Monday, June 22, 2009

Another couple of firsts

My First COURGETTE (Zucchini)

I am growing Courgettes for the first time ever this year.  I have just two plants and they have now started to produce fruit.  So here they are...  The very first courgettes I have ever grown..  I tasted the one that is cut and it was delicious.
And my first SEEDS to SAVE

I have also done quite well with Broad Beans this year, again my first time ever.    They are over now and I have eaten lots and frozen some.  I left these few (about 500gms {1 lb}) until the pods were quite black and then harvested them for seed for next year.
IMG_0557 And a little RESCUE

A couple of years ago I went away in late November for a few days and didn't return until late April..  NO, I wasn't thrown in prison but it is a long story....  Anyway, when I got back, one of my lemon trees had suffered severe damage from the winter chills.  To be honest, I quickly decided that it was a gonner and threw it under the bench in the workshop where I forgot about it.  Imagine my surprise the other day, when I suddenly noticed a glimmer of hope.  I think it's on the road to recovery.
And a big thank you to all those people who have offered advice and support.  You know who you are.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Failed Fennel

IMG_0555 I've had a problem with my fennel.....

The plants have grown but have not formed the bulb at the base.  This is the first time I have grown fennel and I'm not sure what the problem is, or more likely, has been..


Maybe someone out there can help me.....


I hope so as I am intending to grow some more....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun in September

Kitchen Garden in France is hosting a weekend of gardening fun in September.

The weekend  is in support of Kitchen Gardeners International's commitment to encouraging vegetable gardening across all the nations of the world.

The fun will start on Friday evening and go through to Sunday evening with visits to local gardens and markets etc.   There will be ample opportunity to sample some of Perigord's exquisite cuisine and, after all, Perigord is one of France's gastronomic delights.

On top of all this, an opportunity to chat with fellow gardeners from around the world make this a weekend not to miss.

For a fuller explanation, take a look at A French Kitchen Garden Weekend

Anyone interested in attending can email me at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Pech Bessou Gourmet Evening

Saturday night was the date for another gourmet evening at one of our local vineyards.  I wrote about this annual event last year and you can read that post here

A Typical Frenchman Allegedly

For these evenings, which are very popular in this part of France, you wander along, taking your plate, knife and fork with you, and of course, the all important wine glass and then you sit at one of the communal tables and eat what ever produce has caught your eye and you have bought.  The local farmers bring their produce, transformed into delicious dishes....

This year, our local pork farmer brought his mobile barbecue set up and produced delicious escalope of pork, pork chipolatas and Saucisse de Toulouse, a beautiful thick sausage, very similar in texture to a Cumberland Sausage.    Sauscisse de Toulouse is my favourite so that part of the decision making was easy.  The meat, which was cooked Touristes_IMGP2328simply in its own juices was soooo good and was accompanied by a fried potato and onion dish, pomme sarlataise.

Next came the question of a starter and as many of you will know, when I spied "foie gras de canard", I was sunk.   On this occasion the foie gras was served on a simple slice of bread and accompanied by the most exquisite apple segments, which had been delicately sautéed in white wine. Another tour of the stalls revealed a cheese producer from the Pyrenees with a supeTouristes2_IMGP2335rb creamy Brebis.

Brebis is the name given to a cheese made from sheep's milk and the Pyrenees are famous in France for this particular type of cheese.

Just desert left to choose and with two excellent choices what could I do but opt for both, sharing them around the other guests at our table.

Some of the tastiest strawberries I have yet eaten this year, and yes, that includes those I pulled from my own garden, had been grown within a few miles of the event and were being sold by the grower, and a tourtiere.  A kind of Apple tart......with attitude....  it's covered in layer after layer of the thinnest crispiest pastry flakes....

Of course, to wash this all down, the hosting vineyard were selling their own wines, by the glass or by the bottle...  I opted for a bottle of Red and a bottle of Rosé to share at the table.

And finally, the entertainment.  My favourite local band. Les Tourist's provided their own brand of music, humour, excellence and just occasionally, total anarchism.  Their rendition of classic French and English songs was wonderful and to hear three French lads playing and singing classic Beatles tracks, to visitors who had just arrived from Liverpool, was something never to be forgotten....  Up on the stage they continued with a fabulous version of the Blues Brothers Everybody needs Somebody.  If ever you are in this part of France. make sure to catch this band.

What an evening, thanks go to Sylvie and Pascal of "Clos du Pech Bessou".  Their web site says that they are concentrating on production of high quality wines....  I believe they have achieved the production of high quality evenings as well.

Local Wildlife

Chenille 01 My friend Michael has been out and about again taking more stunning wild life photos
Libellule 09 I am very pleased that he allows me to share them all here.

These three photos all happened whilst he was walking in his garden looking for evidence of a fox that he wants to photograph.
Rainette 05
He tells me that there was plenty of evidence of the fox being in the area but that he has missed it time after time. 

I applaud his patience, knowing that photos like these only come after an immense number of waits, delays and frustrations