Monday, 16 December 2013

Fog, freezing weather and fancy food.

View of Chazelle with haw frost
The slight thaw last weekend didn’t last. Fog set in on Monday and stayed with us all week. From what we have been hearing on the news, France had been bathed in sunshine, except for the Saône valley – who says we don’t have a micro-climate? We had a few minutes of fog free time on Wednesday morning which was when Cees managed to take this beautiful photo, the sun didn’t stay long, but the haw frost did.

Unfortunately it has been a busy week for being out and about and the freezing conditions have made all journeys very long and tedious.

Fromage blanc with herbs
Tuesday I had to go to a meeting in Verdun-sur-le-Doubs for the Office de Tourisme, which is a good hour and half away at the best of times, but with visibility down to less than 100 meters it was painfully slow, not helped by tractors and road works as well. After the meeting I had culinary treat in a nearby restaurant. Between the main course and dessert, you are normally offered fromage blanc (similar to quark or fromage frais) or a selection of “dry” cheeses. The fromage blanc is served with salt and pepper or sugar depending on your personal preference which I normally reject in favour of the dry cheeses. But this time, the choice extended to herbs as well and so I chose that. When it arrive it was also decked with minced shallots as well as the selection of fine herbes I had been expecting and it was absolutely delicious, I will definitely be trying that again.

How to block the traffic
The journey home was as tedious as the journey there with one added bonus. Small businessmen decided to block the main roundabout leading into Chalon which added yet another hour to the journey. The French have a national obsession with disruptive protests, if it’s not the farmers, it’s the lorry drivers or someone else, you name them and they will block roads, drive slowly or just generally cause chaos. I must say the police didn’t help matters as they turned up in large numbers and proceeded block a lane on the roundabout as well with all their cars and bikes. Anyway, it meant I was given a flyer, with some truly lovely French rhetoric on it. Apparantly all small businesses are being executed by the fiscal policies in place at the moment, haven’t noticed it myself, but hey I’m a Northern European. I love them really, I just wish they wouldn’t block roads I want to travel on!

The week ended with a scary drive into St Gengoux for the end of year dinner with the Office de Tourisme at La Jouvance, a restaurant which changed hands in the summer. Very good food and certainly worth the trip.

For information on our holiday accommodation that is usually basked in sun click here.

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