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The Food

Les Coqs

Best Friends.

Best Friends.

The wonderfully cuddly poussains that had hatched in spring were now all grown up. The chicken house which was built with only three chickens in mind was over crowded (we now had 17!). Anyone entering the backyard was greeting by a mass of chickens running up pecking for grains… The situation was out of control and had to be dealt with. We were hungry… It seemed there was only one thing left to do… (more…)

Cerises Chez Jaques

Basket of Cherries

June is Cherry month in La Creuse… for a few precious weeks the trees throughout the countryside are filled with beautiful pink blossoms. Then, almost all at once the cherries are ripe- and then are gone. For a few days in early June we eat all the cherries we can stand- one’s yearly cherry ration in the matter of a few hours! Whatever is not eaten, packed into delicious Clafoutis, or sterilized into jars, will either rot or be taken by the birds if it’s not gathered fast enough… So Jaques called one day asking if I could come by that very afternoon for Cherry Picking- it was either now or never since the birds were already getting full! If we waited even a day longer they would be gone… So, I cancelled my plans for that afternoon and we headed to Eguzon gather all the cherries we could. (more…)

Spring in La Creuse

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Haricots Rouges

We're having a party tonight

We're having a party tonight

This doesn’t have so much specifically to do with Le Vignaud, but somehow I feel it’s appropriate. There have been so many struggles in the past year–the difficulty of Jason and I separating, his move to France and ongoing complications with the house, and my six month odyssey that, at first, orbited around him. It’s been a year now since that fateful trip to the desert. Jason is in Europe with a car and possibly a house. I’m back on Wilson Drive and preparing for my own Burning Man adventure. But through it all we’ve had redbeans.

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Clafoutis!

Finished Product

'Traditional' Cherry Clafoutis

Yes, there’s an exclamation mark in the title, that’s the way it needs to be.

Since late March when the cherry trees started blooming, I have been hearing about Clafoutis. Seems like every time the subject of cherries happens to come up (and often it is when the villages are all eying the multitude of cherry trees waiting for the fruit to ripen), a long conversation inevitably follows about how insanely delicious it is, how tasty it is, how fluffy it is, etc., etc., usually followed by a lot of lip smacking and drooling on the part of those in the know.

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Cherry Pickin’

I said to the [cherry] tree,
Sister, speak to me of Beauty.
And the [cherry] tree blossomed.

–Nikos Kazantzakis

Cherry Blossoms, Early March

Cherry Blossoms, Early March

Since late March when the cherry trees around the village bust into an amazing display of white or pink blossoms, we have been waiting and watching for the payoff.

Well, the time has finally come and we’ve been stuffed with cherries, filled buckets, pie pans, and jam jars and there’s no end in sight.

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Le Creusois

For weeks after my first arrival to Le Creuse, way back in February, I had been hearing about the fabled Creusois cake (which shares its name with the region). The flour used is made of ground hazelnuts and the concoction is advertised with the momentous “Once upon a time, there was a cake…” The recipe was developed by monks and is kept secret, known only to about 30 local bakers.

Un petit gateau

Un petit gateau

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