31 October 2008

Stay in and cook

Weather forecasts call for rain all weekend. So we are hunkering down. No need to go anywhere. I may be setting a record here for the most days I've ever stayed at home without going out in the car at all. I was able to have a nice walk with Callie yesterday afternoon. A steady, almost heavy rain is falling this morning.

Toussaint 2004 — cleaning up ghe garden at La Renaudière

I'm glad we got so much garden clean-up work done. Even though we didn't finish everything, we are in good shape. And the good news is that it's supposed to be sunny on Monday. I read in the San Francisco Chronicle that it also started raining out there yesterday or the day before. A weather expert expleained that the rains always start in Northern California in the "World Series/Halloween" time-frame. Here in France rains start at Toussaint. Always have, as far back as I can remember (and that's 40 years).

In 1989, Walt and I took a late-October driving tour around the south of France, starting in Grenoble and passing through Nîmes, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Cognac, Poitiers, and... Saint-Aignan. The weather was gorgeous — warm and sunny nearly the whole time — until we got to the Loire Valley. It must have been very early November and it turned gray and rainy. We stopped in Chartres before arriving in Paris, but it was disappointing because there was no sunlight streaming through the amazing stained-glass windows.

Cemetery flowers that won't fade

I just looked back at 2003-2007 pictures and blog postings from around November 1. I realized that this time of year in Saint-Aignan seems almost foreign to me because the last time I was here in early November was in 2005. And that year good friends from California were visiting, so I was too busy to notice the change of seasons.

In 2006 and 2007 I was in the United States on November 1. Last year I was in Alabama, Georgia, and then North Carolina. I think the weather was beautiful. In 2006, Walt and I were in Alabama, Kentucky, and Illinois in early November. It was cold and rainy there too, some days, but we were on the road, exploring new areas, eating new food, and not worried about the damp chill.

So today I'm going to make roasted chicken with a peanut sauce. Thanks to Loulou for the idea and recipe. I'm going to use peanut butter from a jar that I got at the Asian supermarket called Paris Store in Blois. Along with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and hot red peppers. The chicken and sauce should be good with Asian noodles.

Toussaint 2005 — 'mums in the cemetery at Mareuil-sur-Cher

Today is La Toussaint, or All Saints' Day. Tomorrow is The Day of the Dead. This is the time of year when people visit the cemeteries and clean up the graves and tombs of loved ones who have passed on. I saw in the paper that there are guided tours of the cemetery in Blois this weekend, highlighting the most beautiful tombs and mausoleums.

Since we don't have any tombs to admire or refurbish, we'll just stay in and cook.

Because it's a holiday, the boulangère won't be making her usual Saturday bread deliveries. That's OK. A lot of the bakeries will be open this morning and tomorrow morning. Same with the supermarkets. Not that we need anything, except some sunshine.


  1. Hi Ken,
    Wish I could have stayed in and cook like you. Instead I had to go out into a cold, grey, drizzly day with steady rain every now and then (100% Toussaint weather!). I've been to the cemetary this morning to put flowers on my father's and grandparents' tombs.
    Afterwards I walked to our local Chinese restaurant for lunch with my mum. I've finally returned to the warm comfort of my flat. And I'm staying put for the rest of the day ... that's for sure.

    Inspired by your chicken recipe (yet to come, I hope), I've had curried chicken for lunch. Yummy. Martine

  2. Yup, we've got a hard drizzle here in the SF area, and it's supposed to last all day. We're delighted though; we've been might short of H2O around here.

    Happy Toussaint!

  3. Beautiful, sunny, crisp day today here in St. Louis :) It's going to be a high of 70-ish for the next several days... even though we had highs of 40-ish just last week!

    I hope the roasted chicken was delicisous... I just got up!


  4. Steady rain here on the Thames Estuary too, and cold. I am reduced to cleaning out the fridge (buerk !)

  5. Beautiful and sunny here in SoCal. We've hit 90° and it's not noon yet. I'm sending some of it to whomever needs it. It's free, here!

  6. CHM, 90 degrees F, I don't think I could stand that. But colors and temperatures are not up for discussion. November weather here does give one some doubts, nonetheless.

  7. I am totally delighted with incredibly blog greatly that helped me. God bless you “Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions. It only guarantees equality of opportunity.” - Irving Kristol


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?