Saturday, October 22, 2016

Criss cross

I noticed quite a few contrails in Wednesday morning's sky. We are under a major north-south air corridor and there are always jetliners high overhead. Paris and London are more or less due north of us, not to mention Brussels and Amsterdam. Southern destinations include Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Madrid, and cities in Italy and North Africa.

Looking roughly south over the vineyard parcels.

Work on the towel warmer got under way bright and early Friday morning. The old radiator is gone and the new one is up, but it's not connected to the system yet. The contractor has the new pipes fitted, but he hasn't yet connected them to the main line. He'll be back on Monday to finish up. We really like how the bathroom looks with the bulky old radiator gone, replaced by the sleek tubes of the new towel warmer. We're taking photos, of course!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A little red

While most of the vineyard parcels out back turn yellow and orange in the fall, some of them go red. But, even among the yellow and orange, there are some vines that sport red leaves. I'm at a loss to explain why. But it's pretty.

Red leaves among the yellow.

We're ready for work to start in the bathroom this morning. I've taken the "before" pictures, although I nearly forgot to. In fact, I only remembered after I had moved things out of the room. No matter. If everything goes well, the new towel warmer will be installed and plumbed in by the end of the day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mellow yellow

Here's a wide view of the back of our house from the vineyards. Things are still pretty green, but the grape vines and trees are taking on a more yellow hue, with some reds and browns around. Although you can't see it in this photo, the maple trees on the other side of the house are starting to go from their deep red color to a much brighter orange. A month from now the leaves will all be on the ground.

Looking toward the northeast and the Cher River valley.

Today is prep day. I need to get the bathroom ready for the contractor to start work on Friday morning. For now he'll just be removing the old radiator and replacing it with a towel warmer. But there is a bunch of stuff that needs to be moved out of the room. Then I plan to prepare a fire in the wood stove so we can just light it in the morning. We don't want the heating system to come on because the contractor needs to drain all of the water out of it to remove the radiator.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The leaves are turning

I was surprised during my morning walk with Callie on Monday to see a lot of color change in the vineyards behind the house. There were, at first, a few leaves changing here and there. But now there are whole parcels that are going yellow and red. I didn't have the camera with me on the walk but I went back inside to get it when we got home.

I think this may be either cabernet or grolleau, but I'm never certain.

We got a call on Tuesday from the contractor who will be doing the bathroom work. The new towel warmer is in and he will come to install it on Friday. Yippee! There will, of course, be before and after photos.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The pumpkin patch

I noticed that the leaves and vines have all withered. All that's left are the pumpkins. Three of them. We have one rouge vif d'Etampes (vibrant red Etampes) and two courges musquées (musk pumpkins). The rest of the squash are called sucrines du Berry and look very much like butternut squash.

The beige and green pumpkins on the left are the same variety.

It's time now to get them up off the ground, I think, and start eating! We've talked about a pumpkin soup for now, but there will be other things, too. We enjoy squash simply roasted and seasoned as a side dish. I like to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin-stuffed ravioli. I'd welcome any of your ideas for using pumpkin in the comments section.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Where it was

Here's the spot where the old toaster oven sat for a few years. Now it's canisters filled with dry goods. There's white sugar, spaghetti, raisins, tea bags, wheat semolina, millet, barley, and whole wheat flour.

These are just a few of the old canning jars that we use for storing things around the kitchen.

There may be rain today. I can see it coming toward us on the radar feed, but it more or less breaks apart as it gets close to us. As usual, we're on the "line" between rain and no rain. We're in a place that's difficult to predict.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Toast of the town

Our new toaster arrived on Friday. So far, so good. It's not a fancy model. I saw some SMEG toasters on line; who spends over one hundred euros on a toaster? Tefal is a good French brand, known for their cookware (we have a few Tefal frying pans) and small appliances. The name comes from combining the words "teflon" and "aluminum." The company is now owned by SEB, another French manufacturer of small appliances.

I forgot to brush off the crumbs before I took the photo. Sorry about that.

It's working pretty much as you'd expect so far; no defects. The fat slots make it easy to toast baguettes. And it's easier to regulate than the toaster oven it replaced. I'm thinking of making a batch of English muffins today. I'll also make some bagels again soon. They all make good toast.

Oh, and, by the way, today is this blog's eleven year anniversary. Or blogiversary, as it were.