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Springtime in Touraine – Wisteria, asparagus and strawberries!

May 4, 2009

After a dreadfully monochromatic winter, Spring seems to really have arrived here in the Loire valley.  The weather hasn’t been good every day, but we’re getting enough sun to up our vitamin d levels and our moods have approved accordingly.  This past weekend was a long one – anyone who’s spent time in France will know that May is the quintessentially French month – many holidays keep people home from work and making and eating really good food keeps you occupied during that time.

This May 1,  I made another attempt to paint wisteria – the white one this time :

Meanwhile, Michel roasted some green asparagus (the norm here being white asparagus) that we’d bought on the market, along with the first local strawberries :

We added chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil from the garden, roasted pine nuts and strips of provolone (having stopped in our local Italian deli on the walk home from the market)

This being France, you can’t forget the wine,


And local strawberries for dessert

Finish with coffee (and a cigar) under the wisteria

And a concert?

A couple more shots of the garden :

And now, the weekend’s over and I have a translation due…… Oh well – we’re looking at another long weekend for May 8.  In May,  you’ve got to love France…

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2009 11:23 am

    I love your backyard and amazing food photos! We are having an unbroken rain spell, so I want to join you!

  2. caseytoussaint permalink*
    May 4, 2009 11:49 am

    I wish you could Shirley! Just let us know….

  3. May 4, 2009 1:03 pm


  4. May 4, 2009 1:54 pm

    My mouth is watering looking at the asparagus and pine nuts! The setting, the food, the company – all looks fabulous!

  5. May 4, 2009 3:23 pm

    I’m making my first stab at growing strawberries. My neighbor has lovely plants, so maybe I’ll get lucky.

  6. May 4, 2009 3:38 pm

    Casey, your garden is wonderful! What a terrific place to draw and paint. I’m jealous!

  7. May 4, 2009 4:16 pm

    I am loving France right along with you! Marvelous sketch – rich and wonderful. Thanks for the family and home photos and for sharing your repast. I’m hungry! First, though, to the gym. À tout de suite!

  8. May 4, 2009 5:15 pm

    Casey I love love love it all! We will be in France on May 21st thru the 27th, I would love to see you and Ronnel if possible. It is our first trip to France, or Europe for that matter. hope to hear back from you.

    • May 6, 2009 4:02 am

      Thanks Casey for your email and helping me to understand why I haven’t heard from Ronnel. I will be disappointed that I cannot see you while we are in France, but San Francisco is wonderful, my brother lived there for years. Have a wonderful time and keep in touch, my email is If you send me your email I will send my phone number. Thanks again.

  9. May 4, 2009 11:13 pm

    Hi Casey, My husband saw this post and we both had to laugh. He wears hats similar to Michel’s, loves asparagus, white wine and cigars. And his mustache looks superficially similar. Your post reminded us of living in near Heidelberg GE in May. Though, we are crazy about the white asparagus! So, we’re slightly envious!

    Cool painting of the wisteria, again! I checked the neighborhood plants and ours are definitely not out yet.

  10. May 5, 2009 6:56 am

    I agree, your garden looks very inviting indeed. I really like your painting too, of the white wisteria.

  11. sandy permalink
    May 5, 2009 5:09 pm

    Oh My what a glorious evening on all counts!!

  12. May 5, 2009 9:23 pm

    Oh, your yard looks so lovely, Casey! There’s nothing like wisteria tumbling down over anything to make it magical, is there!? The asparagus sounds right up my alley, et le vin, aussi! 😉 Lovely!

  13. Julie permalink
    May 6, 2009 12:02 pm

    I love your blog – so warming while in Britain on a gloomy wet day! I so wish I was there!

  14. May 6, 2009 1:44 pm

    I smiled when I came to the concert part as it reminds me of my son who plays guitar and his hair is the same. 🙂 Wonderful food, art and nature.

  15. May 6, 2009 7:29 pm

    Your painting is fascinating (wow, I just love that profusion!!!!), your garden is so beautiful and your husband seems to be such a good cook! And I forgot to say that your son is gorgeous. That must have been what we call a perfect moment:-)

  16. May 7, 2009 3:04 pm

    What a sublime post, Casey. I don’t know how I missed it. The food looks wonderful and your garden gorgeous. I’m bursting with joy in the May sunshine myself.

  17. May 8, 2009 5:37 pm

    Thanks for these lovely pics! I love your garden and your wisteria is just … (sigh). It’s a good job I’ve just come back from a trip to France with asparagus and strawberries, or I would have killed myself just by looking at your pictures

  18. May 8, 2009 10:53 pm

    FAB post!

  19. May 10, 2009 3:37 pm

    Just heartbreakingly beautiful, all of it. I so wish I could have been there with you all.

  20. May 12, 2009 2:57 pm

    what a wonderful post! Like a mini vacation for me. Thanks for sharing.

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