Life in the Loire on lock-down – Monday March 16th. Day two.

We woke up to a dull drizzly day. Gone is the sunshine of yesterday. Back to reality, although the forecast is for more sunny weather as the week goes on.

Katie and Matt our friends who own a craft brewery in Amboise sent out a message this morning cancelling the brewery’s 1st birthday party. It was supposed to be this weekend but of course they have had to cancel. Friends immediately started thinking about ways that we can continue to support them by organising a home delivery of their delicious beers. Beer will be welcome in the coming weeks!

Rosie sent me a video of herself and her boyfriend working from home. Him in one room, her in the other. Each trying to create a routine that will work for them. It will be the same all over the country. Can the internet cope with the demand? If our lamentable connection is anything to go by then no! I guess in the city where she is, it will be easier. In the countryside where we live, we have to limit the number of appliances connected at any one time or things grind to a spectacular halt very quickly.

I made some soup for lunch with the guinea fowl stock that I had bubbling away on the stove all yesterday. It’s rich and gamey and delicious. I sweated an onion, a couple of carrots and a couple of cloves of garlic in a little olive oil before adding some chopped cabbage and a couple of handfuls of Puy lentils. That simmered on the top for about 40 minutes after which I removed some and blizted the rest to a rich velvety purée. Comforting and appropriate on this dreary day.

Positive news today! We agreed to move forward and install an on-line booking system onto our website. We’d been hesitating for a while. Not the right time of year to do it. Too busy. But hey! Now I have all the time in the world to get it up and running and when all this is over we’ll be ready for action.

No need to go to the supermarket today. We have all we need for a few days and are thinking of a game plan. When is the best time to go? Which one should we use? How can we continue to support local businesses?

Just heard that Macron is going to address the nation again this evening at 8pm. Rumour has it that we are going to have a military style lock-down and curfew after 6pm each night. Apparently too many people in Paris and Bordeaux yesterday lolling around in the sunshine like nothing is happening.

Dinner this evening was the guinea fowl breasts (yes guinea fowl three times in 2 days)! I cooked some white asparagus (actually I nearly burnt some white asparagus I was so intent on listening to Macron’s speech) which I then finished on the top with a few lardons. I deglazed the pan with a little white wine vinegar, added a tablespoon or two of cream and seasoned with salt and pepper. A treat to have the first asparagus of the season and hopefully there will be more to follow.

We enjoyed a bottle of Cabernet Franc from Chateau de Nitray this evening. Fresh and bright with raspberry fruit and nice weight. We were supposed to be having a night off the wine. You understand don’t you?

As from noon tomorrow we are on full lock-down for the next 15 days.