La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lemon Curd Recipe For Josée

Grated zest and juice of 6 lemons
400 g white sugar
150 g softened butter
5 eggs, beaten
Heat the lemon zest, juice and sugar gently in a sauce pan. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Add the butter, while stirring until melted.
Au bain Marie, add the eggs to the lemon mixture, stirring all the time, gently, for about 30 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Do not boil as the mixture will curdle.
Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal. After cooling keep refigerated.
Geraspte schil & sap van 6 citroenen
400 g kristalsuiker
150 g zachte boter
5 eieren, geklopt
Verhit op een zacht vuurtje het citroensap en schil met de suiker, roer tot de suiker is opgelost.
Voeg de boter erbij en roer tot deze is gesmolten.
Au bain Marie, de eieren bij het citroenmengsel voegen, en zachtjes blijven roeren (ongeveer 30 minuten) tot het mengsel glad is en aan de houten lepel blijft hangen.
Niet laten koken anders gaat de curd schiften.
Giet de curd in gesteriliseerde glazen bokalen. Sluit af en laat afkoelen.
Bewaren in de koelkast.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Brunch

Beautiful table decorated by my mother.

I prepared the Eggs Benedict (with smoked salmon) on homemade muffins.

Made an assortment of buns. Here, brioche-style easter bunnies, some with sultanas, some with chocolate chips. Served them with homemade jams.

After a walk, we were ready to attack the Pavlova.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter fun at mother's home.

We've spend Easter Sunday at my mother's home.

My little nephew, Mathias had his first taste of gathering easter eggs. He never knew what he was supposed to do, and at first he picked them up and went in the direction of the chicken coop, as if he was going to bring them back to the chickens.

He also went straight for the little ones that were wrapped in bright coloured foil and left the chococate ones behind, or for Tara, my mum's dog.

Days like these makes me feel really happy to be surrounded by my family again.

Here are some pictures of the happenings

Here my brother, Rijkaard, showing his son how it should be done.
Pick up the eggs, put them in the basket.....

However, Mathias has other ideas and he tips the eggs out of the basket.....

Mummy, Joelle, to the rescue and they put all the eggs in the basket again.

Ooops, Tara has found an easter egg also.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What a year it has been !

Not exactly my favourite one !

It has been a long time since I last updated this blog and for that I want to apologize.

As from my previous post you can see that we moved from France back to Belgium. I have had the greatest difficulties to adapt to life here again.

First of all, our lovable dog, Kerel, died rather suddenly on the 7th July, kidney faillure. Why, we don't know, as he got the finest dog food we could afford. It was devastating for us, and fellow pet owners will know what the feeling is like.
All of our six cats adapted very well to life in Belgium, so no problems there.

Another thing is, that I didn't fall in love with the house, nor the area. In fact, I started to hate the house so much it left me feeling numb and depressed. I hardly cooked a few meals, all other times we had take-away chippy, pizza, kebabs. It all resulted in me having put on more weight, and it has also given me a health scare (blood pressure very high, to the extend that my heart muscle is already enlarged). That's me on medication and a low salt diet and leaving out saturated fats (damn, and I so love salted butter).
I disliked the place so much that we started house hunting almost immediately after we moved in. After viewing many, many properties -sometimes losing the will to live- we found a great place (for Belgium) and we moved in on 17 th, January. .... to be continued.
I do enjoy seeing my family and relatives on a regular basis, though, and it was lovely to spend Christmas with them again.
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