>A winter miscellany / une collection diverse hivernale

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Winter soup / La soupe d’hiver

All through the winter we have soup made from vegetables from the garden for lunch nearly every day.  It was cold this morning so we weren’t tempted to go out to the garden but I found some courgettes in the freezer from a summer glut.  I simmered them, with a chopped onion, a couple of bay leaves, a couple of cloves of garlic and a teaspoonful of salt, in water to cover for half an hour.  Then I added some white haricot beans and liquidised them all into a delicious soup.  I fried some lardons (bacon pieces) until they were crisp then added some cubes of bread and a chopped clove of garlic to make croutons, then served the soup with these and some bread from the boulangerie around the corner, made with unbleached flour from the Aveyron.  A good hot lunch for a cold day!

winter courgette soup_1_1 

Winter courgette soup

Tout au long de l’hiver à midi presque chaque jour, on mange de la soupe de légumes du jardin.  Il a fait froid ce matin, donc on n’a pas voulu sortir au jardin, mais j’ai trouvé des courgettes dans le congélateur.  Je les ai cuites au feu doux, avec un ognion coupé, deux feuilles de laurier sauce, deux gousses d’ail et un peu du sel, pour une demie heure.  Puis j’ai ajouter des haricots blancs et je les ai mélangés.  J’ai sauté des lardons et j’ai fait des croutons.  Après ajoutant une gousse d’ail coupée j’ ai garni la soupe avec les lardons et les croutons.  Un bon déjeuner chaud pour une journée froide!

Olives

I’ve put the latest batch of olives in brine in large 2-litre jars for the big ones and a smaller jar for the little ones.  They should be ready to eat in a couple of months’ time.

olives in 2-l jars_1_1

J’ai mis les olives à la saumure dans des bocaux grands de 2 litres, et les petites olives dans un bocal plus petit.  Elles doivent être prétes à manger dans deux mois.

Chilli peppers / Les piments rouges

We moved one of our chilli pepper plants to the house so that it wouldn’t be killed by the cold and the chillies are still ripening in the sun on the balcony.

red chilli 2_1_1

Nous avons mis une des plantes de piment rouge sur le balcon pour la proteger du froid.  Les piments continuent de mûrir.

And some good news from further south … / des bonnes nouvelles de l’Espagne …

Renewable energy / L’énergie renouvelable

According to today’s Guardian newspaper, a new power plant is being constructed near Sevilla in Andalucia, southern Spain. It will use mirrors to reflect the sun towards a water tower which will generate enough electricity for 11,000 homes. Each of the 1,000 mirrors is half the size of a tennis court and all have to be angled carefully to catch the sun’s rays. This method of energy production, known as concentrated solar power, clearly depends on sunshine and availability of large areas of land, so it will not work in cloudier, more crowded areas of the world – but there’s a hope here for the future and maybe countries in Africa, as well as southern Europe, will be able to benefit from this innovation.

And in Catalunya, it seems, even the dead can help … in the town of Santa Coloma de Gramenet near Barcelona the town council has erected 450 solar panels in the cemetery – enough to provide power for 60 homes.

3 thoughts on “>A winter miscellany / une collection diverse hivernale

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