La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, 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 we did and 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, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hot !

My, my ! Is it hot today ! And muggy ! Still 40° C outside and the sun has disappeared behind a veil of cloud.
So I had to pick all my sweetpeas this morning whilst it was still somewhat cooler.  What a glorious display they make.

Incy wincy spider

Typical of me to start cleaning the house on the hottest and muggiest day of the year, after a long stint of  utter laziness.  Washing the sofa covers, now drying on a stretch of garden fence (don't have a washing line) *blushes*

Please sun, come back from behind the clouds and beat us a couple more hours with your smoldering heat.  I need these covers dry before tonight.

Yesterday I recieved an early birthday pressie from Bert.

It is obvious that he is of the opinion that I need to rest some more (read, be lazy)

Better get back to that cleaning malarkey.

Thanks for visiting.

Patricia xxx...x

eta Bummer ! Without much warning (none actually) big fat drops of heavy rain. :(  Really not funny at all, at all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Salade Liègeoise

There is a low pressure area hanging over me and the weather isn't helping.  Nothing to shift it but this autumnal Belgian dish. A warm hugging salad.

  • potatoes (I like nice yellowy and waxy potatoes)
  • french beans (I used some from the freezer)
  • lardons (smoked  will give you an extra hug)
  • onion, chopped or sliced
  • knob of butter or a little vegetable oil
  • parsey, chopped
  • chives, chopped
  • white wine vinegar
  • seasoning (sea salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper)
  • Peel potatoes, and cut in halves or quarters.
  • Cover them with cold salted water in pot and bring to the boil on the hob and cook till ready.
  • Bring water to the boil in another cooking pot, add some salt and cook the beans al dente.
  • Drain both potatoes and beans, set aside.
  • Fry off the lardons in some butter/oil, add the onions for a couple of minutes.
  • Scoop them out  and deglace the pan with the vinegar.
  • Bring all the ingredients together (including the parsley and chives) in a bowl and add the juices from the pan (ie vinegar)
  • Toss.
  • And toss some more.
  • Serve on a plate willst still hot/warm and sprinkle over more black pepper.
  • Let yourself be hugged.
It is great on it's own, but you can add hardboiled eggs, halved or quartered.  Eat it as a side dish with roast pork.
If you happened to have some leftovers, it is also tasty when it's cold, so pack some for your lunch box.
Thank you for visiting me on this dreary summer's day.
Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Joy of Joys

It's been a while.  And I am not feeling up to blogging much.  That is why I'll leave you with some garden joys.
Lathyrus odoratus - Sweat pea

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

Violas on the steps leading from the patio to the garden.

Thank you for visiting

Patricia xxx...x

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