I just had a long, involved fight encounter with France Telecom/Orange.
I've used up all the words I was allotted for this day; both French and English.
Just relax and look at some pictures.
The lads had to break open the wall that was built to 'Juliet's (as in Romeo and Juliet) balcony. There originally had been a door, but, some time in the last 50 years, the former owners had walled it off and put in a window.
It's now a door again.
There's some nice stonework around it that we'll try to render – make pretty…
The balcony is in a sad state of repair – as you can see by the broken railing. I nearly fainted when one of the guys crawled through the window with his jackhammer to take down the wall. I was sure he would go crashing to the ground below.
Here's the new door – and my 'office' back in place:
And the view from outside. We also had windows put in on the upper floor. Previously there were just openings with shutters. Below the balcony are the doors into the cellar.
Yes, I know…. Our shutters now really, really need to be painted. We no longer need them on the doors, so the old ones on the balcony will come off.
One actually needs shutters here, for insurance purposes. Our doors have to have triple locking points, and either shutters or 'security' glass. We opted for the security glass on the doors and we'll keep the shutters on the windows.
All the shuttered windows could be why insurance is relatively inexpensive.
But, it's mainly to keep out the evil night air.
The lawn may need a bit of work as well….
Our new entry door:
And the inside:
I love the fact that the 'window' opens – but with the wrought iron bars, it's still secure.
Well, provided you actually lock the door…..
And don't leave the key in the lock….
How about some Stuffed Mushrooms to nibble on?
Mushrooms Stuffed with goat Cheese on Pesto Vinaigrette
8 large button or cremini mushrooms, 1.5" (3.75cm) in diameter
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 carton soft goat cheese (2oz, 60gr) Chavrie in the U.S., Chevraux in Europe
2 tbs Greek or plain yogurt
3 slices bacon (3oz, 90gr)
paprika for sprinkling
Clean mushrooms, removing stems. Discard stems or trim and save for another use. Sauté bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove and crumble. Pour off all but 1 tsp of fat. Add olive oil to skillet and return to heat. Add mushroom caps and sauté until light brown, 5 minutes, turning once. Remove and place on a baking sheet – with a lip so they don't slide off.
Put goat cheese and yogurt into a bowl and stir to combine. Add bacon bits and mix. Spoon into the mushrooms caps, mounding slightly. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until they are heated through, but before the cheese melts off the mushrooms. Remove.
To serve: Drizzle the Pesto Vinaigrette on two plates. Arrange Mushroom Caps, sprinkle with paprika and serve.
1 1/2 tbs pesto
2 tsp white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs good olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
I may have more words tomorrow.