Monday, June 6, 2011

A Bank Holiday Weekend in France

True to our imported British bank holiday tradition, it was quite rainy!Thursday was Ascension Day, which is a bank holiday in France - much appreciated this year, as most of our bank holidays have fallen at the weekend and therefore been lost. I popped out to a little Vide Grenier in the moated village I blogged about two years ago. Here are my finds this time: An excellent Ancient Egypt 'fan' of information - Son 1 loves it. A bag of cherries (yum). A hydrangea. A sweet jug with some clogg-wearing children playing tug-of-war in front of a water mill - strange that it's a water mill not a windmill...

Friday was the 'Pont d'Ascension' - the 'bridge' between the bank holiday and the weekend. I worked a little bit, Ben took that day off instead of the Thursday (a common practice) and the boys had both days off school - how nice to be young! Their friends, three brothers, came over to stay the night and I fed them as you see above - with a 'raclette' where they grill their own veg, cured meats and cheese, all draped over boiled potatoes. They had a lovely time. Shame Son 1 now has Slap Face and is off school - I hope none of the rest of them caught it!

On the Friday, while I was picking up our visitors, I drove past the banner above, being put up in rather difficult weather conditions. So on Saturday I cycled off with a rucksack of empty containers, to our local blueberry farm.

I parked my bike by the greenhouses and was given a good welcome and picking instructions by the farmer.The rows of blueberry bushes had the farmhouse at one end...

... and a field of horses at the other.

The farmer told me that the berries were only just ripening, and that I'd have to pick carefully, only the ones that were 'bien violette'.I found enough!

So this weekend we ate peaches with blueberries and raspberries from the garden (with a little touch of Orange Flower Water - thanks Nigella), blueberry muffins, and blueberry and apple flapjack crumble.

If you look closely at the recipe above you'll see that this is not what I was trying to make. The aim was to make crumble bars for picnics, but something is wrong with the recipe quantities and the 'bars' were incoherent yet deliciously squidgy. I squashed them into a bowl and served them with icecream, to the delight of our second set of visitors. Our friend Matthew borrowed my recipe and said he's not going to change the quantities at all, just serve it as a pudding!


Yesterday I cycled off to the final Vide Grenier of the weekend - always risky, cycling to a VG! I'll tell you all about that in my next post...


June said...

Cute little jug - as you say strange it's not a windmill! Hope your son gets better soon!

Lorrie said...

Blueberries! One of my favorite summer fruits! How delicious. We have at least 6 or 8 weeks to wait until ours are ripe.

Libre cueillette - is that the French equivalent for "Pick it yourself" (actually the English term is now escaping me)

Catherine said...

Yum yum! That looks really delicious! Cx

Serenata said...

I love blueberries! Hope your son is better soon, can't be much fun.

The Curious Cat said...

Oh those blueberries look lush!! Yummy! Sorry to hear your son isn't well - never heard of slap face though! Hope you're all keeping well! xxx

Angela said...

Oh PLEASE do a close-up of the Egyptian Fan [I am looking for Egypt-themed inspiration for the Holiday Club]
I think that recipes which don't quite come out as the picture often end up being the ones you treasure for years.
Cherries AND red polka dots - summer is icumen in!
blessings xx

helen tilston said...

Thank you for taking us on a fascinating bike ride with you. Can I come over for some of that great crumble, if it's all gone, I'll settle for fresh fruit, preferably your handpicked bien violette.
Looking forward to your next expedition