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Archive for June, 2009

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The menu

Numériser0001I have a confession to make.  I was not totally accurate in my last blog regarding takeaways, yes my guilty secret is out and it is time to come clean.

Although we are miles from civilisation, the truth is that I perhaps made it sound as though we were living in the back of beyond.  Yes we are surrounded by dairy fields and yes the village about two kilometers away is as deserted as a ghost town, the truth is that we can get takeaway.  There I have said it now, something I totally forgot about when I wrote there are no takeaways.

On thursday nights at the village about 5 minutes drive away from our village, on the church car park there is a pizza van.  And on that thursday we were late coming home and we had nothing ready for dinner so we stopped and bought pizza.  French pizza is different to any pizza I have tried, clearly it is not a pizza hut or a dominoes, for a start it is cooked in a proper wood fired oven, next the selection of toppings is very different to what we are used to, I had bacon which was effectively an all day breakfast, bacon, tomato sauce, mushrooms, cheese and a whole egg in the middle.  Margaret went for Renaise, tomato sauce, cheese, mushrooms and pork  shoulder .  I have scanned the menu for your perusal and if you find yourself in Courcité one thursday night I can certainly recommend treating yourself.

I never used to like the idea of seafood on pizza ,it is on the menu here,  but after trying it out previously I now even make my own.  I do not use tomato sauce, rather I spread creme freche on the top then squid, octopus, prawns, mussels, cheese and oregano.

In fairness we very rarely bother with takeaway, perhaps a sausage in a baguette from the market at Evron or spit roasted quail or rabbit even duck from the market when we are on holiday, otherwise it is all home cooked and some even home grown.

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It is funny how things sometimes pop into your head.  I was trying to think of what to write in my next instalment of living in france and I realised that nothing much had really happened.

Okay I hear you say, great a blog in which nothing happened, that will certainly get your loyal readers rushing to read all about it.  What I mean is that country life I suppose whether in france, the uk or wherever is not for everyone.  We have had rain and storms on and off for the best part of the week including hailstones on Sunday last so there is not a lot to do really.  I have been visiting people in my capacity of computer doctor and Margaret has been teaching.

If you are the kind of person that likes the cinema, takeaways or theatre then our life would probably not be for you.  Having said that we planted our leeks and lettuces from our visit to the market and they are coming along nicely, our gariguette strawberries have kicked in and the raspberries are going to be mega very soon, exciting stuff eh?

It was last evening that I had the thought about whether I missed burger king and pizza hut, cinema and the theatre.  We had dinner out on the patio, I cooked probably the best chilli con carne that I have ever cooked, I pinched a probably too expensive bottle of bordeaux from the cave and we sat in the warmth of the evening with the scent of  honeysuckle wafting in the air, we had strawberries(gariguettes in my opinion the best strawberries you can get) and real vanilla ice cream, coffee and cointreau and dark praline chocolates.

The Mayor drove passed, tooted his horn and waved and I thought to myself this is the life I want.

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Evron market

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We live about a half hours drive from Evron which is a small town in Mayenne and has one of the biggest churches in the area.

So big is this bazillica that you can see it in the distance from any of the four main and very straight roads that feed into the town.

Although we have lived here for nearly six years, the market in Evron is a new discovery of ours, in fact today was our only second visit.

Our main reason for going was for a crab for me and some noix de st jacque or  Brittany scallops and also some lettuce plants for the vegie garden and we also picked up some leak roots as well.  Thankfully my wife had remembered the camera so rather than try and go overboard with descriptions, I will go overboard with photos.

Interestingly enough we were amazed by the number of english schoolchildren wandering about the market and in fairness pleasantly surprised at their politeness and also obvious enthusiasm for baguettes, french cheeses and the fish counter.

Busy market in Evron

Busy market in Evron

garden plants for sale

garden plants for sale

fruit and veg

fruit and veg

The choice of lettuce plants was enormous

The choice of lettuce plants was enormous

the rotisserie

the rotisserie

spider or brown crabs from Blainville

spider or brown crabs from Blainville

crabs again

crabs again

spider crab

spider crab

me choosing a crab, hen or cock, the hens were heavy with caviar

me choosing a crab, hen or cock, the hens were heavy with caviar

On this counter were everything you could ask for in a fruit de mers including erm crab, brown shrimps, oysters, whelks, mussells, all direct from Blainville on the Normandy coast and somewhere where my family have holidayed several times.

and now for something completely different, the cheese sketch

and now for something completely different, the cheese sketch

This cheese is called the kiss of fire!

This cheese is called the kiss of fire!

I presume very hot chillies are used on this cheese and we will definitely be getting some when Simon, Helen and Chris come to stay

the smell of the sea, the big fish in the right bottom of the picture is a turbot

the smell of the sea, the big fish in the right bottom of the picture is a turbot

the fish stalls were superb with the freshest looking fish you could ask for

the fish stalls were superb with the freshest looking fish you could ask for

asparagus and cherries, ah summer

asparagus and cherries, ah summer

So we ended our very enjoyable morning in Evron and scampered back home as my wife was teaching french in the afternoon, I cooked the crab and ate it with the baguette and now it is off to do some planting before the weather turns, the forecast is rain and storms for the next few days, ah well it has been nice while it lasted.

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