My Mazamet

Life at № 42

Late Summer 2019 at Nº 42

I’ve cleaned the stairs. I’m exhausted.

Summer girls have come and gone – and their company was utterly wonderful, as always. This year they brought along with them a pair of glorious Victorian cut crystal claret jugs. I was afraid to touch them at first as they’re incredibly fine, but we ended up using them fairly regularly during their stay. They do give the table that little bit extra wow, and they fit about a bottle and a half of wine each, which is practical.

This year they even managed to drag get me out of Mazamet one day for lunch. We went to Labruguière and ate at Lou Lengadocian. Excellent. We then visited St. Thyrs (the tower dates from the 14th century, the interiors were restored in the early 17th, after destruction in the religious wars.)

Image result for labruguiere eglise

Now we have a bit over a week before our new guests arrive. Two of Mike’s acting friends who we both really like.

In food news, my biggest success this summer has been vegetable tatin. The original recipe is with leeks cut into 1 inch roundels, but you can essentially do it with any vegetables that you can cook without much movement in an oven proof frying pan. You cook the vegetables, which you’ve arranged in a nice pattern (when you flip the tart the pattern will be seen!). This can be done any way you want. With stock, white wine, a balsamic reduction. Anything where you’ll end up with no liquid. Once that’s done let it cool a bit, place pastry on top, tucking in the edges and put it in the oven until the pastry is cooked. Flip and serve with salad. Couldn’t be easier. It should look something like this.

Image result for leek tatin

And I leave you with some pictures of the house (less seen angles and rooms + the new shower room) this summer, which feels more polished and established by the day. Do ignore the “decorative” Cillit Bang on the dining table 😀

 

 

 

 

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74 comments on “Late Summer 2019 at Nº 42

  1. Duncan Roy
    August 20, 2019

    very pretty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diana MacPherson
    August 20, 2019

    Awww cute dog! How do you manage to keep everything so clean & tidy?!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scottie
    August 20, 2019

    Hello Pink. Grand pictures. You have done a lot of work and your love for the place shows. I am glad you had a wonderful visit with your friends. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  4. clubschadenfreude
    August 20, 2019

    wow, what wonderful rooms. I of course like the room with the purple chairs the best. The tarte looks sooo good. I love alliums in any form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      I thought you’d say that as a fellow owner of purple chairs! It’s the room we spend most of our time in as the big (and only) tv in the house is in it. Also the wood-burner. So I wanted it to be comfortable, warm, friendly and all the things current interior designers have decided are out of fashion. For the colours, I was thinking 19th century Indian jewellery.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Carmen
    August 20, 2019

    I really hope your houseguests appreciate the luxurious surroundings and fabulous food, Mr. M. In my opinion, it looks first-rate!! No wonder you have frequent visitors!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      Thanks, Carmen! This was summer girls 10th year spending summer with us, so I think they like it. Unfortunately, I was so preoccupied with the house this year, I let the garden go a little bit and it was overgrown everywhere, including around the terrace… and a new tree rat has taken up residence in the ivy on the wall by the entrance door! I’m currently studying humane traps :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen
        August 20, 2019

        You and I really are cut from different cloths, Mr. M. Tree rats? Egads. My husband would gladly offer swimming lessons to the damned things.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 20, 2019

        You wouldn’t believe the length of the ethical discussions we’ve had on feeding birds vs. killing tree rats. Rudy, being a rat terrier, usually gets to them first and that’s the end of that. But when it’s a very clever one, like now, we decided humane traps and letting them go in the forest was the best option 🙂

        Like

      • Carmen
        August 20, 2019

        Me ‘n Rudy’d be on the same team. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Steve Ruis
    August 20, 2019

    The recipe sounds wonderful! I will try it.

    Also be sure to clean out your decanters after every use, especially if red wine is decanted. The lead in the crystal has a tendency to react with the wine and cause a stain (and the look of crystal is spoiled when it is stained IMHO, of course).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      I ordered a set of bottle cleaning brushes from Amazon the day after getting the jugs. What sort of stain would it be? I have a crystal vase that’s hideous and milky unless there’s water in it to disguise that. What could have caused that? I only ever put water and flowers in it.

      Like

  7. john zande
    August 20, 2019

    Adored Michelle’s twitter gif. Is she a blogger?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      She was a blogger but got tired of it. She’s one of my favourite *online people*. Very smart, very dry sense of humour.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Steve Ruis
    August 20, 2019

    That haze may be in the glass. If the flowers are left in too long, the water can extract substances from the stems which can adhere. If you can’t get a brush on the stain, some people use marbles or smooth pebbles to act as a scrubber with some water and soap (just drop them in and swirl them and the liquid and then pour them out–lather, rinse, repeat! (Careful with pebbles as if they are rough, they can scratch the crystal.)

