What are a few seeds in the face when one is finally sleeping in one's own house?
Our house, like most old houses in the French countryside, used to be a farmhouse.
The first clue was the attached barn.
No Frenchmen is going to risk getting lost between the house and the barn in a blizzard!
He could miss a meal!!!!
The second clue was the seeds and corn cobs that fell out of the ceiling at the slightest touch.
The first floor was used as granary as well as a sechoir for drying tobacco.
The ceilings in our house are in excellent shape, except for two: the one in the kitchen, which has been replaced, and half of the one in the hall, which is our temporary bedroom.
The half above our little beds.
I don't know what triggers it, but 3 or 4 times a night I feel the delicate tap of a seed landing on my face.
If this had happened in Vlad's house, I would have been upset.
Now, I just remind myself that this is our house, that is our seed and we can fix the problem ourselves, if and when we choose.
Regardless of the seeds, today has been a good day.
We've been here 5 days, I now have plates, flatware, candles, wine glasses and corkscrews at the ready.
I've unpacked enough cookware to cook.
This morning, mon mari fixed
the shower – minor problem with it leaking under the door
He installed the bathroom towel heater (wall unit that will actually heat the bathroom), unpacked my oven and moved it into the kitchen, and swapped the way the fridge door opens.
The electrician came back and fixed the cook top, which wasn't working.
I never realized how challenging ti would be to cook in just a small oven – with no means of browning or frying or heating stuff first.
It would have been easier if I'd been prepared, but I wasn't, anxious to try out my new cook top.
It, also, would have been easier had I gone shopping, but, after traveling back and forth between houses for 4 months, I refused to leave this one.
I haven't been off the property, except to walk the dogs, since Sunday.
I organized my office – which is a small table in the corner, and packed away the bag I've been using to haul the computer everywhere I go.
I found a clock and a reading light for my bed.
It's been a good day.
One learns to appreciate the little things.
And I'm going to treasure this feeling….
Tomorrow I'm off to tackle France Telecom.
Somehow, I've managed to accumulate 3 internet contracts. I'm pretty sure I only need one.
No one there speaks English (and why should they?)
Every time a seed drops tonight, I'll wake up and try to remember how to say (insert technical word here) in French…
And, maybe, this weekend, I'll find a way to take decent photos again. The lighting at Vlad's was very poor, so all of my photos for the last few months have lacked clarity – or something….
This should be a brilliant red. You'll just have to trust me…
Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
1/2 large red bell pepper
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes with juices
1 rib celery
1 clove garlic
2 tsp oil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 – 3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbs Greek yogurt
a bit more red pepper
3 – 4 olives, any color
Chop shallots, celery, pepper and garlic. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add paprika and sauté 30 seconds. Add shallots, celery and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add pepper, tomatoes with juices, herbs and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Heat to boiling, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until pepper is tender and done.
Purée either in a blender (easiest) or with an immersion blender. Add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock as needed to get your desired consistency (it's a personal thing). Put soup back into pan and heat through.
Garnish: Finely chop a bit more red pepper. Pit olives if necessary and slice.
To serve: ladle soup into bowls. Spoon 1 tbs yogurt into the center of each bowl, and sprinkle with olives and red pepper.
We had this as a first course, but it would be equally good with a grilled cheese sandwich for a retro lunch!
Now I'm going to go admire my new appliances.
I might even read the instructional manuals – but don't hold your breath on that one…..