Sunday, 6 June 2010

Fire and rain

La Fête de Saint Jean is the traditional pagan midsummer celebration, which has been given a Christian saint’s name by the church but which is still very pagan. It should take place on 24 June, but we’re a bit ahead of the times in Gabian, and we had our paella meal and bonfire last night on rough ground near the river.

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Marché fermier

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The weather was warm and sunny yesterday evening for the celebrations, but today it was cloudy and threatening thunder from the start. And it looked worse up in the hills where we headed for the farmers’ market at Mas Rolland, the hamlet and goat farm where we buy cheese, and goat manure for the garden during the winter. In spite of the bad weather the stalls were busy selling wonderful local produce: traditionally milled flour, chestnut flour, wine, olive oil, free range pork, goats’ cheeses, of course, and cooked food – with potatoes cooked in duck fat a speciality - by the plate to be eaten at tables in the sun or shade (usually). Today it began to rain heavily just before lunchtime – great for the garden but not for those hoping for a Sunday meal outdoors.

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goats’ cheeses to taste and buy
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'a green thought in a green shade' (Andrew Marvell)
olives and olive oil from Fabrègues
potatoes cooked in duck fat

And in the garden …

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We have our first small tomatoes on the Languedocian plants, the tomato plants are all growing quickly, needing tying up and sideshoots removing almost ever day, and the oleander flowers are out.


michelle said...

That's looks like it was a fun evening, enjoying the bonfire. And the market looks wonderful, such good food and so colorful, I really enjoyed your photographs. And look at those tomatoes, such promise!

Jan said...

Here the schools break up the day before the 24th, ready for the fun! Your tomatoes are doing well, and the oleanders are ahead of ours too.

Gaia's Hope said...

When I was read the title of the post I was scared that a fire start from a thunder :P
(Summer coming with mediterranean forest fires always)

When I read the post I start laugh and feel so relieved about the fires. We have the same celebration in Greece on 24 June.

What is the variety of olives in your area?

chaiselongue said...

The local variety of olives here is Lucque, which originally came from Lucca in Italy, but has settled in very well here. They have long pointed fruits and stones, and a very delicate taste. Of course, people here say they are the best olives!