Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cheese, Heinz Tomato Soup, Basil the Goat and Veggie Garden Produce

I was in my local supermarket last week looking at goats’ cheeses when a much younger woman asked me, in French, what she could buy which was like Brie.  She then asked if camembert would do.  I replied that it was certainly a soft cheese like brie but was much stronger in taste and smell.  I asked her if she was French as it seemed a strange question for a French person to ask.  Yes, she replied, she was French – she must have known from my first sentence that I was not French.  I looked further along the chilled gondola and saw brie – two different sorts – President and SuperU’s own brand.  I pointed them out to her and she took the President, smiled and walked to the checkout.  Bizarre.

I am really missing cheese.  I have religiously stayed away from milk, cream and cheese since the Saturday before last.  On Tuesday night, I added some Heinz Tomato Soup to half a bowl of homemade soup, only to read the label after I’d eaten it and found in the ingredient list, dried skimmed milk, milk proteins and cream.,,!  And, I am still really missing cheese.  There are some schools of thought which say that you can eat cheese and possibly yoghurt in small quantities as they are thicker and even lactose intolerant people can sometimes get away with it.  As I'd inadvertently eaten the lactose in the soup, I indulged in three thin strips of cheddar from a block in the fridge.  I might as well have problems for something I really enjoyed.  Although I hoped I  wouldn't have too many problems on Wednesday as I was going to Yves Le Foll hospital in St Brieuc to see my bypass consultant.

Other things I always bring back from England when I visit are:

I usually add the Oxo chicken stock to soups, if I haven't just roasted a chicken, and have to have Colman's English mustard with my Christmas boiled bacon joint.  Bisto is what I like to use with the meat juices when I do a roast.  I'm sure I should only want "jus" as I am in France, but I like a good gravy with Original Bisto powder.  I've never used granules or flavours like onion.  I like to have a slice of bread in my gravy after I've finished my roast, because my gravy is so delicious!

Last night my physio came and gave my neck and shoulder a good going over.  I haven't got too many problems at the moment, thank goodness, but my prescription, has to be used up before it expires, so I am indulging myself with a visit a week from her until they are finished.  We were looking and feeling the collar bone on the right front of my neck at the end of the parathyroidectomy scar.  The bone seems unusually prominent and I'm wondering if I should be worrying, I might mention it to my GP when I see her again.

This morning my worker and I were up on the field.  Andy was wheelbarrowing earth and stones, which we dug out of the parking in the summer, to cover the muddy exit/entrance from the barn at the goat end.  We have now put the hens and ducks in the goat field because of the quagmire in their own area.  When I go down in the evening to put the birds away, Basil and Betsy, the goats are always in the hen end of the barn.  This means they have to crawl through a very small pophole in the dividing gate, but they do manage it.  Here's Basil on his way through as I was leaving the barn.

Andy was clearing out the hen overnight shed and putting the wheelbarrow contents in the compost bins - should be some good stuff in them next year to spread on the veggie beds and in the polytunnel.

I'd gone up to the field to collect some more veggies.  The butternut squash were harvested and are being stored in the polytunnel, so I only have to collect them, but the parsnips, carrots and beetroot are still in the ground.  I suppose I should dig them out before the frost and snow freeze the ground.   I made a soup when I got back to the house with chicken stock from the chicken I roasted yesterday, the butternut squash, garlic, onions, carrots and parsnips - I had some about ten minutes ago and it was lovely and there's enough for about a week with a bowl or two a day.

When I came out of the barn, I turned round and amazingly my rhubarb plants are all shooting and there are even some new leaves.

Three things I like:

1.   Watching Basil, who has a very large girth, squeezing through the bird pophole.
2.   Being interested in cooking again.
3.   Realising how much more energy I have now I've lost 79 pounds in twenty weeks.