21 March 2018

Le printemps

Les saisons se suivent et se ressemblent. One season is not very different from the last. That's life here right now. Nobody much noticed that spring arrived yesterday afternoon. It was cold outside, with a frigid wind blowing from the northeast.

Here are three more pictures I took in Lapalisse two weeks ago. The weather was much nice back then, despite the fact that it was wintertime, than it has been here over the last week or two. We know we were lucky.

Walt and Tasha were enjoying our walk through narrow streets tucked up under the huge old château. I was too. It's a good memory.

It's too bad we didn't get to see the château from inside the entrance gate. The place was closed for the winter season. Always save something for later, they say. We did — no choice.

20 March 2018

Just two days

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

19 March 2018

Walking around in old Lapalisse

Old doorway

It snowed here in the Saint-Aignan area overnight. It seems to be a wet snow, and the temperature is not below freezing. We are lucky that we didn't have bad weather like this two weeks ago, when we were exploring the Bourbonnais region.

Narrow steps

We were in Lapalisse on a Tuesday afternoon. The sun was shining, though the breeze was not particularly warm.

Château looming

The streets up around the château were empty of pedestrians. The château itself was closed for the season, with re-opening for guided tours scheduled, I believe, for April.

Broken blinds

We had spent the morning in the car, and had eaten a picnic lunch at a little roadside park with tables for people like us. Tasha had been well-behaved all day.

Need paint

So it was nice to be able to get out of the car and walk around the town, taking pictures of the sights we were seeing.

Line drying

I found Lapalisse picturesque — slightly down at the heels, but not dingy or depressing. Judge for yourself.

18 March 2018

Church décor

Walt mentioned in a blog post the other day that I had taken some photos of stained glass windows
 in the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste at Lapalisse. Here are some examples.

I also took photos of these sculpted figures.

Bon dimanche...

17 March 2018

Photos and a duck dish

This is one of those mornings when I can't think about a blog post because I can't stop working with, processing, and editing photos. That doesn't mean I think they are the best photos ever. It just means I can't stop messing with them. They are photos I took in the town of Lapalisse. I'm posting some of them here.

Today I'm going to cook a culinary specialty of the Bourbonnais region that I didn't know about until recently. I don't know if I've said that Walt and I didn't go out to a single restaurant during our trip last week. We did get pizza from a pizza truck in the village we were staying in.

Otherwise, we ate food that we had taken with us or that we bought in supermarkets. Partly, that was because we weren't sure that Tasha was mature enough to spend time in a restaurant without misbehaving. We couldn't leave her alone in the rental we were staying in. And we didn't want to leave the dog by herself in the car for a long stretch of time.

The Bourbonnais specialty is one that I learned about from watching Les Carnet de Julie, which is French TV personality Julie Andrieu's show about French regional cooking and foods. It dawned on me last week that Andrieu might have done a show about the Allier/Bourbonnais area, and indeed she had — I found it on YouTube. And it turned out that I had watched it before, but I'd forgotten about it. I enjoyed seeing it again, in light of our travels in that area.

The Bourbonnais dish is called Canard à la Duchambais. It's duck thighs and drumsticks cooked in a sauce made with pureed or chopped liver — duck, chicken, veal, or pork liver, as you like — mustard, vinegar, and red wine. You might compare it to Coq au Vin, but with a few twists. More about that over the coming days. I need to get busy in the kitchen.