Romans les Melle. Very short, just under 2 miles but lots to see. The church, which dates from the 12th century with a square tower being added in the 15th century. It dominates the village and is set in a valley which overlooks the square. St Romans also has 3 lavoirs and a lovely village centre with a tabac/bar and restaurant. We came across a pretty bridge called Pont Romain over the River Béronne. Beautiful spot, perfect for a picnic, but it was too cold for that today.

L'eglise St Romans
St Romans
Lavoir St Romans

Thursday, 4 December 2014

We must be mad!!

Gluttons for punishment, why because we’ve sandblasted again!! It would have taken weeks of chipping to get the remainder of the paint off the walls. So we took the decision to sandblast the walls again. Another 48 bags of sand and 2 days later we’ve managed to get all but a few bits of paint off. We were so close to the end with 1 1/2 bags to go when the pressure hose burst. So that put a stop to any more dust making. If anyone has ever sandblasted, they will know you can’t see a thing and the mess is just awful. Even with taped up doors, dust just seems to find it’s way into every crevice!! Oh well, it was a job worth doing, just need to get on with the big clean-up. Hope you like our gorgeous outfits and my romantic surprise written in the dusty cover over the sofa :)

I Love You