January 7, 2013

Marseille Provence 2013 European Cultural Capital

Marseille Provence 2013 European Cultural Capital

August 2012 was scorching in Provence; late summer on the Mediterranean coast meant daytime temperatures of 35C. Summer crowds sweltered in the breathless, port of Marseille as they waited in queues for ferries to the nearby L’archipel du Frioul. The normally beautiful city skyline was filled with busy construction cranes. Drivers and pedestrians were equally frustrated with each other, as they crawled through gridlock, a maze of diversions, temporary hoarding and restricted views. Nutmeg had booked a few nights in the port city. Ginger was speechless. (more…)

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December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Ginger and Nutmeg wish you all a very happy holiday season. Thanks for reading! Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun Now the jingle hop has begun Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square In the frosty air What a bright time it’s the right time To rock the night away Jingle bell time is a swell time To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh Giddy-up jingle horse pick up your feet Jingle around the clock Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet That’s the jingle bell That’s the jingle bell That’s the jingle bell rock MERRY CHRISTMAS!  

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December 17, 2012

Scents of Christmas Sweet Citrus Tart

Scents of Christmas Sweet Citrus Tart

Close your eyes. Is there a particular aroma or flavour that instantly evokes Christmas in your mind? * ** *** **** Cloves Cinnamon Mulled wine Rum eggnog Smoky log fires Fresh Pine bows Warm chestnuts Buttery shortbread Striped candy canes Oven Roasted turkey Warm cranberry sauce Fresh baked gingerbread What About Florida Citrus? (more…)

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December 10, 2012

Greener Grass Transhumance in Provence

Greener Grass Transhumance in Provence

The bi-annual movement of livestock between valleys and higher alpine pastures is a definitive marker of the changing seasons.  Transhumance comes from Latin roots, trans ‘across‘ and humus ‘ground‘.  There are forms of transhumance on almost every continent, which vary in timing, cultural influences and distances travelled.  The practice of flock herding and nomadic migration has occurred naturally for centuries as a way to transfer livestock from one grazing ground to another. In order to escape, from heat (summer) or cold (winter) depending on the direction of the movement. (more…)

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December 3, 2012

Languedoc Food and Wines

Languedoc Food and Wines

It would be impossible to describe in any significant detail, the unique culinary treasures of the Languedoc region in a single blog post. Nutmeg has decided to take you on a little driving tour to share a few Languedoc food and wine highlights. The Étang de Thau is a natural seawater lagoon. The lake is about 20 km long and relatively narrow at 8 km wide, it separated by a sand bar from the Mediterranean Sea. The Étang de Thau joins the Canal du Rhone at Sète and the Canal du Midi at Agde. The lagoon is a valuable water body for the production of shellfish in France, including oysters and mussels. The oysters and mussels grow in farms, in the waters of the Étang, once harvested; they are marketed as Bouzigues Oysters. The mistake that Ginger and Nutmeg made was to go to the village of Bouzigues on a Sunday at lunch time, with no reservation. There was not a parking space to be had, and the restaurants were full. The group had to return to Meze to find a roadside restaurant, the shellfish was delicious and the white wine a perfect match. (more…)

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November 29, 2012

Pumpkin Tarte Tatin One Savoury Fall Pie

Pumpkin Tarte Tatin One Savoury Fall Pie

It is possible, that Nutmeg was spending just a little too much time on Pinterest when she came across a recipe and stunning photos for a savoury tarte tartin. Inspired by the fall ingredients that were readily available in Provence she created her own version. (more…)

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November 26, 2012

France’s Languedoc Must See List

France’s Languedoc Must See List

The potential list of must see sights in the Languedoc are endless, so Nutmeg has chosen to highlight just three spots. All three locations are related in someway to water and created in entirely different eras. The famous Canal du Midi is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site (1994). The canal construction was started in 1667. It was not because the Romans had not thought of it before that, they had, and so had many others, including Leonardo da Vinci. However, no one had come up with a solution on how to supply the high points with water. Then along came Pierre Paul-Riquet, he was a long time resident of the Languedoc region, in 1662 he proposed his plan to Colbert the French Finance Minister, who served under Louis XIV. The project was finally approved in October 1666, construction started in January 1667. In all, it took 15 years to build and over 12,000 workers. (more…)

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November 19, 2012

Languedoc Discovery in France and a Zucchini Tart

Languedoc Discovery in France and a Zucchini Tart

The plan was to spend some time touring with Nutmeg’s parents in early October. The original thought was to explore parts of Hungary and Poland. Then the reality of fitting four people, one dog and luggage into a car settled the holiday plans. Nutmeg made a decision on behalf of the group that a two hour drive was the limit, and booked a guest villa at Domaine du Cayrat located just a few kilometres from Pezenas in the Languedoc Roussillon region. Jacques welcomed the group, he had stocked the fridge with some chilled wine and provisions for breakfast. It did not stop there, the next morning he arrived with fresh bread and apricot jam “fait à la maison”. Perfect! Now the hard part, getting four people to agree what to explore in an area that is currently 27,376 (sq) km – Impossible! The region has something for every taste, age and interest. There are sandy beaches, port towns, vineyards galore, medieval villages and modern cities. Given the breadth of the region, Nutmeg has divided their visit into three separate posts: a bit of history, the food and wine, and the not to be missed see sights. (more…)

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November 15, 2012

Extra Virgin Oil an Olive Legend

Extra Virgin Oil an Olive Legend

A trip to the grocery store can be confusing. How do you choose between farm-raised, wild, organic, omega-3, free-range, local, grass-fed, pesticide-free and all natural? And that is just for eggs. (more…)

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