Friday, January 8, 2010

The Old and the New

Having shown you the truly traditional fève, and the secular version of modern tradition, I thought I'd buy our last gâteau from Carrefour, so you could see how the hypermarkets market their gâteau des rois! You're right, this is an Avatar fève. I make no comment. The gâteau was fantastic, though, my favourite type. It's a galette, which just seems to mean flat, buttery cake or biscuit in French, but this galette des rois is made of puff pastry with frangipane inside - ground almonds and sugar and generaly gooey loveliness. I think the crown was best, too.
So that's it for King Cakes for another year! Clever Mrs Cozy Home found me a New Orleans blog with their own version of King Cakes - wonderful to see how French traditions are developed in French-based cultures. I fell asleep on the sofa shortly after sharing the last cake - Son 1 was the one with the candid camera.You can see I was wrapped up against the cold. We have no (and need no) central heating in our well-insulated southern French home, and enjoy the relatively environmentally-friendly heating options of a wood fire and vegetable oil-based burner. But it does mean that wooly jumpers and blankets come out in weather like this!
The weather has been messing us about recently. Snow was confidently forecast for today, and then didn't come. But by the time the forecast had been revised, the regional council had cancelled all school buses, and many establishments had told their pupils not to turn up. Thus the boys cycled to school in a light dusting of snow this morning only to be told to go home and stay warm, as only two teachers had turned up!
They followed me around on my teaching day, cheerfully playing on their DS consoles or joining in if the lesson was appropriate to their age. We had fun and they have competently Mind-Mapped the plots of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Fellowship of the Ring, which I'm sure is more than they would have done if they'd stayed in their own half-open school.
There was just a little time for charity shopping between lessons, too. This...
... turned out to look like this, when I pulled it off the shelf! What was it doing in France, anyway? Lovely.
After that I got into browsing French books too...This is an Alpine-style cushion cover. Very wintery.Pretty, pretty edging, but it had that perfection that I associate with machine sewing.Turns out I was wrong, though - every bit of it is hand-stitched. It's only edging which has been torn off a petticoat, but it is wonderful.Some offcuts of Provençal-style oil cloth.And were you admiring my new tablecloth? It wasn't cheap, but it's linen, and it came with three large matching cloths which were described as napkins, although they probably weren't...
Do you like my haul? Son 2 got some Pokémon stuff too, but somehow I didn't think to photo that!Apparently, the snow WILL come tomorrow. We'll see...
Have a lovely weekend, snowy or sunny according to your latitude! And don't forget to join the Magazine Swap ( on the left) if you want a bit of new reading matter - did you spot the January edition of Country Living next to my somnulent form on our sofa?


Rubyred said...

Hello Floss,
Thank you for your lovely message regarding the 'Challenge of the Utmost Kind'.You've got a point about the dog, I hadn't thought of it like that so thank you!What a brilliant idea about the swapping too!
So sweet of you to pop me in your blog list, I'm off to pop you onto mine
Have a wonderful weekend!
Rachel x!

Serenata said...

Looks like it was rather a successful day.

I managed a spot of charity shopping today as well and came home with a brand new pair of shoes for work, a skirt, a cardigan and an old book on how to make 19th century clothes for dolls and also how to make the doll. It is something I've always wanted to make but never quite attempted one yet.

marigold jam said...

I was in town today for a haircut and noticed that most of our charity shops were not open. Not too surprising due to the state of the pavements and roads and given that many of the ladies who work in the charity shops are, like me, retired and of an age that breaks if they fall!

Those Carrefour galettes des rois took me back!!


Lululiz said...

Oh Floss, you always manage to bring home such a great selection of treasures. My favourite this time round? The first book, the marbling is beautiful.
Oh, and I have a photograph very similar to yours, asleep on the settee in France, lolol, also taken by my son, but I wasn't brave enough to post it. Tehehehe, tell your son he is a cheeky little soandso.

BusyLizzie said...

Glad you enjoyed the knitwear post on the blog.. I can see you would be tempted by anything knitted to keep warm with snow on the way! Lizzie x
Still really chilly here!!!!

Kate said...

I've enjoyed reading about the different cakes, takes me back to my time at Leiths Cookery School where we did all that. Definitely approving of your haul, I love the alpine cover - my sort of colours.

I'd definitely be up for joining in the mag swap - will post a quick comment over there!

Kate x

Sarah said...

Yes I do indeed like your finds this week! Love that white cloth very much and the fabrics are also very lovely. Now about this magazine swap, are you talking about new magazines or ones from previous years?

TheMadHouse said...

Wow sucesful trip indeed. The mini's school is doing great even with tons of snow. Maxi watched a film after lunch rather than brave the cold, as the snow is up to his knee's!! said...

You have a lovely weekend too Floss! You are right that sewing is so tidy and perfect! incredibly beautiful I say.

Mrs. Cozy Home said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed that NOLA blog post!!

Sarah said...

Hi Floss
As always, you've got some great buys - I love the Alpine cushion cover. I must venture out today and have a good charity shop rummage.
Enjoy the weekend!

Anonymous said...

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bad penny said...

ooh the cushion cover is beautiful. Thanks for telling us all about the cakes & traditions and I hope the school on or off gets sorted - ours looks off for the time being !!!

thanks for your thoughts over on my blog xx

Della said...

Oooh, that dessert (?) looks so yummy!

Wendy said...

Ooooh cake sounds wonderful. We have so much snow here in Scotland, I can't imagine everyone hasn't got it!
Your charity shop finds are always a joy, I can never wait to see what you are going to find next.
Floss I hope 2010 will be a wonderful year for you and yours and your home will be filled with love and laughter.
Take care and stay cosy!

summerfete said...

Hello and a Happy New Year!

Mmm that cake reminds me of an Easter cake we were sent from France when I was a kid! It was big and almondy with cerise icing of sorts?
Any ideas what it was?

Looks like we are holidaying in France this year yipee, croissants galore!

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Wow Floss, so much to comments on so in higgledy piggledy fashion, here I go....

Mind mapping the Lord of the Rings, brilliant, I must try it now! I might start with the Hobbit though!

Those cloths are all fab, I love the embroidered linen and the provencal style clth. We used to holiday in the Dordogne whan I was a teenager and I just loved the ,markets so much amd would lust afetr the beautiful French textiles....still do, sigh!

The alpine cushion is so sweet, very Heidi and so appropriate. ( It is snowing again as I write, we have been hard hit in rural West Kent)

And last but by no means least, Carrefour! I love it. So superior to our supermarkets, one thing I envy you, such brilliant produce, cakes, vegies, cheese..... you get the idea that I like it?

Thank for your encouragement on the photo front, I was really thrilled to read your comment,

Sarah x

Ange said...

oh the Kipling book. I mean OOOOHHHH!! You can keep the Avatar santon. ! Enjoyign our last Kings cakes too today. Snowed in and loving it! Looks like homeschooling is starting earlier than planned!

Anonymous said...

It's so Lovely to be back here in Your little corner of France. I must say I have particularly enjoyed savouring the Wonderful cakes :o)

A Happy New Year to You dear Floss xxx


Pomona said...

I am glad that I am not the only one to fall asleep on the sofa! Lovely purchases as usual - and lovely to see another wonderful French cake - pity it is only a virtual one, I could do with one (or a bit of one) to eat!

Pomona x