Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Bath is Out and Delicious Desserts are In

It was a good start to the week when our new shredder arrived on Monday morning. We had deliberated about getting one for a while. We finally made the decision due to the heaps of branches and vegetation building up around the place and the fact that we are unable to have bonfires here during the summer.

So we have spent some time this week diminishing those heaps into wood chips. We can then use the chips as a mulch on the garden, compost some of them or take them to the déchetterie in manageable bags. At the moment we are putting them in our dried up pond. We plan to keep the pond as a wildlife habitat but we would like to reduce the size. When using the shredder, we work as a team; Chris operating the shredder whilst I pass him the branches and empty the bag of chips.

Also in the garden this week, Chris attached some wires to the farmhouse wall for my Golden Showers climbing rose.

I wasted no time starting to train the rose which is growing rapidly.

I've also been planting some seeds straight into the flower beds...mainly hardy the hope that they will flower early next year. So far I've planted Love in the Mist, Calendula Daisy Mix and Pansys. I've marked out little patches with stones and markers so I can remember where they are. This is an experiment as I've never planted seeds in the Autumn before.

Whilst I was planting my seeds, a Red Admiral butterfly visited the Rudbeckia.

It seemed to like the flowers on my kneeling mat and gloves!

In our new garden, we've been enjoying its dappled shade after lunch and have sat there reading, dreaming and taking in the peace of the countryside.

In the cottage, Chris has been continuing work on the bathroom. 
He's filled the plasterboard joints on the new ceiling. Once this has dried and been sanded, it will be my job to apply the sous-couche/undercoat and paint the ceiling.

Chris has removed the sink and hacked off all the old tiles...

Having purposefully left it to the last minute so we could continue using it, Chris removed the bath today.

We bought our shower cubicle earlier in the week so fingers crossed it won't be too long until Chris has it fitted and operational. In the meantime, we will take showers in Harvey J.. However, before the shower can be fitted, there are some tasks to be completed including replacing a piece of chipboard on the wall, possibly replacing some of the flooring and re-configuring the old plumbing. Glad you're smiling Chris!

I have completed the three coats of paint on the bathroom door and also filled some screw holes in the bedroom window frame and skirting boards ready for painting over.

In the kitchen, with the abundant blackberries I am picking at the moment, I've made some iced blackberry soufflés from a recipe suggested by Dorothy, Chris's mother. It's a delicious dessert. You puree the blackberries and remove the pips with a sieve but the second time I made it, I left the pips in. I don't mind the pips especially if you don't have to chew them as the fruit is pureed!

The iced blackberry soufflé uses 4 egg whites. I didn't want to waste the leftover egg yolks and I didn't fancy an omelette, so I browsed the internet for a recipe that would use them. After a while I found an easy chocolate pudding recipe by Martha Stewart which uses 4 egg yolks and other basic ingredients that I would usually have in my pantry. Perfect I thought. I made it and it was very yummy. I suppose it's like a chocolate custard or blancmange. There was enough for at least four servings so it kept Chris and I happy for two evenings. I didn't take any photos this time but the recipe is here: Martha Stewart Chocolate Pudding

This week I also made this cheesy herb bread, based on this recipe Easy Peesy French Bread.

I just added some chopped fresh rosemary and thyme mixed with grated cheddar cheese before baking.

I've started sewing a patchwork project....

...and last week I finished my broderie anglaise top....rather pleased with it!

Our kind friend Henri popped by with a huge bag of green beans....they are so delicious with a couple of knobs of butter!

The weather has been fine all week so Spencer has had some nice walks....

...except for today when it hasn't stopped raining. Never mind, we needed some rain.

Thanks for visiting!

Maggie xx


  1. There are lots of interesting and industrious things happening at your French house!
    I love the blouse you made! It's so pretty and so are YOU!

  2. Interesting, your shredder is obviously better than the one we had. It kept jamming and would not shred anything of any size so we eventually gave it away. Have not heard how they got on with it!!
    Nigel has been making coulis from blackberries and raspberries, the pips are a problem for me so they are sieved and I have been making ice cream with the juice, so delicious!
    Have a good week Diane

  3. The top is beautiful! Alas, our weather has departed from yours – and from what is "normal" for us – and continues to grind on hot, dry, and smoky. Fall can't come soon enough here!

  4. Your farmhouse is so cozy and look at all you 2 have accomplished! YOur flowerbeds are so pretty! I love your patchwork and your new top is so the fabric. How will you ever get that heavy tub out of there? How did you even get it against the wall like that? Aren't they cast iron? I love your cooking and baking too...I pinned those recipes. You certainly don't let any grass grow under your feet! Love your patchwork too!

  5. The garden is shaping up very well. I can't wait to see it in bloom next year. The farmhouse is looking good and all the delicious food too. Just - WOW!


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