Barley and Butternut Squash Gratin, the wood arrived

I’m sure all the American cooks are spending this last day before the big Turkey Bash searching for new recipes.

Okay, maybe not…..

But if you just need one more, here it is.

It can all be done ahead and baked / reheated at the last minute.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you on that side of the pond!

Barley and Butternut Squash Gratin

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (2.8oz, 80gr) quick-cooking barley
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 8oz (240gr) butternut squash, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup  (8oz, 240gr) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2oz (60gr) feta, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup (1oz, 60gr) grated Parmesan
  • 10 Greek olives, chopped
  • 10 walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Barley Butternut Squash Gratin


  • Cook barley in chicken stock until done,  usually about 15 minutes for quick-cooking barley.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet.
  • Add onion, butternut squash and and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • To finish:
  • Combine all ingredients and spoon into a baking dish just large enough to hold everything.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, 400F (200C), until nicely browned.
  • Remove and serve.

Print Recipe

I think we’re ready for winter.

I have the calendars from both La Poste (postal service) and the pompiers (fire department) and they have my donation to their holiday fund.

The garden equipment has been winterized and tucked into the cellar below the barn.

The wood for this winter is cut and tucked into the barn.

The wood for next winter has, finally, been delivered.

The last guy we bought wood from brought it on a big trailer, got it somewhat close to where we wanted it and dumped it. We paid him and he left.

We said bonjour, au revoir, and that was it.

The new guy handles things a bit differently. He talked to me on the phone for 10 minutes then came to the house the next morning to discuss things to make certain we understood each other.

That was last week. Last night he came to the house again to tell us he would deliver the wood today.

He brought it this morning, all neatly loaded onto a trailer. He maneuvered the trailer right next to the platform where we stack it.

Then he started unloading it – by hand and started stacking it.

We immediately started unloading and stacking, too.

On the positive side we hadn’t expected anyone to help us stack the wood, and it is easier to take it from a neat pile and put it into a neat pile.

On the negative side the trailer was really high and lifting meter long logs over my head is not the easiest thing for me to do. Once we got the first few rows off it wasn’t too bad.

And there was no break time. Usually when we stack 10 meters of wood we do it in 2 or 3 work sessions. Obviously he wanted his trailer….

Still, with the 3 of us working, we had it all unloaded and stacked in just under an hour.

He was about 3 inches shorter than me, didn’t weigh more than a mosquito, was at least 20 years older and was lifting 2 logs at a time off the top and flopping them on the top of the new wood pile.

Certainly put me in my place!

7 thoughts on “Barley and Butternut Squash Gratin, the wood arrived”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving
    The wood story reminds me of when we had a husband and wife team re-roof our barn. The wife was tossing bags of cement like they were kilo bags of sugar!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are celebrating and have invited the French over for our best holiday! And I hope you gave the wood guy a cup of tea or a glass of wine after all that effort! And one for yourselves, too!

  3. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? I didn’t whatsoever, but it was fun to see all my friends’ and family’s posts on Facebook and other social media! Happy late Thanksgiving!

  4. Tanna, I know…. but still…

    Thanks, Penny – and to you.

    Kate, you celebrate Thanksgiving more often than I do LOL

    Gill, these French farmers / workers put us all to shame.

    Zoomie, no to all of the above…. I think our wood guy had rather enough wine at lunch 😉

    Betty, no, we never do. Maybe if there were other American expats around we would, but in all our years in France we have never known any local Americans.

Comments are closed.

Share via
Copy link