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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Little Bit of Kitsch ....

.... on the patio.

Now I love the trickle of a brook or stream.  Unfortunately we don't have any of that in our garden, so we make do with what my mum found in her garden shed.

Ta-dah !

I had to put some plants in it, because the noise it was making sounded like someone pissing out of the first floor window into a bucket on the ground floor.
The ducklings were 50 €cent each - a steal ! Haha !


Have a lovely weekend (or what's left of it).
Patricia xxx...x

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crazy Boy !

It has been great weather the last few days. And we had the pleasure of a visit from nephew Mathias, two days in a row !






He did fall asleep around 3pm and had a half hour power nap. :)

Isn't it lovely that he likes to play outside and isn't afraid of being a mucky pup ?  I mean Mathias, not Millie who looks very clean still.  Haha...

Patricia xxx...x

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Laborious Day in the Garden





We don't really like to use child labour... But when the child enjoys labouring then what do you do ?

Thankfully, my nephew, Mathias had the help of his dad (my brother).




A quick meeting with Big Boss, uncle Bert.



And then it was pizza time !



Enjoy the weekend.
Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Craft Room (part 1)

It's not even funny how my craft room looked like a war zone. Couldn't open the cupboards, full of fabrics, without them piling up on the floor.
Ironing on my table, in laundry baskets spread on the floor.
Well I did the (some) ironing first.  Sorted the rest and put it somewhere safe.
I had to tackle the fabrics - I have a crush on fabrics - don't you ?  Stacks and stacks I made, sorted by colour.  I also unearthed loads of curtains while I was at it....and cushion covers for scatter cushions.

I did it !





That's that sorted !
There is, however, the art materials that still needs sorting, because it's the same story as with the fabrics..... then my books....You get the picture.

We'll see how the weather holds up over the weekend. If it's sunny, I'll be in the garden. If not, you'll find me in the craftroom preparing for part two.


Have a lovely weekend. And to my friends in Ireland, enjoy Paddy's Day, the Sneem Parade and don't get too bladdered.


Patricia xxx...x



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad


Now, to many this is nothing new as it is widely known and well liked in English speaking countries.
I was tought this particular recipe by Martha, a Canadian acquantance, about 20 years ago (gosh, I'm getting on a bit).
It's been a while since I last prepared caesar salad and don't really know why I suddenly felt the urge.  Must have been the spring weather. It felt quite nostalgic eating it again.

Normally this is made with romaine lettuce, but iceberg works well too.

Ingredients
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard powder
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 coddled egg (*)
  • 1 tin of anchovies
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 heaped tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • seasoning (salt and freshly cracked black pepper)
  • shavings of parmesan
  • croutons (**)
  • cubed cooked chicken (***)
  • romaine or iceberg lettuce
(*)You coddle an egg by dropping (you know what I mean ;) ) it with shell in water that has just boiled. Leave for one minute. Take it out and leave to cool.
(**) Croutons, made from sliced and cubed bread. Either fry in  a pan with some oil or spread them on an oven tray and toast them in the oven.
(***)The chicken can be blanched, panfried or leftover roast chicken. I had fillet of chicken (our home grown) which I dowsed (when cubed) in a marinade.  Juice of 1/2 lemon, splash of olive oil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, black pepper, garlic powder,paprika and a pinch of cayenne.  Then shallow fried in a pan. hm-hm.

Preparation
  • In a jug/beaker, put the garlic, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, mustard, coddled egg, 1/2 of the anchovies.
  • Use a hand held blender and blend till smooth.
  • Add the oil and blend again. You should have a creamy consistency.
  • Now step away from the blender and add the grated parmesan.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • That's your dressing ready.
  • Rip the lettuce leaves in large pieces toss with the dressing (only just before serving), croutons, slivers of the anchovies, chicken and finish with the shavings and more black pepper.
  • Whoah !


Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Old Tin Box

The old tin box.... is that not where ancient photos where stored ?  Well, except for the odd album, that is where my mum used to keep ours.
So when we popped in at my mum's last Sunday, she had some stacks of photos on the dining room dresser.  Good enough for me to rummage through. 
I came up with this 'fantastic' idea to scan them and put them on the computer.  When we came back home the first thing I did was look for and go through all of the photos I have in my possession. 
Right ! Now I have stacks and stacks of ancient and not so ancient ones sitting on our dining room table.
I have already been busy scanning maybe about 200.  Thousands more to go. What did I start ? Huh?

Here I present to you a few pictures from the old tin box.
Yes, indeed,that is little me. Age 3, or there abouts.



My dad on the right, well before he met my mum.


My mum, very cool and pretty.


Mum and dad.


My maternal grandmother, Mit.




Very cute older cousins.


Another older cousin.  Some photos look downright scary.



My maternal grandmother (2nd top right) with her siblings, my great grandfather and great stepgrandmother.  That's a mouthful (and a house full). Or should that be step great grandmother ?

Well, I am off to scan some more, lock up the chickens for the night and make myself some dinner.

Feel free to comment, I really appreciate it.
Patricia xxx...x

Friday, March 02, 2012

Something for the Weekend - Clementine Cake


I nicked this recipe from the delightful Rachel Kelly at Marmaduke Scarlet .  I say nicked, but that's not what it is, is it ?
Seeing I didn't have Seville oranges I used clementines instead. On Wednesday I went shopping and bought so much fruit (you know, health consciousness kicks in as soon as someone in the household has been gripped by a bout of influenza) ....... Brrr... the clementines were just too tart to eat as they come. Don't let the warm orange colour of their coat fool you !

It's a simple recipe and tasty it is too.

Have a lovely weekend !
Patricia xxx...x

Thursday, March 01, 2012

No Way Back !

A new addiction has cropped up and there is no way back from this !
My mother was rather impressed with my bargain buy I posted about here . So, yesterday we went into one of the many Recycle Shops in the area.
Lo and behold, I acquired some great finds .... again.




What am I going to do with them ? No clue just yet, but pretty things don't really need to be useful, do they ?
I have also bought a coffee table for Bert's office for 5€.  I will show it to you in a later post.

Now, does anyone have any idea how I can get that thingamajig out of the perfume  bottle ?

Maybe I'll see you at one of the Recycle Shops ;-)

Patricia xxx...x
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