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|