Friday, November 3, 2017

Christmas shop at Jardinerie Grassot

It’s funny that after November 1st and 2nd many “Christmas shops” open and are established in some of the bigger garden and home stores. I decided to check out a new “Christmas shop” at Jardinerie Grassot in Brignais. It opened officially on November 3rd and will remain open until December 24th. I was impressed by the scale of the shop and variety of items on sale. It reminds me of the Christmas shops in small villages outside of Colmar. On the 11th I will check out Gamm Vert as that store has always been my favorite. Their Christmas shop is more compact and seems smaller, but I could be wrong about this. So officially, people in this area of France start to get ready for the Christmas season. I used to think the US started w-a-y too early when it came to Christmas decor, music, buying presents, etc., and I still think that.  Now some countries (Ireland and the UK come to mind) in Europe have been pushing Christmas earlier, even a “black Friday” day. I hope the trend stops at November and doesn’t go any earlier.

                 Christmas ornaments, candle holders, displays and napkins, ribbons for crafting.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween in Riverie 2017

Here we are again another Halloween in Riverie. I think this is our 4th Halloween participation. It's actually quite amazing as it is very popular in this village. I did around 60 "goodie bags" and by the end of the night we only had seven. This year we had the haunted house but no Halloween party at the castle. In fact this is the second year where there was no party. Kind of a bummer really as the kids love it.

Note: Halloween is just recently getting popular in France. It's not a celebration that is typically French. One thing is cool though, you have two days (November 1st and 2nd) off from school and work. These days are celebrated and are referred to as "All Saint's Day" and "All Souls Day."
We are ready Freddy!
 We even put Jack-O-Lanterns on our window sills.

 Jack-O-Lanterns on our window sills.

Same photo as above but in a different light.
 We had lots of trick or treaters from around 6pm to 8pm.
 Hehehe.... that's Norbert's face in the circle. He wore a different mask this year.
The costume on the right was a bit creepy!
 I bought these a few years ago at a swap meet.
 Closeup of scary skeleton dude.
Same photo as above but in different light. Different light adds to different mood.
 Entrance to the haunted house.
 The many cool displays in the beginning.
 I didn't take a whole lot of photos, but believe me the couple in charge of this put in a lot of hard work. Kudos to them for making Halloween in Riverie fun.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Organizing my candy for Halloween!

A good part of the day was putting these little black, die cut boxes together so I can put candy in them to give out to the kids Tuesday night. Between the boxes and gift bags I have over 50. I don't know whether to keep going or stop while I'm ahead. The reason why I did this is so the kids will get equal quantities in both types of candy and amount. Every year we get a good amount of children coming to our door, so I'm pretty confident I'm ready.
 Candy bags open to be sorted and put into boxes (left side)
 Boxes up close!
 Gift bags with candy in them but not finished....yet.
 More goodie bags in the making.
Boxes adding up next to the goodie bags.
 The "Peeps" are for us to munch on. I couldn't resist.
You can see how the gift bags have multiplied.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Maple Pumpkin Butter

Maple Pumpkin Butter

Servings: 3 Cups

  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin (puree - not pie filling. I make my own puree, it’s much better.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice (plus extra for thinning if needed for desired consistency)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure Maple syrup (Grade A)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla (liquid form)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed, deep, medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high until it comes to a soft boil. Place a lid over the pan, leaving it tilted to vent. You want it open just enough to prevent a mess on your stove. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional apple juice if the mixture is too thick.
  2. Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

Pumpkin Butter is a particular jam which will be good on toast, biscuits, yoghurt, scones, waffles, pancakes or swirled in oatmeal. As you can see I'm almost done with the first jar as it is pretty good.