Aren’t they great?
When we lived in the Vendée we had big, harmless grass snakes.
Here we have little poisonous vipers.
When we lived in the Vendée we had lawns, grass and, generally, mowed, well-tended weeds.
Here, we don’t. The property hasn’t been lived in for awhile and things have generally run amuck.
Here, I thought proper country farmer boots to be in order.
I’m told the vipers can’t bite through them.
I’m hoping that information is correct.
Anyone recognize the guy with the big nose?
We’re taking the time, whilst waiting to close (the new date is October 29th), to explore our new area. Saturday we drove to Bergerac for lunch and a meander through the markets and old town. All very lovely.
This is the village square of another little town near us.
So far, this is a much more interesting area then where we lived in the Vendée. We are surrounded by Bastide villages, vineyards and castles. There are walnut groves, plum and apple orchards, and lots and lots of tomatoes. We are not too far from some early prehistoric sites like the caves at Lascaux.
The weather has been gorgeous so we are trying to enjoy our forced holiday.
We were allowed to move our furniture into the house we are buying but not allowed to do any work in it or on the property.
We were told, in no uncertain terms, that we were not allowed to live there.
Like we would want to actually live in a house with no electricity and no water but lots of bats, spiders and feral cats.
Thanks, but I think we’ll tidy it up a bit first…..
Next city to explore is Bordeaux. We are looking for appliances for the kitchen, tile, flooring, etc. and so far have not found any of the big stores we had in the Vendée. No Darty or Boulanger that sells everything from computers to cook tops to flat screen tv’s to refrigerators to irons.
We ask the locals; they just stare in awe that such a thing exists.
We wanted a new adventure, didn’t we?
Well, we need our strength for the search.
I used chicken breasts, but thighs would work as well. Either way, used skinned chicken to save on fat and calories. Because everything is sautéed briefly this is a quick-cooking soup; because it’s a chowder, it’s very thick. Add more stock or milk if you prefer it thinner. This is enough for 2 meals or 4 persons.
Chicken Mushroom Chowder
2 chicken breasts
8oz (250gr) mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup basmati rice
2 tbs butter
2 tbs oil
4 tbs flour
4 – 5 cups chicken stock, depending on how thick you like it… personal taste
1 tsp thyme
1 cup milk
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Chop onion. Mince garlic. Clean and roughly chop mushrooms and carrots. In large sauce pan heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté 2 minutes. Add onions and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushroom, carrot and rice and sauté 3 minutes. Add flour and sauté 30 seconds. Slowly stir in chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is done. Uncover, stir in milk and heat through.
If one can put an egg on pizza, why not add one to soup? A poached egg nestled in the center of the chowder adds interest, flavor and a bit more protein to stretch the leftovers. Plus, it’s delicious!
Chicken and Mushroom Chowder ‘Vesuvius’
Chicken Mushroom Chowder
A bit more chicken stock to thin
1 tbs vinegar
Gently reheat soup. Add more stock if needed.
While soup heats poach egg:Fill a large skillet with water. The water should be at least 1 1/2 inches deep, 2 inches (5 cm) would be better. Heat water over medium-high heat. Add vinegar. When water is softly boiling poach eggs: one at a time break egg into a small saucer. Swirl a spoon in the water where you will put the egg – off to one side. When water is swirling drop egg into center. With slotted spoon try to keep the white together. Do next egg. With regular spoon scoop some hot water over tops of eggs. Poach for 4 minutes or until white is set but yolk is still very soft. When eggs are almost done ladle soup into bowls. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon, drain briefly and gently add to soup. Serve.
It’s been a tough month….
Internet update: I borrow a corner in the estate agent’s office for a few minutes most days and am able to upload stuff and download stuff, but can’t really spend time reading, surfing, etc.
I download my email and read all the wonderful comments everyone leaves after I get back to our rented house, offline…. It makes me feel connected (and loved).
I rather feel like we’re living in a bubble. With very limited internet and no TV we were oblivious to the stock market last week (good thing for us) and have no clue as to what is going on in the world. Is it still Obama v McCain? Who’s leading?
If anyone would actually like to get in touch with me… I do answer emails and send them off eventually….