    I have been spectacularly unsuccessful in getting such white stains out, I suspect they come from the lead in the crystal, crystallizing out of the glass (lead oxide is white in color). I suspected that acid might work (it didn’t) as lead oxides are quite insoluble in water. (It was used as a white pigment in paint for a long time until it was banned.)

    Stains are best prevented as treating them isn’t all that good an approach. The red wine stains one gets in decanters can often be treated with common household bleach.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Helen Devries
    August 20, 2019

    Had you not given warning there was a risk of thinking the positioning of the Cilit Bang ironic…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymole
    August 20, 2019

    About time to move onto your next project eh? Move a bit further south, nearer the Pyrenees, if not the sea? Chalebre or Limoux?

    Photos are nice, but where the video? And of course, these Summer Girls, they take no pictures? Do recall we are all living vicariously through you & Mike, imagining ourselves lounging chic and laughing at bold innuendos, sipping wine, nibbling delicacies, letting the dogs lick our fingers clean.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      We were 1000 km South of here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        August 20, 2019

        Ah, prior to moving to Mazamet? Perhaps further north then. Norway?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 20, 2019

        Yes, we were in southern Spain. And NO Norway! This is it. Moving again would kill me. I live in near total isolation, so stable surroundings are a major part of my well being 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        August 21, 2019

        Well, then, you’re gonna need a new theme for some portion of your mansion — to keep you busy. Roman baths perhaps? Ottoman colors and Byzantine archways?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Diana MacPherson
        August 21, 2019

        One of the rooms made me think of red figure Greek pottery so I think that’s the theme. But I like the Roman bath theme.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 21, 2019

        I love red figure greek pottery. It was enormously influential in the Neoclassical and Empire art movements, which are at the top of my list of favourites 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 21, 2019

        There’s still much to do. The garden will takes years to fine tune and perfect. I’ve spent the past few days clearing by the wall on the west side. Planning the planting there isn’t easy because of shade/trees. Btw, you once asked about the history of Mazamet, and there’s a new website in English with a lot of interesting information: https://www.bienvenueamazamet.com/history/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        August 21, 2019

        Bonus!
        Remember to plant food for the coming apocalypse; at least a hotdog tree and a snickerdoodle bush.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. inspiredbythedivine1
    August 20, 2019

    Lovely pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Robert A. Vella
    August 20, 2019

    Those leeks look scrumptious! I do something similar with prosciutto and shallot stuffed crimini mushrooms topped with a balsamic reduction glaze.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 20, 2019

      That sounds amazing! Do you have a recipe link or just give me a very quick outline, please 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert A. Vella
        August 20, 2019

        My paper copy recipe is buried somewhere, but here’s the basics:

        Saute diced crimini mushroom stems, prosciutto, shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs of your choice until vegetables are soft and translucent. While cooking, add a little olive oil or butter to maintain moisture. Add salt if necessary, but the prosciutto should be sufficiently salty.

        Transfer it to a large bowl and mix in fresh breadcrumbs and grated cheese of your choice until a stuffing texture is achieved. Taste it for seasoning and moisture. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper (optional), more herbs, and a little chicken broth if necessary. Set aside to cool.

        In a sauce pan, heat and reduce balsamic vinegar and sugar until a viscous glaze consistency is achieved. It should taste evenly sweet and sour. Set aside to cool.

        Lightly brush the crimini mushroom caps with olive oil and a little salt. Place upside-down on a baking sheet. Fill the caps with a generous amount of the stuffing mixture. Use a spoon if necessary to form a nice round shape. Drizzle a good amount of the glaze over top of the appetizers.

        Bake at 400-425F until the appetizers begin to bubble – about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 20, 2019

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robert A. Vella
        August 20, 2019

        Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. makagutu
    August 21, 2019

    Pink, you are a man of excellent taste!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 21, 2019

      Thanks, Mak! Have you been on vacation? Very quiet lately.

