Most of our lavender flowers have died now, but I was glad there were one or two left this morning to attract this butterfly, even though it’s hardly a rare variety – either a Common White or a Southern Common White, it seems.
And even more common in our garden today were these red peppers – a real treat to come home to after a few days away.
Some of these are paprka peppers for drying, and the bigger ones are a mix of Red Marconi and Kandil Dolma. I decided to preserve the Red Marconis by pickling them – I held each one with tongs over the gas ring until the skin was blackened (it’s best to do this over a barbecue as I did the other day, but it was just too hot today to light the barbecue). Then there was the rather fiddly job of peeling them – made easier, but not easy by charring them like this.
When they were (roughly) peeled I brought to the boil a cup of water, a cup of cider vinegar and a cup of sugar in a pan then added the peppers for only 5 minutes or so, because they had already been partly cooked in the flames. I put them straight into a sterilised jar and sealed it. They’ll be nice in the winter eaten in salads or as tapas.
I made salads for our lunch with goats’ cheese, sliced fresh raw peppers, chopped garlic, green olives, parsley and local olive oil – lovely flavours and crunchy peppers.
Much of south-western, central and eastern France is suffering from a canicule – heatwave – this weekend, with temperatures of 40° C which must be unbearable in those humid regions. Here in the Languedoc we have normal summer temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees – it’s hot, but then it’s dry which makes the heat more tolerable, and we’re used to it and know how to cope with it. This is the Mediterranean summer. We go out to the garden early in the morning, close the windows and shutters during the day and open them at night for some refreshing cooler air, and drink plenty of water….and some chilled wine too, of course!