30 December 2015

Going out like a lamb... here

I hear and read stories of all the bad weather in the middle section of the U.S. — Judy says parts of the Saint-Louis area are under water and friends in Illinois have flooding on their property east of Urbana. Evelyn has mentioned, and news reports here in France have shown pictures of, all the tornadoes and damage in Mississippi, Alabama, and east Texas. There have been blizzards in New Mexico, parts of Texas, and Oklahoma.

Photos from Monday morning's walk

In addition, parts of Scotland and northern England are flooded and are expecting more rain today. Meanwhile, 2015 is going out like a lamb here in France. Temperatures are still exceptionally mild around Saint-Aignan, and we've had mostly sunny days recently with only light rains from time to time. The forecast for today is for more of the same, with some gentle rain possible tonight. I washed a couple of comforter covers overnight and I'm thinking of hanging them on the line outside to let them dry.


Yesterday I loaded up the car with broken-down cardboard boxes — we've ordered a lot of little packages from Amazon France over the past six weeks — along with the usual empty bottles and cans, plus tons of publicity flyers that arrive in the mail. I headed for the recycle center, just 4 or 5 miles from the house, over on the other side of the river in Noyers. It doesn't open until 10, so I made sure not to get there too early. (One service we don't have here is curbside recycling.)


I found the gates locked and the place closed. I noticed a sign that lists the déchetterie's business hours. There I saw: Mardi matin — Fermé. Mardi après-midi — Fermé. Closed on Tuesdays. Well, that's new. For years, the déchetterie has been open every weekday, with the only exception being Thursday mornings. It took a while, but I'd gotten used to that schedule. Foiled again.


Today, Walt's driving down to the market in Saint-Aignan, which will be open today to give people a chance to do their New Year's Eve food shopping. There won't be a market on Saturday. We're getting oysters, as I've mentioned. Oysters and lettuce are the only things we need, really. I went to the market a week ago to pick up our turkey, and it wasn't crowded at all, so I imagine Walt will be out of the house for just a few minutes. We are only two miles from the market square.


Yesterday's turkey lunch was mushroom-barley soup made with turkey poaching broth, pearl barley, fresh mushrooms, and some onion, thyme, and oregano. Oh, and some chopped up turkey meat (a drumstick). At the last minute, I added some green beans for color. It was tasty and satisfying.

14 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

We are very lucky here with the weather at the moment...
but it is confusing for other creatures...
a couple of days back I saw one of the "big black bomber bees"...
a carpenter bee... searching holes in the wall...
but I feel really sorry for all those affected by the extreme weather conditions... we've friends in Yorkshire... one of whom, luckily, moved his 2CV business from near the river and canal in Sowerby Bridge to a bigger unit in Bradford... but also higher!!

Pauline isn't so enamoured with the weather... the soil is still too wet to plant the garlic... these small amounts of rain we've been getting are slightly more than the evaporation and drainage...
and it must be growing before the frosts do arrive, else we won't get good cloves.

I like "pink moon setting"...
just taken the very same view of la lune...
but using a new telephoto...

"...we've ordered a lot of little packages from Amazon France over the past six weeks"....
you two too, huh!
But for us... they are boiler starters...
no car run here with "carton"!
They'll have announced your déchetterie's change of hours in two places... the board outside the "county" offices... and in a small, obscure, cheap corner of the local paper...
ours used a "free" publicity rag last time...
distributed to all those people who have NOT got a "No Pub" sticker on their mailbox.

I turned our "falling apart" capon into a terrine...
alternate layers of meat and stuffing, bound with some of the five litres of stock mixed with gelatine... excellent scran!
the remaining stock is now split into four... two for the freezer and two as different soups.
I shall be using your poaching method for fowl a lot...
the roasted bird was far moister than normal...
but just as crispy after the oven.

As usual... a post within yours... desolé!

Diogenes said...

Ken your soup looks delicious. Barley, good idea, I think I'll steal it and add some to our turkey broth. Sending good wishes to al the people subjected to this flooding both in the States and the UK; hopefully it resolves quickly. Would this precipitation have been more manageable if it had arrived as snow?

NotesFromAbroad said...

No snow here but dark clouds and cold so I expect to see snow soon. New York State up near Albany.
I have turkey broth, and vegetables, I am going to see if I can copy your soup or at least mimic it in a way.
On gloomy cold days, nothing is better than making and eating soup ... or as my neighbor calls it ... Zoop !

Ken Broadhurst said...

I looked at a Martha Stewart recipe for mushroom-barley soup, and it looked good, but MS used quick-cooking barley. I didn't have any but the long-cooking kind. I think the mushroom and barley flavors complement each other, and if the broth is good, so is the soup.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Turkey-barley soup is one I've had for years -- a friend in California used to make it during the holidays. I like the mushrooms with the barley too. I was just reading an article about how bad the flooding along the mid-Mississippi river basin is already, and is going to be for a while. Another article says that the current temperature at the North Pole is about 32F, which makes it 50 degrees higher than normal. Scary.

Ken Broadhurst said...

That capon and stuffing terrine sounds very good, Tim. Tell P. that I'm not so thrilled with this strange weather either, even if my greens seem to be happy with it. This will be the third unusually mild winter in a row unless something changes pretty drastically in Jan. or Feb. Insects do seem to be very active right now, even though they aren't particularly attacking the collard plants.

Ken Broadhurst said...

That capon and stuffing terrine sounds very good, Tim. Tell P. that I'm not so thrilled with this strange weather either, even if my greens seem to be happy with it. This will be the third unusually mild winter in a row unless something changes pretty drastically in Jan. or Feb. Insects do seem to be very active right now, even though they aren't particularly attacking the collard plants.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Turkey-barley soup is one I've had for years -- a friend in California used to make it during the holidays. I like the mushrooms with the barley too. I was just reading an article about how bad the flooding along the mid-Mississippi river basin is already, and is going to be for a while. Another article says that the current temperature at the North Pole is about 32F, which makes it 50 degrees higher than normal. Scary.

LaPré DelaForge said...

I might even blog about it?

LaPré DelaForge said...

The snow question is tricky....
The melt, if slow, would have avoided the floods....
But a lot of rain fell in the UK... and every cm of rain equates to 10 of snow...
British roofs aren't designed to cope with snow....
The weight would collapse poorly made and flat roofs!

franinoz said...

My thanks to yourself and Walt for blogging every day; having lurked for ten years I so enjoy hearing news of your lives in France; knowing every morning when I log on that there will be a newsy snippet from you both. May it continue well into the future. Best wishes for 2016.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thank you for your message, franinoz. That's a nice note for us to end 2015 on.

Leon Sims said...

Happy New Year to you and Walt! We hope 2016 is a great one for you both. That Turkey sure has done a job! All sounds delicious though. 39 degrees C here today. Your mild weather sounds pretty good! Sue

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thanks, Sue. Happy New Year to you too. I would die in that kind of heat. I hope you have air-conditioning.