Thursday, 27 February 2014

La Maison des Marches

La Maison des Marches is an 18th century house in Preuilly, built from tuffeau and situated in the Place de l'Abbaye. The house once belonged to the sculptor and illustrator Paule Richon, who had formerly been a teacher at the Beaux-Arts de Tours between the wars. The copper birds (there were two, one has now been removed) decorating the shutters and a monkey, in the same patinated metal, 'supports' the corner of the roof. The gable, somewhat more austere, carries the date of the construction of the building.

A la cuisine hier: Using up a few more of those apples, crumble made with walnut oil instead of butter -- it's OK, but butter is better.
And a dab of stewed apple in fat free spicy ginger biscuits (apple purée is a well known substitute in certain circles for fat when baking -- biscuits made using this technique go stale within hours, so freeze them and only take out a few at a time). Also, these biscuits may be fat free, but they are not exactly sugar free, so by no means low-cal.
Braised cabbage with potato and added bacon and onions, served with sausages in a desperate attempt to use up half a cabbage. Actually it wasn't bad, especially for cabbage.
We've always stuck to full cream milk in this house, despite the seemingly universal preference for reduced fat. We consume about 3 litres of raw (unpasturised, unhomogenised) milk a week (on muesli, in coffee and as an ingredient in desserts) and a 125ml pot of whole plain yoghurt each most days (usually combined with fruit). We've always used butter, although these days we try to moderate our consumption and often substitute cream cheese as a spread on bread. Our cheese consumption is a bit random and we sometimes have no cheese at all in the house. When we do it can be whatever we fancy at the time, fat content not being a consideration. I mention all this because there was an interesting report in New Scientist the other day, outlining the results of a study which indicates that full-fat milk seems to be best for overall health (making us feel righteous and vindicated...)
Loire Valley Nature: A new section for the Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria has been added to the Tiger Moth Arctiidae entry.
A new entry has been added for the Keeled Skimmer dragonfly Orthetrum coerulescens.
A photo has been added to the habitat entry for Etangs (small man made lakes).
Photos have been added to the habitat entry on Chemins ruraux (rural tracks).


  1. So... full fat RAW milk...
    milk wi'nowt taken out...
    MUST be even better!!
    And cream cheese...
    we use "Les Croisés" from The Clerk...
    is wonderfullllll with homemade strawb, apricot or blackcurrant jam.
    It is also very good in a Mr Kiplings 'apple' tart....
    flip the lid, fill the void that is always there with cream cheese [or a chunk of breeeee] and close lid...

  2. I agree with the weight gain arguments, I once did the Atkins diet and ate tons of cheese etc etc and lost weight... BUT it is what it does to your heart and liver and clogs up those arteries... I was told later, after a scan, that I had a very fatty liver... Not good! C

  3. i actually prefer the taste & texture of skim milk, but am a big fan of butter (which I have always used, even back in the days of margarine) and would eat tons of raw milk cheese if I could get my hands on it

  4. Elle est très intéressante cette maison avec ses décors inspirés du monde animal
    La tarte aux pommes caramélisée est un grand classique qui se décline avec d'infinies variations, mais c'est toujours un régal!

  5. Good to read the good news about butter eating. Until some other research contradicts what you found in the New Scientist I shall be able to hold my head high in company and feel less of the moral degenerate. Admitting to butter eating as well as using full-fat milk tends to result in a hiatus in the social chatter with many acquaintances and friends. In such circumstances I do not dare to admit that I do not know what my chloresterol count is (have I spelt the word correctly?). Meanwhile not sure what a French supermarket customers would make of 6 pint polythene containers of full fat milk.

  6. Tim: Oddly enough, the LeClerc fromage à tartiner is the one brand we don't like. I think the problem nutritionally with supermarket milk is that it is so processed. I've nothing against pasturisation, but homogenisation and separating milk into its component parts and putting it back together in a standard format (discarding the bits that don't 'fit' or inventing stupid new 'food' products to use up excess components) does nothing for nutrition or health.

    Colin: Diet and its knock on effects is complicated it's true. I think you have to be aware of saturated fat versus unsaturated, not just total fat content. Whole milk only has 4% fat and not all of it is saturated. I've never seen the point of switching to half or no fat milk or yoghurt. Many cheeses on the other hand are very high in total fats, but we eat these quite irregularly. Simon has had ultrascan and has no arterial build up whatsoever.

    John: I reckon a lot of French people would be grossed out / completely bemused and unable to imagine what you would use such an enormous quantity of milk for if you were not a school caterer making riz au lait (and even then UHT would make more sense to a French person). They would have no problem with the full fat aspect of it though.