Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken; More Shopping

Pesto Pasta Salad

Note to self:  Don't forget to look for closet space!!!!!!

We sold our house…. We think.

Nothing is as easy here as it is in the U.S. 

Or as fast.

We've been trying to sell our house for 3 years.  Two weeks ago today we 'agreed a sale'.

Then we arranged for the house inspector to come.

Then France had a Thursday holiday, followed by a Monday holiday, which translates as a 1 week holiday because everyone who possibly can will 'faire le pont' , that is, 'make the bridge': take the intervening days off.

The contracts went to the buyer late last week.  He'll read them, sign them (we hope) and send them back.

Then we read them, sign and return them to him. 

Then he has 7 days to think about what he's about to do.

Then he sends us a deposit.

We accept the deposit.

THEN we have sold our house….maybe… Pretty sure, anyway.

At which time we'll know when the closing will be: July 31st or August 31st.

The earliest possible it can be is the end of July.  Any country property has to be offered to the Agricultural Commission for purchase at the agreed upon price.  They have 60 days to decide if they'll step in or not.  I've never heard of it happening, but there you have it… Must be done.

Once the 31st of July has passed, nothing can happen until the 31st of August because the entire world is on holiday.  No work gets done, anywhere.

Which means that, in case we actually sell, and, in case we actually close on July 31st, we have to find a place to live so we can move on July 31st…. And it's already too late because no one will take the job that close to August.  It could interfere with getting ready for the holiday.

So, we thought we just might start looking at houses today.

We looked at four.

I was on the third one before I remembered to look for closet space.

We're looking at older, country properties; stone houses.

Stone houses don't have closets.

If I want more than a 3' wide wardrobe to hang clothes in (sharing) there either needs to be a space for mon mari to build a closet (which he did in Andorra) or a tiny room that can be converted (which we did here – less you think I have a walk-in closet, it's only 30" wide by about 4' deep.  I slide along the wall with a flashlight in my teeth when I'm looking for something.)

On the other hand, one of them had really gorgeous old beams and an outdoor brick barbecue….

We'll be eating a lot of quick and easy pasta dishes over the next few weeks, while we find a new place to lay our heads (and paws).

Come to think of it, maybe a wee bit longer: there might be some odd packing to do.

Thankfully, there's always a lot of great dishes at Presto Pasta Nights, started by Ruth, of  Once Upon a Feast.  And here's my contribution to this week:

This is not the prettiest salad, pesto usually isn't… But the taste is wonderful: the feta and Greek Olives adding just the right amount of contrast to the chicken and pasta.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless Chicken_pesto_pasta
Marinade for chicken breasts:
1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried basil

3oz (100gr) cherry tomatoes
3oz (100gr) feta
3oz (100gr) Greek or Kalamata olives
2 tbs fresh snipped chives

1 1/4 cups pasta: gemelli, fusilli, penne
2 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
4 tbs pesto
1 tbs olive oil, the good stuff

Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Mix Worcestershire, vinegar, basil and oil in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and allow to marinate a few minutes. Cut tomatoes in half. Cut feta into small cubes or crumble. Pit olives, if needed, and cut in half or thirds. Snip chives.
Cook chicken, either on barbecue grill or nonstick skillet, 7 – 10 minutes per side, or until done. When done, remove and slice
In pasta bowl, mix pesto, oil and yogurt. When pasta is done drain, rinse lightly with cool water, drain and add to pesto in bowl. Toss to coat. Add chicken, tomatoes, olives, feta and chives, toss gently to combine and serve.

Note to self: Don't forget to find out if the house has heating other than the fireplace.

Comments

Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken; More Shopping — 19 Comments

  1. Great minds think alike Kate. I have a very similar recipe that I still have to post for the Taste & Create event coming up. You have to choose a recipe from your partners blog and this is what I chose. It was so delicious…and no leftovers!!

  2. Wow, congrats and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed to make sure the house really is sold. And here I’ve been living vicariously through you and your gardening skills…now what?
    Thanks for sharing a lovely dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

  3. I hope the sale goes through, what’s with Europe and bureaucacy?
    On to the pasta salad, most seem bland but your choice of pesto holds up well in flavour.

  4. Hello there, Katie. Are you looking for your new house in the same region you are now? Inquiring minds and all that…
    Love the pasta recipe!

  5. I remember my sister-in-law telling tales of the process of purchasing their house in France. So archaic! Congratulations on your sale — I hope all goes smoothly.

  6. Val, always alike :-)) No leftovers is the hallmark of ‘delicious’, right?
    Ruth, there will be a new garden to tackle!
    Peter, I think the consensus is that there are still too many trees, more paperwork must be generated…
    Kevin, thanks…
    Christine, we’re looking a little further south, somewhere with less rain, and maybe a few more expat’s… We’re very isolated, where we are now.
    Lydia, fingers crossed, and all that!

  7. Hope you had a good price for the sale of the house :)
    How could you ever put up delicious pasta in the middle of all the packing! Bravo!

  8. Oh dear – what a palaver! Everything in Europe certainly does seem harder than at home. In South Africa, you signed the offer to purchase and as soon as the seller signed too, you had a binding contract and not much could go wrong, short of not getting a mortgage. Here in the Uk there are a thousand hoops to jump through. Holding thumbs for you that all goes according to plan. Love the pasta salad too – will make use of it if the weather ever warms up properly!!

  9. France and Bureaucracy go together don’t they? They invented the word after all.
    Good luck Katie hope it all goes smoothly for you…Are you planning on a town or a village for your new home?
    Cheers

  10. Good luck finding the new place that’s less rainy, has capacious closets, room for the big dogs, heating other than fireplaces, and lovely old beams, too! I know it’s out there!

  11. Tigerfish, we’re just hoping it’s really sold!
    Jeanne, it was easy in the U.S., too. Once someone made an offer they signed within minutes :-))
    Swirling Notions, absolutely, the whole gory, bloody disaster that will be ours!
    Gilli, with our 2 monster size dogs we still need to be in the country…which means a small hamlet!
    Ulrike, thanks, mine are too!
    Zoomie, it’s all possible…well, except for the closets, of course!

  12. How far south are you thinking of coming? Anywhere near my neck of the woods?
    The last few recipes you’ve posted look great! You make things that always look easy and delicious. Merci!
    I hope all is well with your husband and that he doesn’t have to spend weeks in the hospital enduring the food.

  13. loulou, someone just told me we have to go to Spain to get out of the rain…. I don’t think we want to go that far south….
    Around Bordeaux, or maybe a bit further we think… Or, wherever we find a house we like.

  14. Sounds like a pain in the … you know where to sell a house and to find one. I have now the same problem (looking for one) and it is not easy to find a sweet home which has all the things you want to have. So congratulations, Niki

  15. Looking for a quick 30 min, meal that I can make in the office kitchen without a lot of ingrediants.