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, July 5, 2013

Elderflower Champagne and a New Loaf

I walked back from the field on Wednesday morning this week with my left hand full of strawberries for breakfast from both outside and inside the polytunnel and my right hand bulging with luscious dandelion leaves for Boris, Ruby and Bert. 

There wasn’t a sound except for the birds and my wellie clogs on the lane gravel – I love the peace and quiet here.  The only problem was the rain - that dull, relentless, straight down rain that makes everything very wet very quickly - at least I didn't have to do any outside watering of plants. 

My elderflower champagne is glugging away on the kitchen table and another ten litres is getting ready in the white plastic lidded bin.  I shall transfer it to the flip top glass bottles I have once the fermentation has diminished a bit.  A couple of years ago I lost three of these strong - especially for fizzy liquid - bottles when they exploded sending glass and elderflower champagne all over the utility area - so I am being patient about the final bottling operation.  Today I found another six demijohns in the garage so the production line will continue for a while longer.
The blossom is really late this year, usually by July it is all turning brown and on its way to becoming elderberries but the trees here are still covered in buds and blossom so plenty more available to be picked.

It is one of my favourite summer drinks along with gooseberry wine - I can't get enough of it.  This year my gooseberries are being taken away by the birds before they are ripe so next year will have to be the year of the fruit cage I think.  I've already bought the netting, so a frame will be erected to try and thwart the thieving birds.  They are so engrossed in their stealing that they only emerge from the bushes when I am about a foot/30cm from the bushes so have become very bold.

My other criminals on the field are the wild rabbits who run for the field boundaries as I enter the area.  I am not sure what they are eating as everything seems to be nibble free so far, but there are certainly a lot of them about.

I had an afternoon appointment in Guingamp to get measured for a large rubber belt which I have to wear after I have my tummy skin removed.  This operation is currently planned for September with my gastric surgeon,  but I'm seeing a plastic surgeon in August and she may have other ideas.  While I was in Guingamp with JaneF  we took advantage of the shops for food shopping and I bought some Breton boules too - they are bright pink.  

I baked my fifth loaf on Wedneday morning.  Every loaf has been deliberately different.  This bread is made from Allinson's strong white flour (as I've just run out of Francine flour), with sunflower seeds, sultanas and cinnamon.   It rose beautifully.

I was planning on baking it in the oven in a round baking tin as I wanted that shape with some height.  Couldn't find anything in my cupboards so drove out and borrowed a loose-bottomed tin from JaneF.  It turned out beautifully - of course(!) and as usual it's very difficult to resist eating it all at once.

On Thursday afternoon I played Breton boules with three English friends at the Laniscat boules area.  It was a blazing hot day and I and my partner for the afternoon won both games - those pink boules are good news!  I'd never played Breton boules before and really enjoyed it.

Today was another seriously hot day and my worker was shattered after strimming most of the field and round the veggie patches - still half a day's strimming to do though.  The combination of rain and this very hot weather has certainly seen things grow out there, not least the grass.

I'm watching Murray in his semi-final and after winning two sets to one they have a break while the roof is being shut - a very contraversial decision at this stage of the evening.

Three things I like:

1.  Finding a spot on the field where the sun stays until about 21.40pm and putting pallets down to make a small deck to sit and read on in the last of the evening sun.
2.  Taking the last lot of field rubbish to the tip.
3.  Making arrangements to visit an exotic garden tomorrow with friends.