|Tartiflette, comfort food at its best|
Seeking comfort in cheese
All in all, it’s been a bit of a weird week. The weather has been miserably cold and wet, and finding out three local friends have been quite poorly, including our eighty-year-old neighbour Dominique, who is in hospital, did nothing to improve my mood. This coupled with the shocking news that two friends on Facebook lost their husbands this week, really has brought home how fragile life is.
|Mini, cosy on the sofa|
Even Mini the dog has been out of sorts. She is now thirteen and I know we can’t expect her to be immune to the aging process, but it was still quite a shock to have to deal with a soggy sofa and dog bedding on Tuesday morning. The older she has got, the more relaxed we’ve been with our rules, so as well as the sofas, she can often be found curled up on our bed or Ed’s. I guess I was therefore quite lucky as it could have been a much bigger clear-up, on a cold and wet day. Hopefully it was just one of those things, but being a super-hoarder, the sofas are now covered in washable cot protector sheets, bought in Mothercare twenty-one years ago, and the bedrooms are out of bounds once more.
|Cyclocross by Brompton|
Our cycling, along with the weather, has been extreme, although not in terms of kilometres covered. We’ve been out in cold winds and temperatures as low as -3º, that left our faces burning and gloved fingers numb and sore. Rides have been brief, rather than leisurely and enjoyable, but whatever the weather, it’s been good to get out. One afternoon, desperately seeking something a bit different, we decided to take the road less travelled and investigate some routes previously undiscovered by us. The road we chose wound up to an old vineyard, before becoming more of a track as it rolled gently towards the woods, where the gravel become a muddy path through the trees. Soggy soon became too wet to cycle, but the great thing about the Bromptons is they can easily be lifted up, the saddles resting on our shoulders, as we splashed through the puddles to drier land. It was certainly an adventure, although I think I was the only one having fun puddle splashing, as Adrian is far too sensible for that.
It has been one of those weeks where I have turned to the comforting and healing properties of cheese. Dinners have included a cauliflower and pasta cheese bake and tartiflette, one of my favourite comfort food meals where the Reblochon cheese melts into sliced potatoes, onions and lardons. There is just something about cooked cheese dishes in cold weather that make everything feel better. We even treated ourselves to a local goat cheese in this week’s vegetable basket, whose creaminess went down very well as an early Valentine’s treat with a glass of our homemade sloe port. Valentine’s Day certainly seems the perfect excuse to indulge in our love of cheese, so tonight, we will be celebrating with a slightly unusual Sunday evening meal of homemade pizzas, fully loaded with cheese.
After a strange week, hopefully things have now turned a corner. The weather is forecast to get warmer and as if to prove it, this afternoon we’ve been treated to flocks of cranes flying low over the house, on their annual migration north. It is always a spectacular sight to see that never fails to make me feel better. Spring will be with us soon.
Sending you all lots of Valentine’s Day love from France.
|For Valentine's Day, a selection of books set in France, on the theme of love|