28 September 2008

Text: poultry — images: grapes

"Living the life" here means doing what people do when they live in the country on a limited income. We do our own gardening. We do as many of our house repairs and improvements as we are capable of doing. We spend a lot of time preparing food because the food is so good and there's no point spending money on already-prepared foods that are not as good to eat.

There are so many purple grapes on the ground
out in the vineyard! I don't know why. But I just
can't give in to the temptation to make more jelly...

And we enjoy the changing face of nature. Right now, a lot of leaves are changing color. I was out for a little trip to the outdoor market in Noyers, on the opposite bank of the Cher river, yesterday, and noticed how yellows, reds, and rusty oranges are replacing summer's green.

Where the grapes used to be...

The grape vines are changing too, and I see those on my walks with the dog. Most of the red grapes are still on the vines. Wetter weather is predicted for later this week, however, so there may be a rush to get the rest of the grapes in today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. The pictures in this post are ones I took yesterday morning on my walk with Callie.

Not all the white grapes have been picked.

I went to the market in Noyers with a purpose in mind. I had been over there last Sunday with Peter and Jill H. Peter bought a rabbit from a vendor who is a charcutier and rôtisseur. He sells pork and cured pork products like sausages, hams, and pâtés. But he also sells rabbits and poultry — turkeys, ducks, chicken, quail, and guinea fowl.

My impression is that hardly any purple grapes
have been harvested at this point.

He has a big rotisserie and seems to sell a lot of spit-roasted chickens, rabbits, and pork and turkey roasts. I guess that's French fast food for Sunday dinner. It's very appetizing to look at and smell. Just take your cooked chicken or roast home, heat it up a little bit in a warm oven, and then serve and eat it. No muss, no fuss.

This particular vendor also makes a lot of sausages and pâtés using chicken, turkey, and duck. That's what I wanted: duck sausages — saucisses de canard. I'm sorry I didn't take my camera over there with me. But there was a pretty long line of people along the display cases, so taking pictures wouldn't have been practical anyway.

They are pretty picturesque...

I bought two duck sausages, two chicken sausages, and a slice of pâté de canard. I also bought a big fat saucission de volaille — a "salami" made with chicken or turkey. I didn't ask, but I'm sure it is a saucisson à cuire, a sausage that you are supposed to poach in liquid before eating it. You can buy such sausages made of pork nearly everywhere, and a lot of the time they are strongly flavored with garlic. Poached with vegetables, they are delicious, giving good pork and garlic flavors to the poaching liquid.

I also wanted to find out if this particular vendor has a shop in one of the nearby villages. In the press of the crowd, I forgot to ask. But I did notice that the address on the awning of the market stall said the location was Sassay. That's a village just on our side of Contres, less than 10 miles from Saint-Aignan. I think a drive to Sassay might be in order to see if there is a shop in the village center.

...and highly photogenic.

After my trip to the market, I spent some time scraping and brushing that big heavy kitchen radiator with a wire brush to prep it for painting. We had leftover veal and vegetables for lunch, with some millet. Have you ever tried millet? It's like half-way between rice and couscous, and you cook it like rice. Delicious.

Then in the afternoon, we went out and picked up four wheelbarrow-loads of apples off the ground under three different trees. Now Walt can mow the grass one more time, before the rains and chillier weather come.


  1. These colors are fantastic, so deep you can sink into them. Grape foliage often surprises me, especially the pink on the early leaves. Our vine has never blazed into fall color the way these do.

  2. I was just going to comment on the colors too -- absolutely stunning!


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