Tag Archives: markets

a sprung Spring, part 2… Purple reigns!

26 Apr

It’s still Springing – so here’s some more Spring pics for you from around the Minervois… (I just wish I could put all the incredible smells on this page too)

Purple reigns!

Lilas and lilas

Lilas and lilas

glycine1

spring 4

bernard

L'Arbre de Judee (Judas Tree)

L’Arbre de Judee (Judas Tree)

spring 1

the plane (plataine) trees are budding

the plane (platane) trees are budding

and so are the vines (buds can be called 'bourgeons')

and so are the vines (buds can be called ‘bourgeons’)

glycine house

glycine house2

market man

Spring market day

market legs

market legs

market friends

market friends

lilas manon 2

and then a little evening promenade...

and then a little evening promenade…

almost a picnic at hanging rock!

almost a picnic at hanging rock

spring walk 1

spring walk 2

a sprung Spring

18 Apr
wild irises in our hamlet

wild irises, thyme, jonquilles in our hamlet

The first lilas, the first irises, daisy chains made of ‘paquerettes’…

paquerettes and dandlieons 2013

iris 2

iris 3

wisteria 2013

our school held it's first of two 'Marche aux Fleurs'

our school held it’s first of two ‘Marche aux Fleurs’ in the village square

watching the sales

…careful observation of the flower sales

a surprise bunch for the Aussie shelia

a surprise bunch for the Aussie sheila

It’s 26 degrees, Spring is beautiful and I’ve just made my first ‘Jardiniere‘ of the season.

Look out for Mamy Jeanne’s recipe in the following post…

some sights #7 – pics from the South!

5 Mar

Hey, hey it’s time for some more sights from around our ‘hood!

I'm always passing this old 'cave co-operative'  - the date on the facade always reminds me of some special people back home, and now there's always this lovely old Renault '4L'

I’m always passing this old ‘cave co-operative’, ‘Costos Roussos‘ – the date on the facade always reminds me of some special people back home(!), and now there’s always this lovely old Renault ‘4L’

This was a first for me...  the ladies in the market vans had old quilts and blankets protecting their produce on a recent market morning.  It was below freezing and bloody cold!

This was a first for me… the ladies in the market vans had old quilts and blankets protecting their produce on a recent market morning. It was below freezing and bloody cold

... and on this moring it was -4 degrees

… and on this morning it was -4 degrees

It's starting to snow, approaching Chateau Violet - a beautiful old wine property near us

It’s starting to snow, approaching Chateau Violet – a beautiful old wine property near us

Saturday morning at the supermarche... preparing delicious 'Aligot'  - yes, a delightfully light, refreshing dish, composed of cheese, cream, potatoes, cheese, garlic, butter and then some more cheese

Saturday morning at the supermarche… preparing delicious ‘Aligot‘ – yes, a delightfully light, refreshing dish, composed of cheese, cream, potatoes, cheese, garlic, butter and then some more cheese.  Come on, it IS light – really!

Wine of the Month in our house- 'Boulevard Napoleon' with local smallgoods (where are you Dad?!)

Wine of the Month in our house:
the recently bottled ‘Boulevard Napoleon‘ with local smallgoods (where are you Dad?!)

the local hospital for the old metalheads

the local hospital for the old metalheads

Sunday night and pooch is hangin' at the pizza van

Sunday night and pooch is hangin’ at the pizza van

hot drinks at the cafe after a playing in the park...but check out the tele, the kids are getting clued up on winemaking

Hot drinks at the cafe after playing in the park
…but check out the tele! – the kids are getting clued-up on winemaking

downtown Narbonne

Downtown Narbonne

Carcassonne market

Carcassonne market

butcher collage 2a

Meat, anyone? Delicacies at the Carcassonne market… lungs, heart, tripe. Note: bottom right in the tripe corner, the butcher has his Rose ready and chilling

...and another glass of Rose.  ONe of the many perks of living around here is the access to delicious, cheap wines served from tap straight out of the wall of our cave co-ops - simply BYO your own bottle

…and another glass of Rose.
One of the many perks of living around here is the access to delicious, cheap wines served from tap straight out of the wall of our cave co-ops – simply BYO your own bottle…

