21 October 2009

Rainy day and all...

It's raining today. We're going to have pizza for lunch — Walt-made pizza, of course, with a tomato sauce that we'll make using some of our late-harvest garden tomatoes, along with ham and cheese.

It was supposed to rain starting yesterday afternoon, but all we got was a few drops about 5:00 p.m. I went out and walked the dog, and I didn't get wet. This morning it is raining quietly, with fairly big drops. For once, it's not just mist. It's supposed to last into the afternoon.

Expect heavy steady rain this morning in the yellow areas,
according to the French national weather service

The weather report actually shows our area, the Loir-et-Cher (centered on Blois), along with the neighboring départements of Indre-et-Loire (Tours), Indre (Châteauroux), and Cher (Bourges), under "yellow vigilance" — that means a severe weather alert, for heavy rain.

Sunset over the vineyard a couple of days ago

Down south, the Mediterranean coast is under "orange vigilance" for « phénomènes météorologiques dangereux » — heavy rains, thunderstorms, and high winds with gusts to 60 or 70 mph. I'm glad we don't often have winds like that here in the Loire Valley. Down there, it's all the time.

Yesterday, I spent a few minutes observing this wasp
on a bunch of blue grapes on the vines out back.

Walt has posted about Leesa and Alex from the Paris area coming down to visit us on Sunday. She's American from Southern California and he's French. This was their third visit to Saint-Aignan, and their second to our house. This time, they brought the food and cooked lunch for us. They made a salmon and vegetable tajine — a kind of stir-fry/stew — with preserved lemon and Moroccan spices. It was delicious.

Luckily, there were some leftovers, and we got to keep them. Yesterday we had them for lunch as soup. I added about a liter of shrimp broth and some water, and we chopped and put in some cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Swiss chard that we had in the fridge. It was the best kind of soup — partly improvised, with a flavorful broth and a lot of good vegetables and spices.

Callie won't be sitting out in the yard this morning — it's raining.
And yes, there are still a lot of apples on the ground...

When they were here, Leesa took a lot of pictures in and around our winemaker neighbor's cellar and out in the vineyard. She has posted some of them on her blog, News from France. Click the link and then scroll down. Leesa posted 13 blog topics, all dated Oct. 20, 2009.


  1. Ken, I think you could turn any food into something delicious.

  2. So you don't get the mistrals there?

  3. No, Starman, no mistral or other frequent winds here in the Loire Valley. We have a pretty mild climate. Not hot in summer, not really cold in winter. No really heavy rains and no strong winds on any regular basis.


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