Amanda on July 3rd, 2010
The Pink Ball 2010

The Pink Ball 2010

The dog days of high summer and the heat is on.  Cicadas scream madly from the trees and sunflowers reach for shimmering skies washed of colour.

In the markets meanwhile, colour reigns supreme.  Piles of misshapen scarlet peppers and shiny purple and mauve aubergines nudge their culinary partners, the abundant courgettes and vast, delectable Marmande tomatoes; a ratatouille dances across almost every market stall.  On the long fruit stands the star of the summer ball is making her flamboyant entrance – the beautiful, fleshy peach.  Cherries are over now, apricots are making their bow, but the lovely peach will see us through the holiday months – and for sheer voluptuous pleasure, there is nothing to touch a ripe peach.  A private pleasure of course, one wouldn’t want to be caught in the act, it can be embarrassing. Read More »

The Pink Ball from French Life

Amanda on July 1st, 2008
Picture Window

Picture Window

High summer in the Quercy and the skies are as blue as the wild cornflowers that line every field. Scarlet and pink geraniums foam from every windowsill, whilst on the limestone cliffs helichrysum and santolina bloom riotously on bone-dry outcrops of rock. Out in the immaculately groomed vineyards grapes are beginning to swell. Dogs lie panting in the shade; cats lie dozing in the sun and lizards scuttle hither and thither with newly minted energy.
I haul myself lethargically round the throbbing markets. Courgettes are proliferating faster than the Quercynoise can eat them; the stalls are overflowing with slender green and yellow fruits, jostling for position with the ubiquitous heap of haricots verts and napped by a sturdy column of tomato crates. Read More »

Summer Entertaining from French Life

Amanda on February 1st, 2008
Jonquilles

Jonquilles

Spring has come early to the Quercy. An exceptionally mild winter followed by a week of brilliant sunshine, clear skies as blue as the virgin’s robe and warm southern breezes, have transformed both the landscape and the markets. The almond trees have suddenly exploded into riotous blossom and all my lemon trees are following suit, stiff, waxy white petals unfurling to release a delicious fragrance that pervades the whole terrace. An unseasonal haze of light green floats over the fields and vineyards, farmers and vignerons have been hopping round the vines, clippers going like lightening. The sap will rise early this year and there’s no time to lose. Read More »

Early Spring Market from French Life