I've decided on two different desserts I want to make, so I'm looking forward to getting my final present-wrapping done tomorrow and then spending the day cooking. I have to say though that I do sometimes get fed up having to look up French substitutes for stuff I need, particularly for baking, when I can't find the UK or regular international products! Condensed milk and evaporated milk are a good example, both of which are called "lait condensé" over here, but evaporated is unsweetened. I suppose some might ask why I don't just use French recipes but (and I'm hesitant to say this) French baking just doesn't do it for me. I find it rather dull, unless it's croissants and bread of course! So yep, I'm looking forward to spending time pottering in the kitchen tomorrow, although I suppose there's always the risk that one of my new-to-me desserts ends up a complete failure if I've picked up the wrong lait condensé!
While I was having my "lie in" this morning (ha, ha more like comatose I would say), I thought I heard voices in my back garden, something which should never happen as I back on to fields and no-one has any reason being anywhere near my garden. Well I guess Agatha Christie I ain't because my neighbour sent me a message shortly after I got up to say that she hoped I didn't mind but her husband and the other neighbour's husband had gone in to my basement and taken my vacuum/aspirator as their basement was flooded! We have had non-stop rain for about 40 days (time to think about building the next arc I think) and neighbour A told neighbour B that my vacuum really sucked up the water well and also that I always left both front and back garage doors unlocked. This might seem weird but I have always told them to just go ahead if they need anything, and in any case neighbour B has had a key to my place for years (as I have for theirs). I suppose I should just be glad they didn't come traipsing upstairs to ask - my snoring would surely have alerted them that I was still in bed! Actually I shut all my shutters every night so that's probably what really gave them the clue I suppose! Still, no harm done!
I've mentioned before that the area where I live is called les Champs de Chant, or "fields of song", not because of birdsong but because we have loads of underground springs coming down from the mountains that "sing" on the way down! While parts of my garden have, on occasion, been very waterlogged, I have never been flooded thankfully, probably due to the fact that a fair-sized drain was put into my garden when the houses were built. Then three years ago we laid piping to further channel the main spring at the back of our houses down to the drains on the village road. What we think happened next door is that the "village drain" has backed up and since they have a small drain cover in their basement, the overflow started backing up into their basement, but luckily it is spring water rather than sewage! Apparently they have ankle-deep water in the basement that isn't going anywhere real soon!
My friend left for England on Friday, so with that in mind I went over to her house to check on it, but the one area she had a small drip flow problem in the basement had only led to about 10 inches of water dripping into the large bucket she keeps under it. So I emptied that and then went and checked inside her house, but thankfully all is well. In the context of the awful flooding France (and the rest of Europe) has been getting it's hardly serious, but still unpleasant and a worry!
And finally, as I was driving home from the shops I saw a sign announcing that la Bénite Fontaine (the church of the blessed fountain) is celebrating its 400th anniversary this month and inviting people to stop in. This is one of my favourite walks and where I pick up spring water to take home, but I had no idea it was 400 years old! I've been inside it before even though I'm not Catholic, but I think once the Christmas celebrations are over I will make a point of stopping in again as it's one of my favourite little churches!
La Bénite Fontaine
(I've no idea how old this photo is or where to attribute it, sorry!)
|The spring water source in the grounds|
Wow that was some sleep you had, you must have needed it! I did something similar today as I'd planned to go shopping early but my son is home from Australia and he'd bought a game on Amazon which arrived while we were eating breakfast and of course he had to test it didn't he so we all ended up playing his game - Connect 4 with ping pong balls- for ages and before I knew it it was almost lunch time. However we'd had a good laugh and I decided if the shop was too busy I'd skip it and go early tomorrow morning. However I was lucky like yourself and found that the afternoon was actually ok although I'd heard it was chaos in the morning!ReplyDelete
I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes too. Have a lovely time. xx
Your priorities are spot on - time spent laughing with your family has gotta trump time spent "worrying" about Christmas hasn't it. And thanks for the recommendation about the game - I'll check it out!Delete
Have you ever asked a French woman how you know which milk is evaporated or sweetened? I would be so disappointed to use the wrong thing. I would never wait until the last minute to shop for Christmas dinner even though I want turkey. But, then again, I have not been organized this year. Maybe you used up your organizing bone. The pictures are beautiful. Watch me not organize next year after saying I would not wait so late...lol. Merry Christmas!ReplyDelete
I think my neighbour would look at me like I'd got 2 heads if I asked her that. I always saw "lait condensé" and assumed it was condensed milk, but never saw evaporated milk so figured they didn't use it here. It was only recently I realized that they do but one is "sucré" and the other isn't. I figured out I need to add 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup of "non sucré" and I "should" get what we called condensed milk. Tiring though isn't it. And you might be right about my organizing bone being used up a bit. Still I got through the floor replacement just recently so maybe that's where it went. And merry Christmas to you too. I hope Tommy appreciates you!Delete
Merry Christmas to you also, Anna. I have a couple of neighbors who are welcome to borrow without asking, but we do keep the basement locked so that limits any borrowing to the tool shed items.ReplyDelete
It's only my closest neighbour who has my house key and I don't worry about her being in the house. She phoned me at work once to ask permission so I told her to go ahead. And you can't get into my house through my garage and basement so I don't worry about that. I'd never leave the doors open if so. Actually, I think I'd be more worried if I had a garden shed as they seem right for the pickin' more than my garage. That's where they seem to break in to round here!Delete
May you complete your culinary delights successfully and then go enjoy a Merry Christmas too.ReplyDelete
I guess the "proof of the pudding" (so to speak) will be in the eating won't it!Delete
Good your neighbors had you with the "suckiest" machine to hoover up water! Merry Christmas to you and your family :)ReplyDelete
The stupid thing is, I didn't even know that thing sucked up water - I just thought it was a heavy duty vacuum!! Oh well. And merry Christmas to you too.Delete
Merry Christmas Anna!ReplyDelete
And the same to you Jean. Hope to see you back "here" in the new year. AnnaDelete
Hope you and your family have a really great holiday. I'm doing a ham. Though, when you mentioned capon I did get a sudden craving. I might make sticky buns, too... And it is going to be very, very quiet here. Well, that's not exactly true. I'm going to have 2 great galloping dogs squeaking their new toys all over the house.ReplyDelete
I'm delighted to have my family here tomorrow but I am also fine being alone so I get where you're coming from. In fact it's 10 pm on Christmas Eve here and I'm enjoying an Agatha Christie on TV completely alone and loving it. It's nice that we're happy either way huh. And if your sticky buns (forgive the pun) are any good you'll have to let me have your recipe. Merry Christmas DaveDelete
Merry Christmas, Anna. Hope it's happy and fun and you have a marvellous time, whatever you do! I'm on my own today and for the first time EVER am feeling a touch melancholic. The reason being that I spent the morning listening to the Tragically Hip, THE quintessential Canadian band and it brought back so many memories. Some Netflix will set all to rights, however. Have a lovely holiday xxReplyDelete
Oh I'm so sorry you feel down. I think that melancholy can set in when you miss "home" (wherever that is) and I'm sure you had wonderful times in Canada. It's hard to move on even when it is for the best. Hope you feel better soon. AnnaDelete