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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas lights, sunrise, spicy red cabbage and Christmas berries

I drove into St Nicolas du Pélem yesterday evening once I'd done the animals.  I wanted to look at the Christmas lights and take some photographs.  They were rubbish lights though, not nearly enough of them, so they looked mean, and while I was there it started to pour with rain again. 

No frost last night, just more rain.  This morning I was up again in time to catch the sky while it was still beautifully coloured.  Unfortunately,once the sun was up we didn't see it again as it rained for the majority of the day. 

My cleaner came to do the final clean before Christmas - rather early as my guests don't arrive until Saturday, but it's my day for cleaning so I have to live with that.

The rabbit run gate latch has broken.  It was stuck together with the frost yesterday morning  and is actually hanging out of its hole, which makes it very  difficult to  close or open the gate.  I hate it when these little things go wrong. The bulb in the light over the stairs has gone over the weekend too and then the bulb in the light to my left in the sitting room died as well - I have loads of lights in here, but even one does make a difference.

I've made the spicy red cabbage for Christmas day lunch - I cooked it on the hob.  It filled the house with the lovely Christmas spice smells of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.   I make it early because it's so much nicer when it's reheated for the meal itself.   The ingredients are red cabbage, apples (dessert or cooking), onions, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, cider vinegar, sugar, butter, salt and pepper.

Shred the cabbage finely, having removed the outside leaves and stalk first.
In a casserole or saucepan make a layer of shredded cabbage, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then a layer of sliced onions and apples with a shake of each of the spices and a little sugar. Continue with these layers until everything is used up. Pour over cider vinegar and add dots of butter on the top.  Put the lid on casserole or saucepan and either cook long and really slowly on hob or put in the oven for a couple of hours. Every now and then give it a good stir.  It freezes well and is even better when reheated.

It's cooked down quite a lot in the photo above - when I put the layers in it reached the top of the pan.  I divided the cooled spicy red cabbage into three and put the thirds in ziptop bags and then into the freezer.  The first time I ate this was at a friend's house for a 5 November bonfire party.  It tastes wonderful with really good pork sausages or a roast pork dinner - try it.

A pair of blackbirds have been landing on my holly bush frequently today and I have a feeling they will not leave many berries once they start eating.  At the moment there are lots this year - it's been a real picture.

Some of the trees around here are covered balls of mistletoe mainly, but not only, on apple trees.  Some of the trees are really tall and I'm not sure what they are, but mistletoe certainly thrives on them in huge clusters.  This photograph was taken last year when there were floods after the snow melted - it is not a lake, it is a field!

Three things I like:

1.   The smell of Christmas spices in the house.
2.   I've found the Christmas stockings which I hang over the fireplace.
3.   Reading a funny comment from my daughter's boyfriend on Facebook.


  1. I think they are poplar trees.

    Thanks for the recipe for the red cabbage - it just so happens I bought one this morning! I do like it cooked with apple and vinegar etc but have never added those spices; also had no idea it could be frozen! I've also just passed a couple of bushes covered in some kind of purply red berries very near my house so off for a good look to see what they are, as I want to add some to my 'natural' Xmas decs.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog Brittanygirl, you sure have gotten into the christmas spirit of things. Some very festive images thanks for sharing them :)