Tuesday 22 December 2015

Church Well

This well in Chaumussay which probably dates from the beginning of the 16th century is close to the sacristy which it served. It provided water to dilute the communion wine so it would go further, amongst other things. In the old days practically every household in the village and surrounding hamlets would have had a well and a bread oven. Sometimes the well would have several people with the right to use it, which was a source (no pun intended...) of conflicts and some fairly outrageously extreme stories (Fr. rocambolesque, meaning incredible, fantastical, far-fetched.)

Source: Au temps de Chaumussay by Michel Brouard.

Winter started at 05.49 this morning. We didn't get out of bed to celebrate (if that is indeed the word) because sunrise isn't until 08.39, and no-one gets out of bed almost 3 hours before sunrise. Our latest sunrise isn't for another 2 weeks, but yes, from here on in the days are getting longer.
A la buanderie hier: In early December we attended the annual Christmas dinner for our car club and Elisabeth B managed to spill red wine all over me. I was wearing a sunflower yellow boiled wool skirt and a handmade purple felted wrap which was a gift from Liselle. We frantically dabbed all the red wine with white wine and hoped for the best. I washed the skirt on returning home, using stain remover and it has just about come out. There is a faint shadow if you know where to look. The skirt is old (probably 10 years) but a favourite. Luckily it is machine washable so I didn't hesitate to launder it myself. The wrap was a different matter. It has no care instructions, but I knew its creator had developed a unique method of fusing handmade felt to a fine background cloth and that it was hand dyed. Fortunately because of its colour the red wine spots were not visible (even I couldn't identify them). However, I didn't want to leave it impregnated with wine as it would smell and attract insects. I didn't want it being munched full of holes while I wasn't looking. Yesterday I plucked up courage, put it in a white pillowcase and carefully hand washed it in tepid water with a drop of dishwashing detergent, then rinsed in cold with a dash of white vinegar. It leaked almost no dye which was a relief. Still in the pillowcase, to support and protect it while wet, I gently squeezed some of the water out then set it to spin in the washing machine. I figured it was better to extract the water to reduce its weight while it dried draped over the rack upstairs. It appears to have survived the experience perfectly well, with no apparent distortion or loss of colour. Phew.
A la cuisine hier: The kimchi is clearly up to something. Tiny bubbles are filtering up through the shredded veg. Packing it in glass jars to cure has proved a good idea. I can see what's going on without disturbing things.


Sheila said...

Is the lid screwed on tightly? Whenever I've fermented veggies, I've been
advised to allow the resulting gasses to escape by leaving the lid on loosely.
The warning is that the jar can explode from the pressure. Better Google it.

Susan said...

The lids are clipped down, but unless you water bath them they don't form a perfect seal. Any gas that wants to can force its way out. What you want as far as I can tell is to leave them undisturbed, allow as little air flow as possible and let the CO2 that is forming accumulate in a layer on top of the veg to form a seal so the process is anaerobic. If the pressure builds up it will be oxygen/air that will be pushed out.

chm said...

Hi, Susan. You might be interested in the origin of the word rocambolesque. Here's a link in English:


Susan said...

Aha! Thanks for this, that certainly explains the use of the word in the context above.

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