Saturday, 14 March 2009

Warm enough for a lizard / Assez chaud pour un lézard

lizard_1 Suddenly it's spring and the lizards are out in the sun ...

 

Tout à coup, c'est le printemps et les lézards sortent au soleil ...

 

 

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Last month I was away on the 15th so I missed it, and we didn't have many blooms in the garden anyway.  This month is much more colourful:

Le mois dernier je n'étais pas chez moi le 15, et il n'y avait pas des fleurs au jardin.  Aujourd'hui il y a beaucoup plus de couleur:

anemone1_1_1
anemones ...
apricot blossom_1_1
apricot blossom / fleurs d'abricotier ...
aubretia1_1_1
aubretia ...
daffodils2_1 
daffodils / les narcisses ....
grape hyacinth1_1_1_1
and grape hyacinths / et les muscaris.
grape hyacinth2_1_1_1

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Moules gratinées

On Friday at an otherwise excellent restaurant in Agde, I ordered moules gratinées and was shocked to find when they arrived that they were huge, green-shelled creatures which I knew don't grow near here.  I asked the waiter and he said that they came from New Zealand!  Although he added that they used local mussels for moules marinières.  Agde is only about 10 km from the nearest mussel beds in the Bassin de Thau.  These New Zealand mussels had suffered from their long journey and months in the freezer - they were tough and tasteless.  How sad, because apart from this the food was good at this family-run restaurant on the quayside, where the woman chef came to our table and explained her ratatouille recipe in great detail - and it was the best ratatouille we'd ever had in a restaurant, as good as we make at home!

Vendredi j'ai commandé des moules gratinées dans un restaurant à Agde et j'ai été étonnée de trouver qu'elles sont des grandes moules au coquilles vertes qui ne viennent pas d'ici.  Elles sont venues de la Nouvelle-Zélande.  Agde n'est que 10 kilometres du Bassin de Thau.  Cettes moules ont souffert de leur voyage long et les mois qu'elles ont passé au congelateur.

At home tonight, I made moules gratinées (garlic, parsley, white wine, bread crumbs, grated cheese and a little paprika) with mussels from Bouzigues and they were delicious:

Chez nous ce soir j'ai fait les moules gratinées - les moules de Bouzigues à l'ail, persil, vin blanc, chapelure, fromage rapé et un peu de piment doux - et elles sont delicieuses:

moules gratinees 2_1_1

Followed by Lo Jardinièr's chard and goats' cheese tart:

chard   goats' cheese tart_1_1

In the garden / Au jardin

celery_1_1_1 new artichoke_1_1
We planted out 10 celery plants from seed given to us by Kate.  I sowed the seed in October and they have grown very slowly on the windowsill through the cold weather.  They're doing well now, though.  Thanks, Kate!  The artichoke plant on the right is supposed to be the same variety as its bigger neighbour - Violet de Provence.  I can't remember whether the others had similar smooth-edged leaves when they were small.

14 comments:

Ewa said...

Oh, that lizard looks very dignified. such a long tail.
you have pretty many blooms already, but I have a feeling that spring is also late for you.
Greetings,
Ewa

HappyMouffetard said...

The photo of the anemone is wonderful - it looks like something from a tropical coral reef from that angle.

Wish we had lizards!

Gail said...

A mouth watering Bloom Day post! I was instantly transported to Provence and a summer vacation with good girlfriends a few years ago! gail

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence said...

Beautiful.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love lizards, but we don't have any around here. The Anemone is such a gorgeous color. I used to grow Aubretia at my old garden, but I forgot about it. After seeing yours, I think I should grow it again.

chaiselongue said...

Thanks to all for your comments. It's always good to see lizards because it means good weather! Especially this year when spring is so late.
I should think that aubretia would grow better in your climate, Mr. M's daughter, than here. When we planted it we broke our usual rule of having only ornamental plants which are suitable to a Mediterranean climate. The aubretia needs watering and shading from the sun in summer, but it's good to see it flowering in spring.

Jan and Steve said...

Lovely post! We too have seen our first ghecko, so summer's on it's way.

Rowena said...

Ah yes, the lizards! My westie has an utter fascination with hunting them, so I hope for their sake that they stay away from our home! I don't mind them myself but it's not always that I'm out in the garden to "warn" them where they like to sun on the rocks.

Jess said...

Never been a fan of New Zealand greenlip mussels, which I find oversized and chewy. You are right that the smaller black/blue shelled mussels are sweeter, much lighter in texture....and save air miles.
I was inspired by photograph of the chard & goats cheese tart into making a variation.

Michelle said...

Your flowers are lovely and the mussels you made look delicious. Hard to believe that the restaurant would use imported mussels when some of the best in the world are right there, go figure! You lizard brought to mind the skink that I saw the other day, he was a lovely shiny creature with a bright red chin (mating colors - it is indeed spring).

chaiselongue said...

Thanks again to all of you for your comments. Gheckos, lizards, skinks, what a lovely range of spring lizards are coming out across the northern hemisphere! I hadn't heard of skinks before, so thanks for introducing them to me, Michelle. I hope your dog doesn't catch the lizards, Rowena!
Gheckos remind me of my childhood - there was one on the wall of my bedroom in north Africa which I hoped would eat the mosquitoes!
I hope you enjoyed the chard and goats' cheese tart, Jess - with that combination I don't think it can go wrong!

kate smudges said...

Le lézard est très joli et chanceux d'avoir le soleil et la chaleur. J'adore l'anémone et les aubriètes sont une très belle couleur.

Kate said...

I am so glad the celery is going well. That is seed saved by my friend Kathy on her first attempt at seed saving!She actually now has them as a little hedge around one of her garden beds and it looks great.

chaiselongue said...

Hi Kate: please say thanks to Kathy for us. We've also given a couple of plants to our neighbours at the garden - you'll remember, who gave us the little cherry tree when you were there. The cherry tree has taken too!