Summer

Sunshine galore!

Summer in the south of France is well known - the cicadas volume rising with the heat, lazy days by the pool or on the beach, or swimming in a local river to cool down, or reading in the shade of a tree.  When moved to do something there is a whole variety of options from canoeing the Herault, to visiting a local town or historic place of interest, to enjoying ice cream from a street cafe while watching the pasing scene, or by the weir at LaRoque watching the canoeists negotiate (or not negotiate) the weir, to wallking or hiking in beautiful countryside.  The Local Attractions page describes some of the many possibilities for a trip out from Brissac. Each house has a huge selection of brochures from local, and not quite so local, places to visit. It's worth spending part of your first evening on the Rue Caterine going through these brichures for ideas of where to go and what to do during your holiday.  

Every nearby village has its fete de village over one weekend in summer.  Brissac's main annual event is the Brissac festival, held from Friday to Tuesday on the last weekend of July.  Local traditional events are featured such as competitive petanque, performances for children, a small fun fair, a torchlight procession through the village, an outdoor dance every night (which you can hear from your cottages until the small hours), and of course food on the village green in Bissac le Bas. 

There are more unique events like concerts and performances than would first appear.  Discovering them is a matter of keeping an ear to the ground, and being flexible when one is discovered.  One last minute event that we encourage is a raptor release by the local Hopital pour la Faune Sauvage in Ganges:  when animals that have been brought to the hospital for treatment are ready to be returned to the wild we sometimes hear about this and can go haring off in search of the release, which is a typically French event with many interesting words, some in appalling English, followed by the swift and happy disappearance of the now-healthy and still very wild birds. 

Terroir has nothing to do with scaring visitors.  It is the local name for locally produced specialty foods, and usually indicates a trail worth pursuing. Practice your French on those who produce terroir and you will find some interesting byways in the region. 

Produce is plentifully available and oh so fresh. You can go to a different market every morning of the week, starting with St Martin de Londres on Sunday, where you find fresh vegetables, beautiful cheeses, a good epicerie, and a fine selection of non-food stalls as well. Thursday it's Anduze, Saturday Le Vigan, Sommiers or Uzes, and on Friday is the biggest, and possibly the oldest, market of them all, in our local shopping town of Ganges, only 15 minutes away, where you will find everything necessary for life in this part of rural France, from locally produced food and wine, (look for "Producteur" on the stall), seafood fresh up from the coast, to live animals, furnture, clothing, linens, and even a stret musician or two and the knife grinder. Some vendors travel to Ganges from over 100 km away, and the variety of goods offered for sale there is unsurpassed in our region.  On Sunday morning there is a big flea market in Ganges, while other flea markets can also be found not too far away.  The Tourist Information Office in Ganges is the best source for up-to-date information on these markets.   

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Fried Courgette Balls
 
A recipe typical to the local area.
 
Ingredients: 1 medium courgette    1 clove garlic, chopped fine    1 medium egg   
1 heaped tablespoon flour    a good pinch of Herbes de Provence   salt & pepper
Saucepan with oil for deep frying

Wash the courgette, then grate using a grater with large holes. Leave in a sieve or colander to drain for several hours, occasionally pressing the courgette with a spoon to extract more liquid. The resulting liquid, used fresh, can add a delicious hint of courgette to a soup or other dish. If several hours are not available, you can also place the grated courgette in a clean tea towel and sqeeeeeze to extract not more than ¾ of the liquid.

Mix the other ingredients in a bowl, add the grated courgette and mix well.

While the oil heats, form the courgette mixture into little balls 1 to 2 centimetres in diameter.

When the oil is hot fry the balls, turning frequently so they darken evenly and cook right through, about 7 to 10 minutes per batch. Drain on a paper towel. Either serve immediately as they come out of the pot, which is much the best option, or allow to cool and serve cold.