One of the facts about living in a very old French farmhouse is that one rarely lives alone.
We have dormice.
We’ve heard scampering in the rafters since we moved in, but always assumed it was mice.
Let me rephrase that….
We knew we had mice and we assumed we were hearing them.
We assumed wrongly.
We have dormice.
In France this particular one is called a lerot.
Here’s a photo I found:
Cute little guys, aren’t they?
They live in the barn….
And the house, apparently.
They are of the same genus as mice and rats, but a different family.
I first saw one running across the electrical cable between the barn and the pole at dusk.
I thought it was a rat.
We put rat poison on the high beams in the barn.
The lerot didn’t like it and tossed it outside…. Where it was promptly found by the puppies who tried to eat it.
We got rid of the rat poison.
Then I saw one again, a little bit earlier in the evening.
I realized it wasn’t a rat, and a little bit of research discovered its true identity.
They’re a nocturnal creature, leaving their nest in the evening to go about their business.
Yesterday, mon mari found their nest in a hole in a beam when he was putting lights up in his newly organized barn.
They ran out, quite unhappily.
We thought, just perhaps, they would move on.
I heard scampering during the night, and this evening I heard them chattering and scolding in the barn as they searched for a new nesting spot.
Now for the good news….
They eat spiders.
Back to the Zucchini… I did declare this zucchini week, didn’t I?
I looked in my Moroccan cook book for something new, but it would seem the North Africans have not embraced the humble courgette.
So I winged it.
Successfully, we decided.
2 small courgette, thinly sliced
2 yellow tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tbs parsley, chopped
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add all spices, onion, and sauté until onion is tender. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, courgette and continue to sauté for about 5 – 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until courgette just starts to get tender. Add tomatoes, soy sauce, cover and simmer until tomatoes soften and courgette is tender. Stir in parsley and serve.
More zucchini coming up….. Will it never end?