It’s the light that is so magical at this time of year. The skies are sometimes heavy and grey, but even on the dullest of days every now and then there is a chink in the clouds and suddenly it is as if someone has shone the most powerful light on the buildings, a pure brilliance that lasts for less than a minute but makes one stop, catch ones breath and grab whatever is to hand that can take a photo.
That for me is what these Autumn days are all about. I used to dread the end of summer, the dark evenings and then winter, but with age comes wisdom so they say and I’ve learnt to really appreciate the seasons. Each one has its own merits, each one is vital and each one serves a purpose. The nights are creeping in here but still dusk doesn’t fall until around 6pm. Our kitchen is once again the hub of the house, the woodburning stove gently burns all day long. The dogs know exactly where the best spots are, and Pixel, the puppy we kept, who is now 14 weeks old has learnt very quickly where to snooze.
Now is the season for soups, the tomatoes we froze all summer long are making a reappearance. Their flavour has not diminished in the slightest and coupled with some warm crusty bread it’s a delicious meal in itself.
I often make foccacia when the children are eating lunch with us at the weekend and I promised so many of you the recipe so here it is, well worth the effort and a firm favourite here.
- 500g/1lb 2oz white flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 sachets yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400ml/14fl oz cold water
- Sea salt, olive oil and fresh rosemary to finishing
Along with an abundance of rosemary we have a few more edible offerings from the garden. Plenty of carrots and we’re about to harvest the sweet potatoes. The lemon and lime trees are weighted down with fruits that are ready to be picked before the limes come inside for the winter. We are about to harvest our sweet potatoes and the persimmons are still rock solid, it’s too soon to eat them, another couple of weeks and they should be delicious.
It is without doubt the season of comfort, logs and wood fires, falling leaves and that unmistakable smell of autumn. The wisteria which covers the front of our house is always the last to surrender to the bareness of winter. It will be at least another month before it sheds its clothes.
It is a time to think of Christmas markets and warming drinks, all adding to the feeling of the fast approaching festive season and conviviality.
A Marché de Noël is a wonderful place to spend an hour or two on a Sunday morning. Plenty of local arts and crafts.
Local honey and of course cheese and saucisson, would any market, at any time of year, ever be complete in France without cheese and saucisson, I rather think not!
But once again I am drawn back to the incredible light and the snatched moments when everything is picture perfect. Proof if ever it was needed that we don’t need blue skies and sunshine for interesting photos.
And just in case you were in any doubt as to the amount of rain we have had, here is our road across the Marais. Normally these are narrow canals to the left and right but now it is one big lake, the wettest November here on record. The sun has been far too shy of late, however on the odd occasion when it has made an appearance the sunsets have been spectacular.
Evenings around the fire make one think of Christmas and the fast approaching festive season. We’ve played around in the gite, making a few plans for Christmas and I’ve started purchasing and wrapping a few gifts.
It made me want to give something back to you all. So if you want to do some Christmas shopping for French vintage I am offering an exclusive 20% off everything in the entire Etsy shop for the next two weeks only to Our French Oasis readers. Simple enter the code OURFRENCHOASISBF20 at the checkout. It’s Black Friday here on the blog! On top of this every single order will receive a special French Christmas ornament for free and also every order of 250 euros or more will receive a free French Market Bag and every order of 500 euros or more will receive a free white ironstone soupier or tureen. Tis the season for giving after all. Everything will be shipped by priority signed for mail around the world.
p.s. do keep checking back, I have quite a few more items to add to the shop this week, I just have to find the time to photograph them and get them listed, sounds simple, but time is never on my side!!