Crooked House

A country life in France

Turn of the Year Vacuum

This hiatus always annoys me. Can we please get the 6th over and done with and then return to normal?

We have been out and about, mainly doing bottle bank duty and then making the most of being out of the house by calling in at the supermarket.

Learning Point 1: Shopping on 2nd January is largely a waste of time.

Learning Point 2: Shopping on the 4th January is largely a waste of time but at least the post-festivity reductions are beginning to be ticketed. Also, the fresh salad has arrived.

The weather remains very chilly and today we woke to another hard frost. Our destination bottle bank today was the one in Bussière-Poitevine (we are trying not to dump a year’s worth of bottles all in one location.) We turned the car towards Bellac after divesting ourselves of a ludicrous quantity of glass and were surprised to find snow along our route. There had clearly been sufficient snowfall to have called out the snow plough. I don’t know why we were surprised because on Saturday, after dropping bottles at Moulismes, we had driven to Lussac-les-Chateaux, to the Intermarché there, and had seen several cars with around 7 cm of snow on top. Here we have seen no more than a few flakes in the air. We must be below the snow line, though apparently not a great deal lower.

Cheese has been featuring large on the menu, due in part to a mistaken purchase of a whole Tête de Moine. (They appear smaller in the shop than they do once they occupy one’s ‘fridge.) We had invested in a Girolle cutter and wanted to play. A Limousin Pie (avec Cepes) was on the menu and I thought a cheese and walnut salad might be a lovely accompaniment.

I was not wrong.

Despite the fact that this cheese is now open and needs eating up, we took a sidestep and made a Fondue last night. Lovely fatty, rib-sticking stuff, designed to keep out the cold.

Tonight we had a change. I made a Goulash and left it in the oven on a low light whilst we went to Bellac. Cooked for three hours, served with Spaetzles and a simple salad, it was very good. There’s enough to freeze for another meal and we shall take that away with us on our next trip.

There was a Special on beef at Carrefour today and there will be further rib-sticking dishes in our chilly offing. Stew and Dumplings seems like the best bet, though Suet cannot be had. Butter Dumplings, then. Again, one for dinner and one to freeze for the van.

What I really, really desire is a curry. I am missing Holi Diwali. Portugal seems like a long way off at the moment but we are hoping to get a few nights away in France before too long.

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