Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Divine Inspiration..................

We headed off to Niort early Sunday morning to search for treasure-and what a beautiful morning it was! Warm & Pleasant-I didn't even take my coat, just my Fabulous new soft grey "Per Una" thick long cardigan jacket bought whilst back in the UK from a Marks & Spencer outlet store-how I miss M&S and Per Una! I have discovered however, probably quite late in the day compared to everyone else,that there is a Fabulous treasure trove of a shop in St.Junien in the Haute Vienne nr. Limoges called Moulin de Tintin,( run by an English Lady called Tina Good, and stocked to the rafters with such UK High Street delights INCLUDING Per Una & M&S-guess who will be making her way there asap!
Meanwhile,let's get back to Sunday and Brocante-mode.......yes,off to Niort we headed,but we never got there! On the way we came across a tiny Brocante at Mougon which appeared to be just in a little triangular-shaped car-park infront of a Salle de Fete but which turned into something a little larger & more interesting when we discovered a few more rooms with a few more stalls inside. We found this Stunning Huge Bisque Madonna figurine above being sold by a family on the stalls inside & immediately set about striking a deal as she is simply MAGNIFICENT! Everything we purchased on Sunday seemed to have a religious theme....................... if some Divine spirit was steering us in the direction of these objects......


the more we browsed,the more Religiously-themed items we came across....!

including a delightful Ormolu Souvenir Casket from Lourdes!..............

Eventually we were all browsed out....and I had a compelling urge to get home so that I could take advantage of the lovely weather and photograph some of these treasures before the match...........Oh yes,NOTHING would stop me from watching my life-long favourite team LIVERPOOL FC compete for the Carling Cup at Wembley-whether I'm in France or NOT! Son was already on the train on his way there....and my darling Granddaughter Erin was at home in the UK with her mum keeping the faith aswell.........

Thankfully for my better half the result was a Good one-despite my nearly pulling my hair out.......
which means I had better get some work done now this week (his words not mine).....
so Au revoir for now,& please don't forget to have a look at the many delights we already have, and will be listing for you this coming week!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Butter wouldn't melt.............

Hmmmmm!-we beg to differ,beneath that sweet Angelic face lies a MONSTER!! Dita has been up to her tricks again....not 24 hrs had passed since my return from yet another flying (literally) visit to the UK,when our monster munch Pup decided to launch into normal behaviour-for a demon that is! When I opened the sliding door of the van to deposit my case for the journey home from Limoges Airport-she was literally screaming with excitement to see her mum-ahhh,bless her I thought-I missed you sooo much too little baby (well actually,"little" no more,-she's grown even in a week!) Yesterday afternoon we three went for a run out in the van and stopped off at the Supermarket for some essentials-including a bottle of milk which,when we got home was deposited on top of the fridge ready to be put away. I think I must have blinked,maybe John blinked too-the time-span it takes for two blinks of two eyes and it was GONE.Whipped off the top of the fridge faster then the speed of sound, & more slickly than a pickpocket.....the next minute she was charging through the rooms shaking a punctured plastic bottle of milk from side to side in perfect glee with a rather angry John roaring in close which time she'sd managed to spray milk EVERYWHERE.It was all over the floors,walls,settee,chairs,dog beds.........and she STILL LIVES HERE!!I think had she gone to live with anyone else she may not have been so lucky-this is certainly a test of our patience every single day of the week-but unfortunately we don't give up on our own-she is part of our family but oh boy does she try us!
Our sincere apoligies for the lack of items which have been listed,or should we say NOT listed as a result of yet another visit back to the UK but having a property over there too needs constant maintainance until it is sold. It is a pain,but we are going to make a real effort to get back on track so all of you precious customers-please hang on in there as we will soon be up and running again with plenty to tempt you with and for you to utilise our combined postage rates for! I have been delving in the back room again for something different and interesting and found some old Paris Song & Music Sheets,and some wonderful Art-Nouveau publications etc.Some of the Graphics are wonderful with Fabulous Font design.......

..........................they would make marvelous unique pictures if framed!...................................

we continue to search for the Unusual and downright different items of Interest for our ever-increasing band of followers,some of whom send us regular requests which only fuels our fire in our search across France for the treasures you seek! Look out for our newly listed items on our site over the next week or so-we hope you enjoy browsing as much as we enjoy hunting! A Bientot!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Perks of the Job...........................

We travelled South near to Angouleme thismorning to a Brocante held partly inside & partly outside-thankGOODness for the partly Inside-OMG-it was FREEZING! Despite being dressed up suitable for Exploring the Arctic-I literally couldn't stand was Painfully bitter cold and I felt sorry in my heart for the brave souls standing their stalls outside. I did however find some lovely bits and pieces in the short space of time we braved the elements-and was happy I could contribute to their takings and make the morning seem just a little more worthwhile, though after spending an hour or so browsing the indoor stalls-I was sad to see certain outdoor sellers had given up & left because we'd planned some heavier purchases en-route back to the van-it was not to be. Maybe we will come across them again tomorrow-who knows? Inside the Salle de Fetes building the temperature was more welcoming and we headed straight for the Refreshments for a warming Tasse de Cafe & a portion of Chocolate Gateau which John & I shared between us.We discovered a marvelous choice of home baking delights-including some unusual looking little Fluted cakes we have never seen before which upon enquiring discovered are a Speciality of Bordeaux........take my word for it-they are Delicieux!!!-so we thought you may like the recipe!........

milk, warmed to 50° c / 122° f
whole egg
vanilla bean
canola oil
granulated sugar
icing sugar
gold rum
*For the molds
icing sugar
For the molds
  • 100 g (1 cup) flour
  • 50 g (7 tbsp.) icing sugar
  • Butter
The day before:
  1. Boil the milk with the vanilla bean (split in half) for a few minutes; remove from the heat and let cool to about 50° C (122° F).
  2. Beat the whole egg and the yolks with the sugar; blend in the warm milk.
  3. Let rest for 1 hour, then remove the vanilla bean.
  4. Add the sifted flour, oil and rum; pour into a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Baking day:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170° C (340° F).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and icing sugar.
  3. Butter the molds; fill them with the flour-sugar mixture; turn them over on the table and tap sharply so that only a thin layer remains in each mold.
  4. Fill the molds three-quarters full with the batter prepared the day before; bake for 90 minutes. Don't worry if your cannelés have a "burnt head" - it's normal for them to be very brown. They are done when the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Important: don't forget to unmold your cannelés as soon as they come out of the oven; otherwise they'll stick to the molds and break.
Much has been written about the origin of this specialty of Bordeaux... Legend has it that the sisters of the Annonciade created the cannelé (meaning "fluted") in the 16th century; their convent was located close to the St. André hospital in Bordeaux. The nuns would collect the flour from the holds of the ships (Bordeaux was a flourishing port at the time) and prepare these little cakes for the city's most underprivileged.
But the truth is certainly otherwise: the cannelé is a relative of the canole, a little cake from the Limousin, which appeared in Bordeaux during the 17th century. They were consumed in such quantities that a canole makers' guild existed with the exclusive right to make this pastry.
Then the cannelé was forgotten until it reappeared in the early 20th century, flavored with rum and vanilla, and baked in copper molds (to promote caramelization) that produced twelve fluted cakes at a time. The cannelé has a caramelized exterior with a soft tender center. Its appetizing dark brown color and its thin caramelized crust are the result of a long baking time. Cannelés will keep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature and they can also be frozen, but it's best to enjoy them the day they're made so that they stay crisp... otherwise they become soft, which is a great pity!