Tag Archives: food

Monday Market in Rural France

One of the joys in living in Europe is the quality of markets — no, not supermarkets (and those are frequently quite delightful, too!) — regional weekly markets where the products are straight from the fields or cheesemaker or butcher or fishmonger into your shopping basket. AND they are picturesque as well!

Here are a few scenes from our Monday market inside and outside the medieval market hall in Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives in Calvados, Normandy, France. Enjoy!

Fruit & veg at Monday Market.

Fruit & veg including HUGE sacks of carrots at the Monday Market.

Market vendors outside the medieval hall.

Market vendors outside the medieval hall.

Feathered friends and pretty plants.

Feathered friends and pretty plants.

Shopping baskets (yes -- I'm going to buy a new one!) and flowering plants.

Shopping baskets (yes — I’m going to buy a new one!) and flowering plants.

And finally — the clothing on offer may not be to our taste — but someone must want it!

A variety of clothing is sold at the Monday market.

A variety of clothing is sold at the Monday market.

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A New Kind Of Chutney — Yum, Yum!

There are other things that I do besides writing and photography and one of them (occasionally!) is cooking something special. What’s wonderful about making chutney is that you can enjoy those brightly coloured jars of goodness all year long.

We have loquat trees in our back garden here in Australia that are simply groaning with fruit right now. I had never even heard of a loquat tree until we moved to this part of Victoria, so I had to do some research into them. They’re a stone fruit, originally from China. And since ours are 65 years old, they are HUGE and full of fruit!

The birds have been circling the trees, so I decided that I’d better get cracking and use some of that gorgeous orange-yellow fruit before they ate all of it. So I spent hours today chopping and prepping what turned out to be a very spicy chutney. It smells and tastes like it will be worth it!

 

Bowl of loquats fresh off the tree.

 

 

Cut up loquats prior to cooking.

 

 

Chutney Simmering

 

 

Completed jars of loquat chutney.

 

Here’s THE RECIPE!

Now — back to work on some photos. More soon.

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4 Things To Do On A Sunday in Melbourne, Australia

We’ve been back in Melbourne, Australia for a week now, so it was definitely time for one of our favourite pursuits — a day out and about in the city for a few hours of food and culture. Seriously, Melbourne is such a vibrant city that even if it is a gray-sky and gloomy day, if you are bored — you just need to get up and get OUT of the house!

 

Glistening even on a gloomy autumn day, a partial skyline view of Melbourne, Australia across the Yarra River from Southgate.

Glistening even on a gloomy autumn day, a partial skyline view of Melbourne, Australia across the Yarra River from Southgate.


 

Here are 4 things to do on a Sunday in Melbourne.

1. Arrive at your destination without the hassle of finding an overpriced parking place if you travel by train for an easy way around the city. The comprehensive train network makes Melbourne such a joy to travel throughout!

 

Turnstiles inside the Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia

Turnstiles inside the Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia


 

2. Eat a reasonably priced lunch in an eclectic food court inside a beautiful building at Southgate. There are also some wonderful luxury stores and full service restaurants in this multi-level building complex.

 

One of the multi-level entries to the Southgate shopping & dining complex alongside the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia

One of the multi-level entries to the Southgate shopping & dining complex alongside the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia


 
Diners at the food court on the lower level of the Southgate shopping and dining complex in Melbourne, Australia

Diners at the food court on the lower level of the Southgate shopping and dining complex in Melbourne, Australia


 

3. Go to the Sunday Market at the Melbourne Arts Centre to see quality handcrafted art, craft, and food items. The row of glass-overhang-covered artists has an enthusiastic audience each weekend.

 

Sunday Market flag indicating the weekend event outside the Melbourne Arts Centre in Australia

Sunday Market flag indicating the weekend event outside the Melbourne Arts Centre in Australia


 
Artists and craft vendors lined up alongside the Melbourne Arts Centre each Sunday

Artists and craft vendors lined up alongside the Melbourne Arts Centre each Sunday


 

4. Spend an inspiring afternoon at a world class museum — the NGV on St. Kilda Road. There were hundreds of people milling around inside this large art museum, but there was a very happy and relaxed vibe. Autumn leaves were swirling around outside of the beautiful bluestone facade and the people strolling by were dressed appropriately for the cooler temperatures.

