Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gamm Vert Christmas 2015

Gamm Vert is one of my favourite stores. Every November we come to Gamm Vert to see their Christmas display and section. We usually buy Christmas decorations, but not this time. This year I only decided to buy battery operated lights for an outside decoration I bought a month ago. There were so many lovely ornaments, garland and lots of different wreaths that I decided “maybe” I’ll consider buying another time. 

Gamm Vert is also the store we buy ALL of my “pet” products, mainly stuff for my birds. This store is located in Saint Chamond and it is one of their bigger stores.
 Glass pinecone ornaments. I bought something similar from JCPenney's.
 Cute cherub decorations.
 Snowflake tree ornaments. These were pretty big.
 Tree ornaments for a white tree theme.
 A row of santa's.
 Some very colorful decorations.
 Tree garland.
 Wreaths and garlands.
 Wreaths made from natural resources.
 More santa's.
 One of many colorful trees.
 White themed decorations.
Traditional tree decorations.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween in Riverie 2015

Halloween is not usually celebrated in France but a lot of that is changing because of its youth. In the last three years my village has celebrated Halloween. First it was door to door trick or treaters and a party in the castle. Now every year for the last two years the village introduced a haunted house. The village is crawling with kids and teenagers. The costumes get better every year as well. France does observe November 1st and 2nd, and adding Halloween (or All Hollows Eve) would be the full observation of the three holy days.

A couple of things before the photos. While we were standing outside a bat was flying frantically all around us. I thought bats went into hibernation during this time. It was a huge surprise to see. The other thing, I hope next year people will decorate more. It really is fun, the decorating part that is.
 We bought three pumpkins this year. I drew in the faces, Norbert carved.
 Norbert found carving the pumpkins unusually relaxing.
 Closeup of the carving.
 The teeth Norbert cut out. The toothpicks help keep the teeth in place.
 Setting the teeth inside the mouth.
All three pumpkins carved, thanks to Norbert's hard work.
 All set for tonight.

 This costume scared a couple of people. If your not scaring anyone you're doing it wrong.
 Our lit up pumpkins.
 Some pumpkins across the way that were put out by some people.
Close up of the tiny guys.
 Another close up.
 Norbert getting into character.... looking scary.
 Whole display all lit up.
 Close up of our "bat" lights.

 Our first trick or treaters.
More trick or treaters. I would of loved to take more photos as there were some decent costumes. These last two photos were taken with my smartphone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Mushroom Risotto

This is what I did with the mushrooms we found in the forest. It was really delicious.

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb of wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots (or 1 onion), diced
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (this is what I used and it was fine)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped (or dried) chives
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots (or onions). Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.