Just as we did on the shortest day of 2008, we had lunch in the garden. This time the shadows were a bit shorter but the coffee was as good. / Comme la journée la plus courte de 2008 on a mangé au jardin. Cette fois les ombres étaient plus courtes mais le café est toujours bon.
One of our Spanish friends in the village says that paella should be cooked out of doors on a wood fire. So that’s what we did today. / Une de nos amies espagnoles au village dit que la paella doit être cuire dehors au feu de bois. Donc, c’est ça que nous avons fait aujourd’hui.
Paella with mussels and chorizo / Paella aux moules et au chorizo.
Locusts / acacia-criquets
There are some things I find in the garden that I don’t photograph for this blog. Yesterday when I saw a locust on one of our aubergine plants I didn’t rush for the camera. I called Lo Jardinièr to come and squash it. Last year one of these huge insects at most of the leaves of an aubergine plant in one afternoon. I don’t know how we can deter them. One suggestion on the Internet was a mixture of chilli and paraffin, so I ground a couple of red chillis and mixed them with alcool à bruler (a spirit you certainly wouldn’t want to drink). I then painted this mix onto some of the leaves.
I hope it works. I’m worried that it may damage the leaves.
** UPDATE: this burnt the leaves, so I won't do it again. The best way to get rid of pests - locusts, beetles - is to squash them individually, we've found.
J’ai mis un mélange de piment rouge et alcool à bruler sur les feuilles d’aubergine dissueader les acacia-criquets de les manger.
And a butterfly / Et un papillon
Lo Jardinièr found this Red Admiral butterfly which stopped just long enough for him to take this photo.
Courgettes and cucumbers / Les courgettes et les concombres
It’s a nice problem to have – what can we do with all our courgettes? Yesterday we picked 1.7 kg. I’ve stuffed some with meat and some with olives and onions, I’ve stewed them with some of last year’s preserved tomatoes and we’ve had fried courgettes, courgette fritters and stuffed courgette flowers. Luckily, we really love courgettes! And the cucumbers seem to grow as you look at them.
Garlic grown from bulbs I bought in the market last autumn and planted around a terracotta pot watering system. / L’ail cultivé du ce que j’ai acheté sur le marché en automne.
And a sunflower in the sun / Et un tournesol au soleil.