Our lovely friend and neighbour Yolande, showed us how to make the traditional French Christmas cake – ‘Bûche de Noël’, named because it resembles a yule log. Before central heating, when local country people went to church on Christmas Eve they would put a big log on the fire to keep it going on their return……..it was a really enjoyable morning, thank you Yolande!
At Limogne en Quercy Church on Sunday afternoon the Parisot Choir were in good voice, as part of their Christmas concert they sang some beautiful church music including ‘Glory to God’ by Heinrich Schutz which I had never heard before. It was lovely! Chef de Choeur is Peter Nowfel – I think he was pleased with their performance, the church was packed and the audience gave them a standing ovation.
Heinrich’s church music wasn’t dull or stodgy. Using ideas from Italian choral music, he made his religious works more dramatic than anything that had been done before him in Germany. Later, Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the most famous composers of all history, borrowed and improved on Heinrich’s methods. http://www.christianity.com
The next Christmas concert is at Parisot Church on Saturday 21st December 4pm
We’ve never tasted truffles before so we thought we’d go to the famous truffle market at Lalbenque in SW France. http://www.lalbenque.net Here’s the truffle we bought – it’s smaller than a walnut and cost 6 euros.
We left it sitting in with the eggs for a day and then grated it over an omelette. Unfortunately all we could taste was grit! What have we done wrong…..someone tell us please!
The little town of Lalbenque is transformed when the weekly truffle market takes place. It’s a real tradition here, all the truffle sellers line up behind wooden benches and display their truffles in little baskets with red and white tea towels. They usually like to try and sell the whole basket, mostly to chefs and restaurants I think as there were lots of expensive cars in town that day.
Yep we’ve succumbed! This is how you do it and it costs about 200 euros for everything:
1. A Humax box with Freesat – it allows you to receive TV via satellite, costs about 100 euros from John Lewis http://www.johnlewis.com/
2. A satellite dish or ‘parabole’ in French, get it from Brico Depot http://www.bricodepot.fr/ about 75 euros
3. A bracket to attach the dish to the wall, get it from Brico Depot, doesn’t cost much (‘support pour fixer une antenne parabolique’)
4. A long length of TV wire – something long enough to stretch from the dish to the TV
Get a modern TV that can access satellite
The Christmas lights are up in Toulouse and the season of Christmas Markets ’tis begun…lots and lots of gorgeous food and plenty of tat too…
Petits pâtés de Pézenas
These little sweet, spiced mutton pies are a golden brown, crispy pastry with a moist, sweet inside. They can be eaten as an hors d’oeuvre, with a salad or as a dessert.