 

Autumn leaves falling outside the NGV art museum in Melbourne, Australia

Autumn leaves falling outside the NGV art museum in Melbourne, Australia


 
The current winter blockbuster show at the NGB is Monet’s Garden, a travelling exhibit from France. But since we have seen so many of these works at various venues worldwide, we chose to visit several of the permanent exhibit galleries as well as one special exhibit — Dior and Yamamoto: The New Look

 

Dior sketches from the 1940s post-World War II "New Look" collection

Dior sketches from the 1940s post-World War II “New Look” collection


 
Dior black wasp-waisted dress and black hat from the 1940s post-World War II "New Look" collection

Dior black wasp-waisted dress and black hat from the 1940s post-World War II “New Look” collection


 

The other enjoyable exhibit, in part as an observer of the effect of it on the audience as they either walked by or interacted with it, was Clinamen by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, a sound and motion exhibit with round white ceramic bowls floating in a round pool of deep blue water. The gentle clink as bowl contacted bowl tinkled pleasantly in the atrium space.

 

Floating ceramic bowls in a pool of water at the NGV art museum in Melbourne, Australia create a ringing sound as each one gently bumps into an adjoining bowl

Floating ceramic bowls in a pool of water at the NGV art museum in Melbourne, Australia create a ringing sound as each bowl gently bumps into an adjoining bowl.


 

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Chew On That In Paris

Quick photo of the day because I’m about to jump countries (again!). We’re leaving on the Eurostar tomorrow from Brussels (lots of photo essays from here in the weeks ahead) tomorrow and heading to London for an overnight before flying to the USA for several weeks.

Today’s photo is an example of the ornate bread that is on offer at a boulangerie in Paris, France.

 

View of a boulangerie window in Paris


 

So while I work on some new articles and do photo editing as I travel — chew on that for now!

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Barcelona Market Shopping At Night

Photos of the day for today are from the huge enclosed market — the Boqueria Market — which was dedicated in the mid-1800s and which is easily accessed from the wide and tree-lined pedestrian walkway of La Rambla.

We had a pleasant stroll though this market and took a small packet of chocolate truffles back to our apartment. It was quite a happy and lively atmosphere and I was surprised to see just how many people were out at night buying their fruit, vegetables, and all other manner of food products.

 

Cut fruit dealer at the Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain


 

Happy night-time shoppers in the Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain


 

 

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On The Verge Of Christmas in France

We weren’t certain what to expect at the St. Girons Christmas Fair on Sunday, but we headed across the bridge to see what was unfolding.
 

Headed to the Christmas Fair in St. Girons


 
Oh my — it was all rather underwhelming. I had been hoping for something along the line of the amazing Christmas markets that I had been to in Germany. But the folksy fair was a very accurate portrayal of the fact that France is generally not the same kind of consumerist society that we have lived amongst in Australia, the UK, or the USA. It seems that the holiday season here is more about families gathered around the table to enjoy food, drink, conversation, and company than about how many gifts are under the tree for each person. And isn’t that charming!

Here are a few pictures from Sunday’s Christmas Fair — followed by a few more from the previous day’s weekly Saturday market. That actually would have been a good place to purchase last-minute Christmas gifts since there were some splendid items for sale at very fair prices.
 

Christmas balloon seller in St. Girons, France


 

Carnival-style booth at the Christmas Fair in St. Girons


 

Hand-cast candles for sale at the Christmas Fair in St. Girons


 

Food sales benefiting the Autrefois le Couserons association


 

Christmas quiche seller at the weekend market in St. Girons, Midi-Pyrenees, France


 

Market stall selling straw goods in St. Girons, France


 

Happy Holidays to one and all!!!

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Dali Dreaming

Where did the last 21 days go? I am sitting in my darling apartment in the South of France and as I edit photos, I have just realised that it has been 3 weeks since I took these pictures in the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.

The center atrium (more shots in an upcoming article) has the type of feature that reveals the wildly humorous streak which infused Salvadore Dali’s work. A gigantic sculpture of a goddess figure is riding atop a vintage black Cadillac beneath a stunning eye to the sky opening. It is actually breathtaking because it knocks your visual senses off-kilter.
 

A massive statue of a goddess rides atop the roof of a vintage black Cadillac at the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.


 

An oculus or eye to the sky hovers above the atrium sculpture garden in Salvadore Dali’s museum in Figueres, Spain.


 

We’re already thinking of our next trip to Spain — but for now, here was how we spent an hour before we went to see the Dali works of art.
 

Mark pouring a glass of wine at lunch in Figueres, Spain.


 

Make sure to come back for more interior and exterior views of the Dali Museum in the coming days.

 

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