Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas & Happy New Year

Believe it or not but since long there has not been a White Christmas in the Lot. It started snowing the night of the 23rd and the snow is still there.

For the rest it is very calm on the Prayssac front.

We wish you all the very best for the year 2011. May your wishes come true and may you stay in good health.

Auld Lang Syne - Beethoven
Auld Lang Syne - Reader

See you. Have a nice end of year celebration.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It was a rather wintery week - with every night frost and on Thursday snow for one day - the strange thing about it was that only the roads and the houses were covered with snow but not the fields.

So, please,
don't forget
to feed
our feathered friends.

Yesterday a nice event took place at château Fages (Luzech): there was an open house day with bread, pastry and tart baking à l'ancienne, a lovely walk through the hills around Luzech and of course a marvellous wine degustation.
A nice wintery atmosphere with Glühwein to warm body and mind and Reblochon tart and sausage bread to feed the hungry.

From a sunny Prayssac a very Merry Christmas to everybody - with Bach on harpsichord (just click on the picture).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ghent and walnut wine

According to Lonely Planet Ghent - our last home city - is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit next year in 2011. Not bad for a small medieval city in Belgium.
This is not in the least so of course because of the famous Van Eyck painting, The Ghent Altarpiece or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (nl, de, fr, it), a masterpiece of the early 15th century and one of the most famous examples of oil panel painting.

Just in time for the end of year celebrations our first wine production is ready to drink : walnut wine in three varieties (à la Solange, Yvette and Laurence) and orange wine (à la Martine).

As you probably don't know infusing unripe green walnuts or / and walnut leaves in alcohol is popular in Italy and France.
In Italy, it's called nocino and usually has grated orange peel and cloves added to it; in France, it's called vin de noix and is a simple blend of eau de vie, red wine, and sugar.
The green walnuts are harvested around Saint John's Day, the 24th of June. Then they are still soft enough to be cut.

The resulting liqueur is thick and sweet, with a very rich and spicy flavor. It's best enjoyed during cold weather, as it's quite warming.

The first degustation was rather hopeful - but some improvements suggest themselves (e.g. less sugar).
I invented a recipe to make it a nice and refreshing cocktail à la façon Picon.
Come and taste.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tiling (end)

This week the tiling of the laundry and wash room was finished. Although to some perhaps it might seem strange and a waste to tile the garage and the wash room it will give us in summer a extra nice room to work and wash.

Compared to the rest of Europe and the north and middle of France weather was alright  : cold but no snow and every day some sunshine. So, what else could one do than preserve fruits by making jam.
In total we have 155 pots of jam waiting for you: apple-raisin, pastèque, quince and rose tomatoes.
Yammy yam.

Another plan for the near future is to improve and update the mas houvande website. Planned are - amongst other things - a photo album and a news wall.
To be followed.
The little photos on the home page have already been changed and replaced by brighter ones.
All ideas are welcome.

Oh yes, I almost forgot:
don't forget to put your slippers beside the fireplace tonight.
You never know if Saint Nicholas will bring you gifts.