Monday, 7 November 2011

Autumn Bonfire / Automne feu de joie

Yesterday was what I would call a bonus Sunday! Original plans were to go into Paris to collect an 1850's baby crib for a friend who is due to have her baby any day, fitting in Sunday markets and lunch in the Asian Quarter...but it was not to be...with baby imminent we had a quick change of was to be instead a quiet day at home!  
With the girls chilling upstairs, no guests in sight, mild temperatures and sunshine it was time to hit the garden!! The annual trim, leaf sweep and bonfire was the call of the day.
On goes the pot of lentil soup [simple recipe consisting of onions and carrots fried in oil till soft....stock and lentils added and boiled with chopped spinach and sweet potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste served with crusty bread!]. With soup on a low boil on the stove that was lunch sorted, old clothes out we go. The additional chore of stacking five cubic metres [fr. steres de bois de chauffage!] of wood fell on Mike after we had the fire started...
With great satisfaction I trimmed the espaliered apples, now bare of fruit and leaves, swept the leaves into bucket loads and trimmed the lavender bushes and any shrub that stood between me and the bonfire.
It was great that the weather was so mild as I have miserable memories of reluctantly carrying out these chores with fingers frozen, feeling damp with visible year we had friends staying for half term and it even snowed while we trimmed the fruit trees...they jokingly accused us of being mad Kiwis doing 'Extreme Gardening'...but later it was fun to sit by the embers of the fire, all toasty warm with a bowl of soup, some crusty French bread and enjoy the change in light as the night sky closed in....
Last night I decided to throw a few of Madam Paris' potatoes, lightly oiled into the fire...buried in the ashes they were cooked in half an hour and by popular demand I threw in a second batch...served with melted butter, sweetcorn and grated cheese it was the perfect end to a satisfying Sunday...

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