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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parsnips and Purrdy

Parnsnips are one of the veggies I buy frequently in the supermarket here.  When I first came to live here in 2006, it seemed very difficult to find them.  I remember, not then knowing the French for parsnip, now I know it's "panais", that I described them as being like a long whitish yellow carrot to the checkout girl.  I use them almost every week in soups and roasted on for Sunday lunch and love their sweet taste.

I found this article with photograph today in the online site, written by Stephen Clarke:

"France, has steadfastly ignored the parsnip, despite its succulence, a sort of sweet potato tenderness with an almost citrus tang. It is one of those vegetables, like turnips and swede, that the French classify as animal fodder.  This ignorance is largely due, like so much else in the French consciousness, to wartime trauma. During World War Two, food shortages forced many people to eat things they would otherwise have turned their sophisticated noses up at, like turnips, swedes and parsnips. So after the war, they rejected them as a bad memory.

However, things are finally changing in France. Maybe it has something to do with the dire economic situation, but over the past few months, the French have at last begun coming to terms with the idea that the human intestine can digest parsnips even in peacetime. And it’s all thanks to the Brits. This year, we have managed to flood their supermarkets with packets of parsnip crisps, and their popularity in fried form is the only explanation I can find for the raw parsnip’s sudden appearance in my local market. I am talking about ordinary market fruit and veg stalls in a fairly poor part of the north of Paris, not organic health-food fairs down in the Latin Quarter. The parsnip really has arrived, albeit in a minor way — they still fetch three times the price of potatoes, and are only on two stalls out of about thirty."

Today turned out to be mostly sunny but interspersed with short, hard showers of rain. I took this photo of the evening sky from the end of the garden while I was putting the rabbits to bed. Let's hope the old adage of "Red sky at night, Shepherds' delight" bodes well for tomorrow.

On Mondays, because my cleaner usually comes, the plot is to pop downstairs and clear the ashes out of the bottom of the woodburner and clean the glass and light the fire, before going back upstairs and having my shower. I love my woodburner!

I did this today, then had a 'phone call saying that my worker wouldn't be in and so his wife, my cleaner, won't be in either. I had to drive straight up to the field to do the animals, which I did in my pyjamas, and never got upstairs again to shower and change. It's not often I have a pyjama day - well not often enough!

In fact, my cleaner did pop in just to stack some more logs to keep me going until Wednesday.  So I had a lovely, lazy day in the warm reading other people's blogs and following up things they mentioned.  Sometimes it was difficult to concentrate as Purrdy was lying behind my laptop and occasionally attacking the screen.

She is so gorgeous and with the sun shining through the window behind her the halo effect on head fur and whiskers is really good.

I forgot to post this last night.  It poured with rain again here all night, but as a result it is much milder here than further south where they had a clear night and frost.  It is a lovely sunny morning and I've had to move my chair so the sun isn't shining in my eyes.

Purrdy has been chilling out on the back of the sofa again.  I love the way she just flops.

Sunshine and showers again today after another rainy night.  I have to find a way of getting the hens and ducks into a different field as the mud was lethal there again last night and this morning.   Perhaps I can sort something out when my worker comes tomorrow before I go to see the gastric bypass consultant in the afternoon.  I'm hoping we'll come home with an electric garage door opener so that I can start putting the Peugeot in the garage.  At the moment, when I go out each morning the inside of the windscreen is really wet and needs a very good wipe before I can drive safely up to the field or to the shops.

Three things I like:

1.   Bacon and egg for breakfast this morning - first time since my op twenty weeks ago.
2.   Buying two used 1000 litre water containers on the net, one for my garden and one to add to those collecting water on the field.
3.   Finding my spare camera battery - at last!


  1. Parsnips. My dad used to grow them. I liked them better than turnips. Your fire looks so inviting, warm and cozy. You had a good pajama day.

  2. Hello Ann There's something good about a pyjama day, especially when you're pretty sure you won't have unexpected visitors. I'm going shopping today at lunchtime, when it's very quiet in the shops here as everyone religiously stops work for lunch between 12am and 2pm. I'm going to try and get most of the unperishable shopping for Christmas sorted out early. x