Thursday, 23 May 2013

Posting from Boussac



Yesterday afternoon surprised us with some sunshine,  prompting a drive "off piste" .. onto small country roads for a couple of lovely photos ... which are supposed to inspire me to paint!  

These two are best friends and were so friendly!

It was decided that dinner would be a 7 hour lamb ..  Amantine Lucile Dupin, a French novelist and memoirist, was best known by her pseudonym - George Sand.  

Sand conducted affairs of varying duration with a variety of individuals, but more notably with Frederic Chopin from 1837-1847. Her home was in Nohant, very close to Boussac,  the story I have heard, is that she would invite guests from Paris for Easter and prepare the 7 hour lamb as she was unsure of the time that they would be arriving after the long and arduous journey.

The recipe is simple, easy and the end result delicious!  I trimmed the lamb of most of it's fat and put it my Le Creuset pot, together with carrots, vegetable bouillon, a dash of red wine, and finely chopped rosemary and mint (secret ingredient!).  Into  the oven at 160degC with the lid on - I generally seal the lid using baking paper. The lamb was not very big and I didn't go for the 7 hour time frame! 

 After 4 hours,  I pulled it out and saw that the meat was coming loose from the bone.  I then lifted the meat into an oval casserole dish, covered it with tin foil and put the lid on  so that a long resting process would take place.   I poured the pot juices into a jug, and placed this in the deep freeze... this is a great way of getting rid of the fat which congeals and leaves behind the most delicious pan juices.  I carved the lamb onto a platter and spooned the pot juices all over it!  The lamb was soft and succulent, and I served this with vegetables and  Tzatziki which was prepared by my house guest, Liora who writes a blog on weight loss and great food ideas to support this process.

Ok... recipe done - and now to Market Day (today)...
the market in May isn't very big but there were enough stalls to amuse us!  We bought white asparagus,  and other various delicious looking fresh produce,  and also a poulet roti - which we had for lunch with a salad.  Actually,  the poulet roti was very dry and was disappointing.  

These are difficult to resist!

My friend bought this hat!

Added these to our salad!

Managed to resist these

and these!

Adore these soaps from Marseiles

Espadrille for summer

Aren't these wonderful?


and upholstery

Said 'no' to these artichokes as it would result in too much delicious lemon butter being consumed!

We found a dear little hedgehog late yesterday evening,  just outside the house.  He seemed to be injured, so we moved him into a garden and when we discovered this morning,  that he hadn't recovered,  Mr R-I and Liora took him to the vet who examined him and announced that his thorax was injured.  The vet decided to keep the hedgehog and attempt to feed him.  We are keeping fingers crossed..

In a shopping bag on the way to the vet - with a green leaf for company..

the vet examining him

Mustique is very happy today - scampering around and bounding with joy - Sarah, who lives near Boussac and works in the garden is here today and he loves the fact that we are outside with him!

This peony bloom is dying to unfurl but due to the cold inclement weather,  it has remained in this closed position all week.. I was SO hoping that this bud and other peonies would bloom while we are here...very irritating! :)


  1. Lovely post of a lovely time here together!! xx

  2. So much to comment on Jenny! Lovely shots everywhere from food to animals.
    It's funny because a few of my best friends are shorties and an ass so we have that in common...
    I also think that le creuset makes everything tastes better frankly not to undermine your cooking skills :)
    Dont know why but white asparagus season is so special even though they don't taste that much better than regular ones. did you get any espadrilles?
    oh poor hedgehog. do let us know how it is doing...but on the other hand that cat seems so happy to have you there! Looks like you are having great fun! xx

    1. oh you make me laugh Naomi!! The secret in eating the white asparagus is in the peeling of them .. they require a slightly longer cooking time... we have loved eating them this week! Yes..we are very worried about the little hedgehog.. Mustique was concerned too.. but couldnt get near thank goodness because of the prickles!! xx

  3. Love the hedgehog pics... they're so sweet, even if they are a little prickly. Am going to try the 7 hour lamb.. I love slow cooking as it means I can start dinner early and then it's not so frantic at the 5pm rush with homework/ after school things and general meltdowns. Love all the pics from the market - the way that the haberdashery is presented on the reel is so charming... quite different presentation from going down to the local Spotlight for supplies! xx

    1. The seven hour lamb should have had a few more vegetables.. honestly you can throw anything in the pot... there should have been celery too.. but we didnt have any so just the carrots and then the chopped herbs - the mint honestly came through beautifully! There is an old man who has the haberdashery stall - he has been there for years - one can find beautiful buttons, and unusual things. When the season gets going, he brings out tapestries etc. Thanks for the lovely comments! xx


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