I'll wrap up my three-part series of photos showing the beau village of Collonges-la-Rouge with a few shots of the town's church. I'm also wrapping up my virtual "confinement" vacation. It's time to get back to work.
People down there in Collonges have been using that red sandstone as a building material for a long, long time — the church was built (starting) in the 11th and 12th centuries. Like most ancient buildings in France, it has been modified — fortified, restored, expanded — over the course of the centuries, for defensive reasons or just because the town was prospering and tinkering with the church was a good way for people to spend some money and demonstrate the strength of their faith.
Anyway, what work do I need to do? Well, the vegetable garden needs to be prepared for planting. The conventional wisdom here in the northern part of France is that the last danger of frost falls on about May 15. Religion is involved, of course. The three Catholic saints who are honored on May 11, 12, and 13 are called Les Saints de Glace — the "ice saints". (Every day of the calendar year is dedicated to a saint.)
Those three days in mid-May often bring a spell of cold weather to France and other European countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, etc.). Snow has been known to fall during the ice saints' days. Right now the weather is fairly warm, but just to be cautious we don't set seedlings out in the garden plot before May 15. In some years, when the weather in May turns rainy and cool, we don't plant the garden until June 1.
By the way, the church in Collonges is dedicated to St. Peter. Here he is in stained glass.
We had a very wet and mild winter this year, so a lot of tenacious weeds have taken root in the part of the garden plot that we didn't cover with a tarp, for several reasons. We had a winter crop of kale growing there, and we also gathered up yard trimmings and debris and made what we call "a burn pile" — all that stuff has been burned now. So I need to get the rototiller out and start turning the soil over and uprooting the weeds. It's going to be a lot of work.
Speaking of vegetables, yesterday I drove up to Super U, a supermarché just three miles from our house, to pick up a load of groceries that I had ordered on-line last week. And I actually got some broccoli! A week or 10 days ago, the last time I went to collect kitchen provisions, there was no broccoli to be had. Yesterday there was, and I'm happy. Lunch today will be a broccoli and chicken stirfry.
The one thing the supermarket didn't have in stock yesterday was yeast. We have very little yeast left after baking bread twice recently. I think I might have to make a sourdough starter using the little bit of yeast that we do have. That will stretch it so that we can make bread again next week.
This church is really typical and interesting. Of course, the red color gives it a special cachet"ReplyDelete
Is Saint Peter standing on a rock? He's the guy who said "on this rock I will built my church". I love seeing how each one of the red bricks is laid to make a beautiful cathedral.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the visit to Collonges!ReplyDelete
Apparently yeast has been difficult to get here. I know flour has been, since I finally had to order from a Maine miller after being unable to get any for a couple of weeks. But I never looked for yeast, since I buy it by the large bag (it's made in Mexico by a French company), and keep it in the fridge for a year or so.ReplyDelete
For the past year or so, we've been buying fresh yeast ("cakes of yeast") from our local Intermarché, and we're converts. Super U in saint-Aignan doesn't seem to sell it. I hope we'll be able to order some from Intermarché later this week, for next week.Delete
The groin vaults in the interior of that church are remarkable in red, as is the stained glass framed with red stone. I think I like this place.ReplyDelete
There are several other plus beaux villages in the Collonges area. That area is now on my short list of vacation spots. When and if we are able to travel again.Delete
That's a very interesting church, and the St. Peter window is lovely.ReplyDelete
How do you make a sourdough starter?
One way to make it is to mix some yeast, flour, and water together and let it ferment for a few days. That's basically it. I've read about it on the internet. I'll have to read about it again and then I can send a link or more detailed instructions. Meanwhile, I ordered four baguettes as part of Monday's pick-up groceries, and we already had some bread in the freezer. I made hard rolls last week, and Walt made hamburger buns, so we are not sans pain. More to come.Delete