Just as we did on the shortest day of 2008, we had lunch in the garden. This time the shadows were a bit shorter but the coffee was as good. / Comme la journée la plus courte de 2008 on a mangé au jardin. Cette fois les ombres étaient plus courtes mais le café est toujours bon.
One of our Spanish friends in the village says that paella should be cooked out of doors on a wood fire. So that’s what we did today. / Une de nos amies espagnoles au village dit que la paella doit être cuire dehors au feu de bois. Donc, c’est ça que nous avons fait aujourd’hui.
Paella with mussels and chorizo / Paella aux moules et au chorizo.
Locusts / acacia-criquets
There are some things I find in the garden that I don’t photograph for this blog. Yesterday when I saw a locust on one of our aubergine plants I didn’t rush for the camera. I called Lo Jardinièr to come and squash it. Last year one of these huge insects at most of the leaves of an aubergine plant in one afternoon. I don’t know how we can deter them. One suggestion on the Internet was a mixture of chilli and paraffin, so I ground a couple of red chillis and mixed them with alcool à bruler (a spirit you certainly wouldn’t want to drink). I then painted this mix onto some of the leaves.
I hope it works. I’m worried that it may damage the leaves.
** UPDATE: this burnt the leaves, so I won’t do it again. The best way to get rid of pests – locusts, beetles – is to squash them individually, we’ve found.
J’ai mis un mélange de piment rouge et alcool à bruler sur les feuilles d’aubergine dissueader les acacia-criquets de les manger.
And a butterfly / Et un papillon
Lo Jardinièr found this Red Admiral butterfly which stopped just long enough for him to take this photo.
Courgettes and cucumbers / Les courgettes et les concombres
It’s a nice problem to have – what can we do with all our courgettes? Yesterday we picked 1.7 kg. I’ve stuffed some with meat and some with olives and onions, I’ve stewed them with some of last year’s preserved tomatoes and we’ve had fried courgettes, courgette fritters and stuffed courgette flowers. Luckily, we really love courgettes! And the cucumbers seem to grow as you look at them.
Garlic grown from bulbs I bought in the market last autumn and planted around a terracotta pot watering system. / L’ail cultivé du ce que j’ai acheté sur le marché en automne.
And a sunflower in the sun / Et un tournesol au soleil.
>I'm determined to pick small courgettes this year. Though I love them I find a glut of them quite depressing. They become a chore which is a pity. It is always interesting to see which pests are annoying garden bloggers world wide!
>Re- Locusts I had a friend here for lunch today and the topic turned to which insects we have eaten, must have been my cooking 🙂 apart from small things hidden amongst lettuces and fruit I haven't really ventured far in this direction but my friend was brought up in Africa where a whole range of insects are eaten and apparently locusts and crickets are delicious fried. Locusts play havoc with my corn tassles and bean flowers resulting in much reduced crops so this year I am going to try and catch some and dispatch them on the plancha – with some salt and garlic. Will let you know if they are good eating.
>While I don't envy you your locust, I am simply in awe of the stage in which your garden is in. It's always a little too cool where we're at and it seems to take forever until we see any progress.Your outdoor paella is a joy to look at, and I will have to find some way to convince my husband that we need a grill large enough to be able to pull off something like that!
>easygardener: I can't really imagine courgettes becoming a chore – they're so delicious!Laura: Thanks for the recipe idea – I'll let you try grilled locusts first!Rowena: You don't have to persuade your husband to build a very big grill, but it's worth making one if he can.
>Reading your posts always makes me hungry. Now, why do you suppose that is? I've never mentioned how much I love your bilingual posts. I fancy that I'm learning a bit of French each time I visit.