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Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Big Snow

Well, it was announced……so it was no surprise to wake up with that much snow around us….

There were a bit of problems around town…..

Hubby called his company saying the car was trapped (the snowplow disposed of the snow just in front of our gate during the night!) and he was forced to stay home. It took at least 3 hours for him and our neighbour to get rid of the snow in the yard and in front of the house…..Somebody found an interesting way to go to work anyway….

We are not used to that much snow in town, and people were forced to walk in the streets because the sidewalks were the least to be cleaned. Luckily the traffic was almost non-existent

I went out earlier than usual with my snow boots and walked to work. I know that snow can cause a lot of problems (later that day they closed all the gardens and parks in town because of the danger caused by branches breaking under the weight of the snow) but that early in the morning it was like an enchanted world….

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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On The Road – Carnac, France (2001)

Carnac (Breton: Karnag) is a commune beside the Gulf of Morbihan on the south coast of Brittany in north-western France. Its inhabitants are called Carnacois. Carnac is renowned for the Carnac stones – one of the most extensive Neolithic menhir collections in the world – as well as its beaches, which are popular with tourists. Located on a narrow peninsula halfway between the medieval town Vannes and the seaside resort Quiberon, Carnac is split into two centres – Carnac-Ville and Carnac-Plage (the beachfront). In total there are five beaches, including la Grande Plage, and further to the east, Plage Men Dû and Beaumer

The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre/proto-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world. Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500 BC. Although the stones date from 4500 BC, modern myths were formed which resulted from 1st century AD Roman and later Christian occupations, such as Saint Cornelius – a Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone. Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin.

In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected, with reports of dolmens being used as sheep shelters, chicken sheds or even ovens. Even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. 

There are several dolmens scattered around the area. These dolmens are generally considered to have been tombs, however the acidic soil of Brittany has eroded away the bones. They were constructed with several large stones supporting a capstone, then buried under a mound of earth. In many cases, the mound is no longer present, sometimes due to archeological excavation, and only the large stones remain, in various states of ruin

Ménec alignment: eleven converging rows of menhirs stretching for 1,165 by 100 metres (3,822 by 328 feet). There is what Alexander Thom considered to be the remains of stone circles at either end. According to the tourist office there is a “cromlech containing 71 stone blocks” at the western end and a very ruined cromlech at the eastern end. The largest stones, around 4 metres (13 feet) high, are at the wider, western end; the stones then become as small as 0.6 metres (2 feet 0 inches) high along the length of the alignment before growing in height again toward the extreme eastern end.

Kermario alignment: this fan-like layout recurs a little further along to the east in the Kermario (House of the Dead) alignment. It consists of 1029 stones in ten columns, about 1,300 m (4,300 ft) in length. A stone circle to the east end, where the stones are shorter, was revealed by aerial photography

Kerlescan alignment: A smaller group of 555 stones, further to the east of the other two sites. It is composed of 13 lines with a total length of about 800 metres (2,600 ft), ranging in height from 80 cm (2 ft 7 in) to 4 m (13 ft).At the extreme west, where the stones are tallest, there is a stone circle which has 39 stones. There may also be another stone circle to the North

The tumulus of Saint-Michel was constructed between 5000 BC and 3400 BC. At its base it is 125 by 60 m (410 by 197 ft), and is 12 m (39 ft) high. It required 35,000 cubic metres (46,000 cu yd) of stone and earth. Its function was the same as that of the pyramids of Egypt: a tomb for the members of the ruling class. It contained various funerary objects, such as 15 stone chests, pottery, jewellery, most of which are currently held by the Museum of Prehistory of Carnac. It was excavated in 1862 by René Galles with a series of vertical pits, digging down 8 m (26 ft). Le Rouzic also excavated it between 1900 and 1907 discovering the tomb and the stone chests. A chapel was built on top in 1663 but was rebuilt in 1813, before being destroyed in 1923. The current building is an identical reconstruction of the 1663 chapel, built in 1926

 

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Quote of the week

 

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”

(Henry Ellis)

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Do you like peppers?

Ingredients: Per 6 servings

  • 1 chicken
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 lb bell peppers

Preparation:

Wash the chicken then cut it into chunks and leave to drain. Clean, wash and cut the bell peppers in small pieces. Put the chicken in a pan with olive oil, adding salt and pepper. Brown the meat lightly and, if necessary, add a little water. Once the chicken is almost cooked, remove it from the pot and arrange it on a serving plate. Prepare the peppers separately frying them in plenty of oil. Then add the peppers together with tomatoes in small pieces and salt, to the pan where the chicken has cooked. Once the peppers have absorbed the flavours, add the chicken and leave a few more minutes over the heat stirring until everything is well mixed. Serve hot.
 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s pizza time!

The World Pizza Championship is an event held annually to determine the world’s best pizza makers. It began in 1991 and is organized by the magazine Pizza e Pasta Italiana and PizzaNew. Over 30 countries are now in  competition. Pizzas are judged by preparation, taste, bake and presentation. Pizza competitions include those for fastest pizza maker, freestyle acrobatics and the largest dough stretch. Salsomaggiore Terme (Parma), is the site of the championships, although several other cities likewise claim to be the home of the ultimate international pizza games including Naples and Paris. One of the main attractions to the championship is the presence of Miss Italia (Miss Italy), who crowns the winning pizzaiolos.

Judges at last edition of the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) awarded the world’s top margherita pizza title to Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco, owner of the 400 Gradi restaurant in Brunswick, a Melbourne suburb. Di Francesco, 36, beat more than 600 competitors from 35 countries to take home the Specialita Traditionale Garantita pizza prize in the annual competition

There are 12 different categories:

• Classic Pizza
• Pizza on the peel
• Gluten Free Pizza
• Neapolitan Stg Pizza
• Pan Pizza
• Pizza for two
• Presentation of the pizza
• Single free style
• Team free style
• the Fastest
• the Largest
• “the Heinz Beck Trophy …main courses in pizzeria”.

Those judges had the most privilege role…tasting the pizzas! It’s a tough job, I know…..

But the really amazing part of the competition was the acrobatic one! Look at these guys…..who says that making a pizza is easy?

At the end there were pizza for everyone………………

even this gluten-free four-cheeses one for me!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Quote of the week

 

“There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy.”

(Dante)

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A yummy sauce

Ingredients: Per 6 servings

  • ¾ lb pork sausage, peeled and crumbled
  • 1 lb tomatoes, peeled and seedless
  • ½ lb Porcini Mushrooms, (or 1 oz of dried mushrooms)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a pan and lightly brown the onion. Put in the sausages and porcini roughly chopped (if you are using dried mushrooms, drain them and cut them into small pieces). Cook for about 10 minutes, agitating from time to time. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and if necessary dilute with a little red wine. Continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes. Serve on the pasta.
 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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