Monthly Archives: September 2010

Time in Normandy 9/5/10

Last week I took the train from Paris to an area close to Normandy, city called Alencon. We took the train to Le Mans then rented a car and drove to the most beautiful chateau close to Alencon in a village called St. Patern.

The chateau is called “Chateau de St. Paterne and you can go on their web side at The chateau is owned by Charles Henry and Segolene de Valbray, they live in the chateau with their children and 2 dogs. The chateau has been in their family for hundreds of years and now has been restored the the grandure that it once held when it was a hideaway for Henry IV. Each room has the charm of  years past with all the up to date luxeries of today.

Dinner was served each night in the dining room by the glow of candlelight. the in house chef prepared a wonderful meal including a cheese course with the finest cheeses of France.

The chateau is about 1 hour 20 minutes from the cost of Normandy and with the new freeway it was an easy drive. We left after a perfect French breakfast and spent the day visiting the cost of Normandy and the new visitors center where there are over 9,000 men and women laid to rest .

The entire coast line from the cliffs to the Sword beach ,where the English landed, has been preserved in a very beautiful way.  I would recommend this trip to everyone sometime and be sure to stay at least one night at Chateau de St. Paterne.


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Amsterdam 9/2/10

I just returned from taking my mother to Amsterdam for a few days and then on to France. While in Amsterdam we did the museums which have been reopened after renovation.

You realize that you do not go to Amsterdam for the food but much more for the energy of a city that really does depend on getting around by bike, train and buses or water taxi.

We ate mussels and fries, which at this time of year is a must. One night we had Indian food at a local neighborhood place, nothing to write home about but a good change.

We stayed at a nice hotel that I would recommend, The Grand Hotel Amrath, located close to the train station and with in easy waling distance of everything. The hotel has been redone and so the rooms were large, clean and had great bathrooms all for $160 for a double.

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garlic update

We had a great harvest of garlic this year and now have taken all the dirt off, removed the leaves and placed the heads in seperate mesh bags. We allowed the garlic to hag in a dry cool place for about 6 weeks before we removed the leaves and roots.

Found the bags at Whole foods and they are made of cotton so should keep the garlic dry and free of mold. I have seperated the types and will report as we start to use each type.

Buying garlic:

A good web site is Peaceful Valley at,, some of the best types are as follows.

Purple Italian, Georgian Fire, Purple Glaze, California Early White, Music and Metechi. Each one of these types has a different flavor and size clove.  It is close to the time to plant your new garlic so order now and enjoy next fall.

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