      Like

      • makagutu
        August 21, 2019

        Not really. Just got lazy, I think. Following the footsteps of Bertrand Russell in living the virtues of idleness

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 21, 2019

        “Do not what you should do today, if you can put it off until tomorrow.” Procrastinators 20:19, from the Book of Job-less

        Liked by 3 people

      • makagutu
        August 21, 2019

        This verse is an improvement on the questions asked by a sage, why do today what you can leave undone till the morrow?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 21, 2019

        Am I the sage? I’m probably the sage 😀

        Like

      • makagutu
        August 21, 2019

        I can declare you a sage. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Kris Jennings
    August 21, 2019

    I love the light throughout the house! So beautiful!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 21, 2019

      The light is one of my favourite things. The house is on an axis, in the Palladian sense. The entrance doors line up with the middle arch door in the grey room (picture 10), so you can basically see “through” the house; and the red room lines up with the dining room, with the chequered hall separating all these spaces. The long vistas make the rooms seem much bigger than they actually are.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kris Jennings
        August 21, 2019

        Good light makes all the difference. Especially in our part of the world where winter is long!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 22, 2019

        It makes a huge difference here too. We’re mountainside, which means a badly positioned house can be dark and cold year round.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hariod Brawn
    August 22, 2019

    Lovely jugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Esme upon the Cloud
    August 22, 2019

    It’s incredible, such attention to detail, and really all comes down to having an eye for composition as so much in there works from being perfectly placed (no doubt after some thought and moving items about I’m guessing!). One of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen, you should be hugely proud of yourselves. I too love the room with the purple chair, it’s rich in warmth and colour, and looks so cosy, which is just what one needs at times. The photos themselves are quite something. Well done you two!

    – Esme Cloud loving the whole shebang twice over and approving of the tart as eevr.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 22, 2019

      Thanks! It’s the result of the more benign side of my insanity. A sort of visual editing obsession that’s never over; and yes, moving, changing, trying different colours and proportions – to exhaustion 😁

      Like

  17. Judi Castille
    August 23, 2019

    I adore the red room. Rich colours always get my pulse racing. France is a treasure trove. I am absolutely obsessed by the brocantes here. Home finally becomes a treasury of history with salvaged finds and saved pieces. With our crazy world destroying, burning and discarding, it’s wonderful there are some of us who keep the candle burning for beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bela Johnson
    August 25, 2019

    Aww, I like the last photo best! The house is coming along nicely! Carry on … 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 25, 2019

      Thank you! We’re reaching the wonderful stage where we get to refine things. The perfect vase, the netsukes by the table lamp, the miniature painting to liven up that empty narrow wall 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        August 25, 2019

        Glad you are flexing your creativity and have such a fine (and large) canvas for your creations! We, too have reached a place where the gardens are stabilized and filled out and the interior is … not yet finished … one more addition to provide a room to view sunset and a second bathroom, badly needed for resale, if nothing else. These old plantation houses had pretty basic stuff back in the day, though the charm remains and is quite desirable to buyers. Chris customed us out some closets, shelves and cabinets awhile back, and now we have new Anderson window inserts (!! – huge difference, save for the old sliders – think Japanese shoji screens, only windows – so he rehabbed them), and are happy with the furnishings. It’s nice to relax a bit and simply fill in the blanks. But don’t you also have a background itch, like … what’s the next adventure? Gosh, I surely do. Uh-oh. 😉 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 26, 2019

        Your husband is so incredibly talented, are you not tempted to keep designing things for him to make?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        August 26, 2019

        Always! When it comes to things for us, we are great collaborators. Customers not so much. They don’t want to pay for my work, they assume I give free advice. Which I do not.

        When it comes to Chris’ designs, I’ll sometimes see something in progress and make a suggestion. So that’s how it goes, more or less. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  19. acflory
    August 25, 2019

    Oh my god…the red room is stunning! The whole house looks superb but the red room…it makes me want to roll around on the rug like a cat having an attack of the happies. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      August 25, 2019

      Thanks so much! The bones were pretty great to start with. The wood panelling is of exceptional quality, as is the 18th century Louis XVth fireplace. At first I thought the pre-existing Zuber wallpaper was a nightmare to work with because the colours are so difficult, but in the end it’s because of it that all the other colours in the room work together 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        August 25, 2019

        Yes! Isn’t it odd? I suspect neither one of us would ever choose that wall paper off the roll and yet, having seen it in the red room, I simply can’t imagine it any other way. Truly lovely, Pinky.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 26, 2019

        I think that in the end, when there are challenges, we end up with much more interesting results. When people work with blank canvases and huge budgets, the result is often too staged and uniform.

        Like

      • Diana MacPherson
        August 26, 2019

        I agree. I actually can’t create anything without constraints.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        August 26, 2019

        I must admit, I’m in the same boat. I’m much more an editor than a creator.

        Like

      • acflory
        August 26, 2019

        Couldn’t agree more. Thanks to those challenges, and how you’ve overcome them, your red room is definitely my favourite. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Anonymole
    September 1, 2019

    Your next road trip, done as agents of those who cannot do for themselves:
    Chauvet Cave, 07150 Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, France

    It’s a four hour road trip, spend the night, take some film, and report back, please…

    Liked by 1 person

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