As common as…. peppers and butterflies


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!

9 thoughts on “As common as…. peppers and butterflies

  1. I’m still waiting for my peppers to ripen, but I’m happy that my stunted plants have a lot of mostly healthy green peppers, so I’m really not complaining. Your peppers are lovely and I’m going to try your salad when I get some ripe peppers from the garden.

    Whew! 40°C is hot! It gets hot like that inland from where I live, but here about 10 miles (16 K) from the coast, we tend to have summer temperatures around 21°C to 24°C, sometimes around 27°C, today is extra warm, it’s about 29°C. Near the ocean it is quite a bit cooler because of the cold Pacific and persistent fog. Today is a nice day there, sunny and about 18°C!

  2. And I DO hope you had some of the local chilled white wine with that beautiful seasonal salad! You put me in an early Sunday mood for our spring/summer to come [yes, well, this post arrives from E Oz!] – late Aug/early Sept is ‘funny weather’ time here: of course it is meant to be the last winter month – BUt, temps of 26 degrees forecast in three days time: it’ll soon be at least pepper planting time here 🙂 !

  3. Fabulous salad. Your description of early morning garden and closing shutters is the routine that I have just carried out. The South Vendee, near to the coast at La Rochelle and the Ile de Re, is a micro climate were we get these temperatures quite often and luckily, without dreadful humidity, We had a bad start to the year which means that so many vegetables are late or have suffered from maladies. Love the look of those peppers:)

  4. Desolée d’entendre que la canicule est arrivée… here we got RAIN last night! Woohoo… and along with it, what they call a “cold front” (hahahahaha…) but we are well below 100 today so I am *very* happy! Oh your peppers are beautiful! Mmmm…

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