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The Food

Mushroom Hunting

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Fresh Girolles

When spring arrives in the Creuse the rain falls often, the weather begins to warm, and most importantly- the mushrooms begin popping up everywhere.

The Creuse is well known for it’s wild mushrooms, and there is a wide variety of species which are commonly harvested. From tiny white agaric growing in the meadows, to oyster mushrooms growing from dead trees, the land provides seemingly endless supplies of fresh mushrooms for anyone who cares to spend a few minutes looking. Two of the most common and sought after varieties in the area include Cèpes and Girolles (Chantrelles). It’s the delicious and plentiful Girolles that we are hunting today.

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Just to Prove That They Really Existed.

People take pictures of the Summer,
Just in case someone thought they had missed it,
And to proved that it really existed.
-The Kinks

Summer is here and the garden is full. It’s a wonderful time of year to be in Le Vignaud, and living off the land becomes easier, healthier, and oh so enjoyable. Cherry trees are full this time of year, mushrooms are popping in the woods, and all the fresh veggies you can eat are at your fingertips.

It’s oh so hard to believe that back in cold, grey February a few friends started digging the muddy French soil and now a few months down the road there’s a garden full of beautiful food for many people. Friends have come and gone, each having put a hand to help the garden along; Some have eaten, some have cooked, but I hope all have learned and enjoyed this experience. For me it has truly been special, looking back a few months and now suddenly nature has worked her wonders on the rich earth and we are blessed with its bounty. I have been eating dailiy from the garden for a few months now, but it is only now coming into it’s full prime. Even the tomatoes are near ripe…

Hey Clint, remember this?

Real French Bread

Jeneanne with her Spoils

Jeanine with her Spoils

One of my favorite experiences in France has been the boulangeries. The back wall is lined with baskets of baguettes and other breads, while the display cases are filled with everything from €,80 croissants to €16,00 tartes. My favorite snacks were plain croissants or chausson pommes, an apple filled pastry, but I would love a chance to taste anything in those bakeries.

The boulangeries are wonderful all over France, but the Le Vignaud experience was special. There is no boulangerie in the village, so the bread is delivered several times a week in a bread truck. The driver would blast his horn and park a few houses away, and after running upstairs for my wallet I would trot down the street and stand with the other villagers as we bought our bread for the day. It was a good chance to say hello to the neighbors and let them know I can say more than “Bonjour,” although there’s not much more than that. I was able to practice my numbers in French when the driver told me the total, and I tried to make small talk. But even with the language barrier, it was still an integral part of my stay in France and specifically Le Vignaud.

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