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Category: Slices of Life

In shreds

A friend recently gave me a small posy of artificial violets from a village near where she lives in the south of France. Tourettes-de-loup is famous for growing violets. They have a violet festival around this time every year. 

I walked into the living room this morning and found my dog lying under the table.  Now, she often lies under the table—it’s her favorite place, a kind of den—but this morning she was lurking with a classic guilty look on her face.

“Milly, what have you done?”

She slunk out from under the table with that tentative tail-wagging appeasement look that dogs do so well, leaving a bunch of strange little shreds behind her under the table .

 

It wasn’t until I’d gathered them up that I recognized them. . .

So much for leaving a posy on the coffee table.  She doesn’t usually steal and chew things, apart from balls, and the odd, smuggled-in bone, but she’s eaten off all the violet flower parts and left the rest, so clearly they smelled and tasted good. To dogs, anyway.

As it turned out, when I told my other friends this story, they investigated their posies more closely, and found the “flowers” were really — in one friend’s words: “the loveliest sweets! A sort of crispy white outer shell and this lovely chocolaty filling. Thanks Milly :-) ”  

All I can say is hmph! Chocolate is bad for dogs. If I’d known they were edible I’ve never have put them on the coffee table.

By the way, the photo of the posy at the top of this post isn’t the posy my friend gave me. It’s one I found on the web. I didn’t take a photo of my friend’s posy — I didn’t realize I needed to preserve it for posterity.

To learn more about Tourettes-de-loup, the violet-growing village in the south of France, where my friend bought them go here. And also here.

 

Baking my own bread

I’m not a big eater of bread — I usually buy a good loaf, sliced up, and freeze it, and it lasts me a few weeks. But for some reason I’ve started making my own bread. I’m sure it will pass soon, but while it lasts, I’m having fun.

This is the first loaf I made, and the success of that encouraged me to try a couple of other recipes.

   

Today I tried a no-knead recipe, where you mix up the dough and let it stand overnight, then shape into a loaf, let rise for a couple of hours or until it’s doubled in size, then bake in a dutch oven or cast iron pot with the lid on. 

 

So this is the result — rye and wheat bread. It didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped, but the house smelled fantastic while it was cooking and the final bread, once I’d waited it to cool enough to cut and slather with butter, was the nicest yet. I’ll be trying this one again, for sure. If you want to try it yourself, the recipe is here.

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful holiday season, and a new year filled with good times and good friends. I’m sharing this lovely wreath of Australian indigenous plants from Swallows Nest farm in Tasmania. The pic is used with permission.