I love this - it's Pierre the baker's price list at the Olonzac market

I love this – it’s Pierre the baker’s price list at the Olonzac market

check out the airbrush work on the hot rod... a Renault 4L van

Check out the airbrush work on the hot rod
… a Renault 4L van

our local school celebrates 'Carnaval' each year, where everybody accompanies the school kids on floats in a tour of the village

Our school celebrates ‘Carnaval‘ each year, where everybody accompanies the school kids on floats in a tour of the village

A few things from last weekend's 'Vide-Grenier' (village garage sale):  some keyrings and an old "Science et Vie' magazine from 1944.Ashamed to say I get obssessed with many things, advertising keyrings from the 60s is one of them!  And I've just discovered there is even a name for it - 'Copoclephliie' (!!)

A few things from last weekend’s ‘vide-grenier’ (village garage sale): some keyrings and an old “Science et Vie’ magazine from 1944.
Ashamed to say I get obssessed with many things, advertising keyrings from the 60s for eg! And hang on, I’ve even discovered there’s a name for it – ‘Copoclephliie‘ (!!)

my favourite view coming out of Olonzac

my favourite view coming out of Olonzac

...and a favourite close to home, this wall in our hamlet

…and a favourite close to home, this wall in our hamlet

favourites, favourites, I think I have a thing about apples?

Favourites, favourites… now I promise this one wasn’t planned!  I think I have a thing about apples? (you started it Mum!)

on the road, yesterday

on the road, yesterday

Short, back and sides in lovely Toulouse

Short, back and sides in lovely Toulouse

the old 'manege' (carousel), downtown Toulouse

the old ‘manege’ (carousel), Toulouse

Phew, I hope you got through that!

xo

wrapped in France #2

24 Sep

“1.  a bundle or parcel.  2.  that in which anything is packed, as a case, crate, etc.  5.  to put into wrappings or a container.”  – ‘Package, packaging’ from the Macquarie Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1981

Do you remember when I let it slip that I have a thing for packaging?  Mmn, yep, still have it and lately I feel like I’m being bombarded with even more wonderful examples of it, everywhere.  At home, at the markets, at the vide-greniers (the village garage sales – something I must absolutely tell you about soon), at friends’ houses,  in the guise of gifts from friends…  everywhere.

Colours, texts, fonts, old, new, shabby or shiny…  I can’t get enough of it – and if there’s a text or a word here or there in French, even better!  It’s amazing how much you can improve your vocabulary just reading the fine print!  (and probably a lot more educational than my dippings into, shock, horror – Voici).

At the moment I’m getting a buzz out of OLD packaging and the eg’s here are from either home (my mother-in-law is a great help here) – or from stands in the markets and vide-greniers.  I understand why people start up businesses selling this stuff – there are crazy people out there, like me, who love it!  But a lot of it can be quite expensive so I’m happy to admire it and ask permission to take a photo or two.  Yes, I think I am mad!

So here’s a second instalment of boxes, tins, bottles I’ve seen here in France lately.  I should add however, that not all these products are French.  Some come from next door in Spain (thanks to Vincent who is aware of my condition) or further afar.  But they seemed too lovely to leave out.

I hope you enjoy them!

tins of pois chiches

Tins of ‘pois chiches’ (chick peas) at the supermarket yesterday. I thought you Miss Nick might like these!

Pineau de Francois Premier

I love this bottle of Pineau from the Charentes – “Pineau Francois 1er” Not only is the label just fabulous, but the sweet, fortified wine, a speciality of the Charentes region (near Cognac, not far from Bordeaux) wine inside, is DELICIOUS! It is a family-run winery, established in the 1930s by Gaston Riviere, with the wine now made by his grandson (who greets you at his cellar in leather pants).  He said it was Gaston himself who designed and drew the label and there is a great quote on it – by him?… the ranslation:
“Women often change, Mad are those who trust them. Only this Pineau remains faithful to his King.”

