Gnocchi at last!

I’m very pleased with myself today, because I’ve managed to make gnocchi and it’s all thanks to Chicago John at From the Bartolini  kitchens. Many years ago I made gnocchi a couple of times, more or less successfully, and then once or twice it was a disaster – the gnocchi dissolved in the cooking water leaving me with a sort of thin potato soup! This put me off and I didn’t try again until I saw Chicago John’s post the other day, which gave a detailed step-by-step recipe. I followed this exactly, for the gnocchi themselves although I made a different sauce, and IT WORKED! I think the secret of success with this recipe is baking rather than boiling the potatoes, so that they are much drier than when I’ve made gnocchi before following recipes that advised boiling them.

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John served his gnocchi with gorgonzola and cream sauce, which sounds delicious, but I didn’t have either gorgonzola or cream so I served mine with oregano and hazelnut pesto and shaved Parmesan. I put half the gnocchi I’d made in the freezer so there’s a ready-made meal for another day too, maybe with a cheese sauce made with Roquefort as I probably won’t find gorgonzola here. Thank you very much, Chicago John!

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>September days / Les jours de septembre

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The nights are getting cooler and the days shorter even though it is still hot during the day – up to 30 degrees C and we still haven’t had any rain! We’ve given up hope for the tomatoes as they just will not seem to ripen – maybe we can make something with green tomatoes. A couple of years ago Lo Jardinièr made green tomato jam which went very well with goats’ cheese.

It upsets me to spend too much time in the garden at the moment with the sound of the chainsaws felling the plane trees down the hill on the main road.

Les nuits deviennent plus fraiches et les jours plus courts, mème si il fait chaud encore pendant la journée – 30 dégrées C et il n’a pas plu. Les tomates ne mûrissent pas, mais peut-être on peut faire quelque chose des tomates vertes. Il y a deux ans Lo Jardinièr a fait de la confiture de tomates vertes qui accompagnait très bien le fromage de chèvre.

Ca me peine passer trop de temps au jardin en ce moment, en entendand le bruit des tranconneuses qui abbatent les platanes au fond de la colline.

Pesto

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This morning I cut the basil and ground the leaves with olive oil, pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese to make pesto which we’ll eat with pasta. I’ve frozen some of the chopped leaves so that we can make pesto in the winter.

Ce matin j’ai aceuilli le basilic et j’ai moulu les feuilles avec de l’huile d’olive, des pignons de pin et du fromage parmesan pour faire le pesto pour accompagner les pâtes. J’ai congelé des feuilles hachées afin qu’on puisse faire du pesto en hiver.

Radicchio

We had one radicchio plant which didn’t get eaten by the snails and we ate some of it yesterday with salmon and courgette rice paper parcels and some today in a salad with the last cucumber of the summer.

On avait un plant de radicchio que les escargots n’avaient pas mangé. Nous l’avons mangé hier avec des nems de saumon et de courgette et aujourd’hui dans une salade avec le dernier concombre de l’été.

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And the vendange goes on / et la vendange continue

All around the village there are grape-picking machines in the vineyards and tractors pulling trailers full of grapes back to the domaines and the caves cooperatives. Winemakers are bottling last year’s wine to make room in the vats for this year’s new grapes. It’s an important time of year here.

Autour du village il y a des machines qui ramassent les raisins et des tracteurs qui tirent des remorques pleins de raisins aux domaines et aux caves cooperatives. Les vignerons misent en bouteilles le vin de l’année dernière pour faire de la place dans les cuves pour les raisin de cette année. C’est un moment très important ici.

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A lorry with bottling equipment outside a cave. The wine is bottled inside the lorry, the bottles are corked, labelled and then packed into cartons to emerge on the blue conveyer belt, and the 2008 vintage is ready to sell.