Monday, November 23, 2009

A concert in a castle

(link to english site:
I was invited to go to a concert in the Chateau Thoiry on Saturday. It was a mixture of scenes from Moliere's plays and baroque music. (Here is a link to the English site)
It was lovely - except we had terrible seats (way in the back of the room - all we could see were the actor's heads, luckily they were very expressive). The music was all right - you hear one baroque sonate, you've heard them all... but the flutist and the clavicord player were wonderful. The clavicord dated from 1773 (it was redone, of course, but it was a lovely instrument) and the flute had a beautiful soft sound.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A deer in the countryside

Last week I was a beater in an organized wild boar hunt in the Rambouillet forest. What this means is, wearing a bright orange vest, I walked in line (more or less) with other beaters toward the hunting line. The animals are pushed toward the hunters, who are under strict orders as to what and what they can not shoot. For example, that day we were hunting wild boars and foxes - both which were causing damage to the area. But the hunters could not shoot female wild boar over a certain weight (I have no idea how they judge this - or how a hunter can tell - they all look the same to me, big, black and hairy!) and there is a fine if the hunter shoots the wrong animal.
As we walked, I saw red deer, roe deer, wild boar, snipe, pheasants, including an incredible golden pheasant with a four foot long tail - and I got stuck in brambles, found a wonderful porcini mushroom that I put in my hat to carry (and we had an omelette the next day with it - yum!) and had a fun day. My dachshund, Auguste, was there hunting as well, and he had a wonderful day running about. His short legs were so tired at the end of the day I had to carry him out of the woods!

Not a porcini pushroom! but the porcini like to grow around where these grow - so when I see one of these, I look extra carefully in the area.
Beaters lining up before the hunt begins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quince Jelly

The other day I made quince jelly - it looked so lovely when it was done - the prettiest peach color - I had to take a picture of my breakfast!
Quince jelly:
Cut up four or five quinces (leave the skin, but wipe the fuzz off) and cut out the seeds. Cover with water and boil for about an hour. Strain and then add the same amount of sugar as juice (I never measure, I just looked and guessed - but probably measure the cups of water / cups of sugar ratio. Add the juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil and cook 10 more minutes then pour into jam jars. Let set overnight.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Sometimes I forget I live near one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The other day, I took my cousins and daughter to Montmartre for lunch and we went to the Sacre Coeur to look at the view. After we went to Isle St. Louis and toured the Notre Dame.