Olympic Thermor iron

Don’t need one, but loved this box for an iron at the vide-grenier

Ortiz El Velero tuna

Ortiz ‘El Velero’ tuna.
Merci Vinnie.

bonbons!

a few old ‘bonbons’ tins (sweets, lollies or candy to us)

deux pigeons

‘Les Deux Pigeons’ (the two pigeons) allumettes – an old matchbox found amongst other treasures at my mum-in-law’s. Merci Christine!

Chromex hair dryer

…don’t need this either. But just love the bangs and make-up.

Ippodo tea

Adore this tin.
But it went back home with V.

carving knife

I almost wanted to buy the old knife just so I could have the sleeve it slid into!

Lipikar

My body moisturiser.  Mamy  put me onto this.   The ‘pharmaceuticals’ look is big here, but I love it for its smell

apple box

Spied this at Emmaus. Tres simple, no text but I LOVE red apples

Sanchez Romate sherry vinegar

Another item from Vinnie in Spain and oh so delicious, “Sanchez Romate Vinaigre de Jerez” – sherry vinegar

old packets

old packets for bonbons, dried beans, cream cheese…

LEO dried peas

no, it’s not a French product but it made me laugh when I saw this at the supermarket… the first time I read the box I thought it said ‘with sleeping tablet’
You try it!

Kusmi teas

a favourite at home – the whole range is great together

Offenbach

Saw this Offenbach record, “Gaiete Parisienne”, in Emmaus and loved the image

Caille and Yoghurt

The ‘Caille’ desserts are delicious. Seems like this style tub has been used for much longer than I realised.

vw car collage

Once a VW owner, always a fan.
Certainly didn’t need this, but I fell in love with the radio-controlled VW at the vide-grenier.  It is the sedan version of my very first car, a Type 3 station wagon that I called ‘Fritz’. The price was extremely high. But the man was kind enough to let me take the photo.

to market to market… part 1

19 May

no. 7, Le Marche, illustrators G. Bonmarti & G. Michel, OGE-HACHETTE

One of the great things about living where we do, is the access to good produce.  The Mediterranean climate allows for almost anything to be grown, and more and more I’m trying to buy locally from people I get to know at the local village markets.

glorious produce on offer at the market

The Olonzac market, one of the biggest in our area, is held every Tuesday morning until about 1pm.  You can find almost anything:  fruit, vegies, pastries, breads, meats, fish, flowers, fresh coffee, cheeses, olives, local honey, wine, ready-made asian dishes from the guy with his own personal dvd collection on loop in his van (Lilas’ favourite)… those hard to find ingredients for ‘exotic’ cuisine such as lemongrass, coriander and chilies and then there’s your zippers, hats, bras, oversized undies, slippers, kitchen utensils, Indian dresses, incense, second-hand books, army surplus clothing, jewellery… it’s endless.

market selection

the usual and some exotic surprises at the market

This market is growing in size each year and in full Summer has traffic jams of people, carts and pushers down the bottleneck streets – you should try pushing a pusher through this mass…

There’s Pierre with his bread.  You can spot him from a mile off, with his old van and black wool beret.  He’s like a character from a film – and his organic bread is of the old, sourdough rustic style.  He takes his time, nearly always a big smile on his face and an open pot of honey on his table to spread on his breakfast ‘pain’.   And there’s always his thermos of hot coffee and tin mug ready for dipping.  Pierre’s bread is the sort that you can keep for a week – not at all your light, airy baguette, but a full, wholesome loaf that is just divine toasted with butter and Vegemite.

Pierre and his pains

Pierre and les pains

Just up from Pierre is Laetitia, the young girl who a lot of the year has only her free-range eggs to sell.  She has a tiny stand but always many people jostling around her.  Throughout the year she sells apples, onions, potatoes, and in full summer has mountains of cheap tomatoes, nectarines, grapes, peaches and a queue leading back for miles.  You have to be quick – her tomatoes can sell out by 9.30am.

