Any cheerful news today? (Nothing negative please! 🙂)

Swifts! How wonderful :smiley: I haven’t seen any for the past year or two but I love them and hope they will come back. After a couple of years of absence our bats have returned so,perhaps, swifts will too…

1 Like

Just reporting on a couple of things that have cheered me upa great deal today!
Firstly, the builders arrived unexpectedly (good job I was dressed) to put up my balcony/terrasse, having finally managed to obtain the wood. It’s looking promising…
Secondly, my partner got some espadron at the market this morning so, having unearthed and commissioned our beautiful clay-built chimenea, we’ll be heading for a lovely barbecue this evening,


Just had a delicious toasted M&S Tea Cake bought from England on the 13:55 flight into Bergerac so with an hours journey from Bergerac and a 30 minute at supermarket - the tea cakes lasted less than 1 hour after arrival home! = couldn’t resist them.


Some fresh veg from next door… arrived just before lunch… courgettes/ blettes/parsley
I checked Google for ideas.

small cubes fried in a splash of Olive oil until coloured/slightlycrispy.
Add chopped parsley, garlic and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Blettes - the green part thrown into boiling, salted water for 2 minutes
Drain the blettes and add to the courgette/parsley pan…
Add a blob of butter and stir everything gently together on medium heat.

Just before serving… sprinkle with some grated parmesan…

absolutely yummy… served alongside cordon bleu…

OH had been watching a tad apprehensively, but he licked his plate clean

(the white part of the blettes is waiting its turn… )

1 Like

Steamed is an excellent substute for pak choi - in fact we’ve been using blettes in preference to pak choi for our favourite Chinese recipe :smiley:

By the way - I like “Sunbeam”!

1 Like

It’s my car… my pride and joy :hugs:


And there was me thinking it was just an accurate reflection of your personality :smiley:

1 Like

While we are thinking cheerily… the builders left yesterday and we are rather pleased with our smart new terrasse. Now to smarten up the rest of the house…


We chop and stir fry the whites, or throw them into gratins and the like. Pak choi doesn’t get planted until the peas are finished, so our autumn green veg…

Terrace looks great, so nice when things that one has dreamed of get done!

1 Like

which is?? :smiley: :smiley:

The pak choi (or blettes) with sauce is the perfect accompaniment to this dish. The only problem is that you do need the unobtainable-in-France? Chinese 5 spice for the pork marinade,


Blettes are a great deal easier to grow than pak choi - for me anyway, so we tend to use them in preference…

I used to have one, but a later model

Oh YUM that’s right you posted that on my pork thread!

I’m sure they have them at the Chinese supermaket I finally went to in Bergerac. I’m nearly out of Hoi Sin so will be going at some point (before the autumn anyway :rofl: :rofl: ). Do you want me to pick you up a bag and pop it in the post?

1 Like

I only have flowering pot plants so am grateful for any edibleoffering from neighbours. Did grow tomatoes in a pot, one year, but not very successful and everyone always seems to have a glut, so no incentive on my part.


Well I didn’t have to cut grass today :yum::grin: so for me it was an excellent day, blue skies and 32C, for me life does not get much better than a beautiful day with my family, dog, 9 cats and the hot tub :grin::sunglasses:


Either mix it yourself or get it in Eurasie (Bordeaux) or frères Tang (Paris) or online.

1 Like

Grind star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. We use slightly less star anise than bought versions as suits our taste buds. But it’s available


Has anyone seen tonight’s beautiful moon.
It’s absolutely magnificent… and… in line with family tradition… I gazed up at it and howled :wink: :wink:


Thank you @vero, @jjones and @toryroo ! Our nearest oriental(?) outlet is at Rennes but I shall check the online and home-grown solutions!