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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Green Olive Tapenade

So simple to make, I'm almost ashamed to admit it.  Full of natural umami, it is a great ingredient to use in a variety of dishes. 
I like to spread some over my homemade pizza base, before I add the passata di pomodoro.  Also lovely on bruschetta, a spoonful in your pasta, as a seasoning for soups, salad dressings ....

300 grs pitted green olives
1 tin anchovy fillets
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 small chillies
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Put everything, but the olive oil, in a measuring jug.
With your hand blender, blend until you get a smooth-ish paste. 
Lastly stir in the olive oil.

You can store in a glass jar with screw top lid in the fridge for about a week. Pour some olive oil over to seal off.

Eh ?
Of course you can use your food processor! What a question ! ;o)  Pestle and mortar should also do the trick.  Heck, you could even use a chopping board and sharp knife.

Patricia xxx...x

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Ever since the time we lived in Ireland, I have a love - hate relationship with rhodos.
I hated them, because they invaded Killarney National Park  and beyond, showing no mercy for indigenous plants and trees.
I love them, because come May, they will bloom in al their glory and delight me with an abundant display of colour.

Now, in our own garden, well established rhododendrons show off their lovely flowers and atract all the bees from the neighbourhood.

 You can't but love them !

Buzz, buzz, buzzing !

 One of my all time favourites (I have many) is the Foxglove.
The picture below shows some that grew wild last year in the woodland just 'behind' the fence.
When they appear in our garden, I nourish them (psychologically - they don't need to be wrapped in cotton wool) and I abide my time until they grace me with their beauty.
Where ever you may be, I hope you enjoy the late spring flowers as much as I do.

Patricia xxx...x
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