free-range eggs chez Laetitia

Laetitia’s free-range eggs

Towards the roundabout on your left are the people selling THAT saucisson (salami)…  ‘Mont Charvin’.  The one that costs an arm and a leg, full of beautiful chunks of bright green pistachios.  It’s a small investment buying even just one of their products, but once you’ve tasted the difference, you can’t buy supermarket salami again. In general I buy a lot less saucisson now, but boy do we enjoy the ’50 centimes slices’ when they’re around.  By chance, I got to meet Jacques, the maker of this wonderful product the other day.  I was thrilled to be able to tell him how much we loved his ‘salted meats’ and hear his story of how he and his brother-in-law, once butchers in Paris, settled down south and built a company from scratch offering a range of products made in the Savoie region of France, using no additives or preservatives.

the selection of 'salaisons' chez Mont Charvin

Jacques slicing a sample from the selection of ‘salaisons’ -salted meats

But before I stop by the saucisson stand, I head quickly for Valerie’s before she runs out of vegetables…

(to be continued, part 2)

Some things don’t change

13 May

I’ve been flipping through a few of Lilas’ books lately and loving the illustrations of Alain Gree.  If you’re into 60s and 70s artwork, you might like it.  I’m crazy about him at the moment and can’t get enough of his books!

If you look hard enough at the local ‘vide-greniers’ (’empty the attics’ – literally the whole village holds one giant garage sale in the the village streets), you might be able to pick up an old dog-eared copy.  Otherwise, they’re becoming quite collected on the net and you have to be quick to find a bargain.

I opened up to this page up yesterday, and it reminded me of last week’s trip to the market!

Can you see why?…

a clue is... clop!

still time left for Winter food!

22 Feb

braised baby cabbage

Here I am, sat at the computer, trusty old ugg boots on my cold feet (can’t knock the Aussie out of this girl – thanks Mum for retrieving them out of the bin in Oz) and a roaring fire in the potbelly to my left.  Nearly all the vines in the area have now been pruned,  the days still mostly crisp amd summer seems an eternity ago!   It’s hard to imagine the abundant green leaves and plump fruits of the summer vines now that they’re bald and trimmed… BUT the days are longer and the blossom’s bright petals around the landscape signal Spring approaching.  Before too long the leaves will be sprouting all over again!  So now is the time to make the most of what’s left of the cold and enjoy some winter meals!

uggies

classy

I have a trusty mother-in-law who provides me with ideas for new dishes (is she worried her only son won’t be eating well enough?!), and the first time I cooked this was last Autumn (ahh, the beautiful Minervois Autumn! – for a glimpse, see below).

spectacular Autumn in the Minervois

spectacular Autumn in the Minervois

This recipe is perfect for the Autumn/ Winter chill!  It’s a braised cabbage dish, that you leave simmering slowly on the stove for a few hours.  I bought the baby cabbages at our local Tuesday market from Valerie, an organic producer whose beautiful garden we visited a few months ago.  It’s a luxury having access to such amazing produce. Her stall is one of my regular stops on Tuesday market day as her produce is so fresh and delicious – and after seeing her garden I’m in awe of how much hard work goes into filling her baskets of food each week.   And no matter how frosty the market mornings get at this time of year, Valerie always has a huge smile and happy to share recipes.  Merci Valerie!  p.s.  her home-made jams are worth trying too – especially the Muscat Jelly which is an incredibly good partner to aged ‘fromage de brebis’ (ewe’s milk cheese)

Here’s how I make the VERY SIMPLE braised cabbage:

+ Cut cabbage up into quarters (or halves if small) and steam for about 15 mins.  Remove. ( this step is quite important if you suffer unwanted gaseous situations!)

+ In a heavy frypan or cast iron cooking pot, fry a couple of thinly sliced onions until golden in sunflower oil.

+ Add about 250g of chunky ‘lardons’ pieces (bacon) and fry together until browned.

+ Place cabbage pieces on top and cover with lid and cook on very low heat for about 2 hours.

Serve this on its own for a simple lunch dish, or with pan-fried crumbed veal.  If you want something lighter than cabbage, use ‘endives’ instead.  I think we call these ‘witlof’ in Australia?  No need to parboil!

Whether you’re eating this on its own or with an accompanying meat, this tastes delightful when paired with a crisp, dry white.  We often serve this with Benjamin’s Picpoul de Pinet 2009… which we actually enjoyed with friends last night!

whoops, it's all eaten!

oops it's gone

...knew I should have taken the photo earlier

 

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