A Castle’s Papier-Mâché Christmas

A Castle’s Papier-Mâché Christmas

Back in early December I mentioned that we’d taken a day and went to Azay-le-Rideau castle, one of the smallest castles in the Loire Valley, but also one of my personal favourites.

I love it because unlike some of the others that impress by their sheer size and sumptuousness, this one is very human-sized (In other words… I could easily see myself living there! 😉).

Today, I’m going to take you on a pictoral walk through the castle, but from a particular point of view. The main ‘theme’ for Christmas decorations this year was ‘papier-mâché’ which many of you will remember from school, growing up. With shredded newsprint and wallpaper paste, you can create all kinds of things. Once dry, they hold their share remarkably well, stiffened by the dried paste.

These decorations are a far cry from anything you made in school, I guarantee you!

Pour yourself a healthy mug of coffee and let’s get started!

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Cheesy Christmas 23: Séchon de Vache

Cheesy Christmas 23: Séchon de Vache

We’re already down to the second-to-last Cheesy-Christmas cheese for 2021. On one hand it’s gone quickly (but simply because the month’s gone quickly in general, not particularly due to the cheese methinks).

Today’s cheese is another that we also tasted in last year’s Cheesy Christmas offering.

Let’s see if it scored better or worse this year (heaven knows we’ve seen both scenarios thus far)

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Cheesy Christmas 21: Crottin de Brebis

Cheesy Christmas 21: Crottin de Brebis

We’ve had a lot of cheese made from cow’s milk and goat’s milk but proportionally less cheese made from sheep’s milk.

There have only been 2 others this year… on day 4 and day 16.

Not sure whether that proportionality holds for cheese-making in general or not – it’d be interesting to know, but I’ll save that exploration for another day.

Here’s what we thought of today’s sheep-milk cheese…

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Cheesy Christmas 20: Brézin

Cheesy Christmas 20: Brézin

It was another 2-cheese kind of evening when we tasted the Brézin cheese.

What is with us not being on a “1 cheese / day” rhythm this year?

I wonder if it the fact that we’re all a little busier this year… the fact that there’s a bit less novelty this year… etc.

Not sure, but that shouldn’t take away from talking about today’s cheese…

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Cheesy Christmas 19: Fourme de Montbrison

Cheesy Christmas 19: Fourme de Montbrison

Hmmm… we approached this cheese with a healthy dose of fear and trepidation… or at least I did.

You see, it’s another that we had last year, and when having a ‘repeat cheese’, I never disclose last year’s score to the family before we’ve given this year’s score. I don’t want to set expectations. But this cheese did not score particularly well last year.

Would this year be different?
Let’s find out…

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Cheesy Christmas 18: Estival

Cheesy Christmas 18: Estival

How is it possible that we are one week out from Christmas already. I’m sure I don’t know where the time went.

Today’s cheese is going to put us head-to-head with Day 22 from last year where we tasted Estival for the first time. Yet another day where we’re tasting a repeat cheese.

The pressure’s on… will it impress more than last year? …be a disappointment? (we’ve had a couple of those so far) Let’s find out!

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Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

Yesterday was the last day of school for the kids.

What a difference from “last days of school before Christmas” when I was young. We’d been piling on and off the long yellow school buses in bulky snowsuits for weeks by the time Christmas vacation rolled around. Here… I’m still looking at green grass and we’ve barely seen an honest-to-goodness snowflake to date.

It’s been a while since you’ve had a regular post, so here’s to a taste of regularity. Grab your cup of coffee & let’s dive in…

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Cheesy Christmas 17: Tommes aux Fleurs

Cheesy Christmas 17: Tommes aux Fleurs

We’re one week from Christmas Eve, and today’s cheese takes us, originally, to one of the places where I imagine Christmas truly loves to dwell, a place where it’s easy to envision snowy forests and old-world charm decorated to the hilt for the holidays… Austria.

The Tomme aux Fleurs is another cheese that we had last year, so we’ll see if our thoughts have changed, but nonetheless… I love the simple notion of this colourful little cheese.

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