Cuisine “a la francaise”

Our dedicated volunteer chef Marianne, who came on board from California, especially to treat our foster youth to good food, has done just that and so much more. She has been using all her talents and energy in creating delicious dishes.

Every chef always looks at the freshest ingredients and tastes them, in the most comfortable way possible. The tree being right across the kitchen is ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fruits will even taste and look better if picked with delicate feminine hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand work, using the right wrist motion and pressure is a must to make the jam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voila! The most delicious cherry pie we all have ever tasted!!! (there were no left overs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken “fermier” (farm chicken) “a la Marianne”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not just stuffed peppers, but “poivrons farcis “a la Chateau Vert” on a bed of cucumbers “a la russe”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only a chef extraordinaire, but also a passionate archeologist/conservator/mason,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and ONE OF THE MOST LOVING MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER TO THESE APPRENTICES !

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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Dear Friends of Chateau Vert:

We are now over halfway through our pilot apprenticeship program, and it is a magical experience for all of us.  Lives are changing everyday, and as you can see on our blog, there is so much to share with you.  Thank you for reading our updates and following us via Facebook… but we still need your help.

If you can’t make a donation at this time via our website, then there is something you can do which is just as valuable.  SPREAD THE WORD.  Please “Like Us” on our FB organization page if you haven’t done so already.  Tell your friends: subscribe to our blog by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post or on the SHARE and SUBSCRIBE buttons on the right, pass along our information to someone you know who might be interested in our adventures.  Send out an email.  Make your own Facebook post.  Every bit helps, and every new person we reach has the potential to help us change lives.

Also, we encourage you to comment on our blog posts and Facebook page.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on what is transpiring as we do our best to share this adventure with you.

Chateau Vert can’t do this without you.  And, of course, thank you for all the continued support and encouragement.

Merci,

Your friends at Chateau Vert

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Fountain of youth getting old

Monday the 4th, we rested from the canoe experience, while respecting the American independance day.

Tuesday and Wednesday were hard days at the fountain, with no apparent progress. Rocks and mud were slowing us down, so on Thursday we attacked the fountain with determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We came with a plan: take out the mount at the center.  3 wheelbarrows were operating in succession while 1 pickax and 3 shovels destroyed that stubborn mount in 3 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the end in sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excitement took over!   Buckets of mud were being removed and thrown outside the fountain… a mud fight was irresistable. Everybody had to be part of it (when you think about it, people pay so much for mud baths!).  Mike got his for free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike, now the mud bath expert, administers one to Monique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myles doing some mid-mud push-ups while Karen keeps count:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More is coming on the next blog!

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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Circle of life…

Sunday we woke up to find out two of our baby chicks dead. What are we doing wrong? If anyone knows  how to properly take care of baby chickens, please let us know!!! Sharon laid to rest the chicks next to babette, the dog’s grave, and gave a proper burial. It was very sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAYHEM ON THE RIVER CREUSE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never again will we go on a 8 hours (20 kilometers) canoe trip on the rtiver! Except for Myles and Sharon who shared a canoe, all of us rented individual cayaks to go on this adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three of the kayaks were very skinny and made for racing. Mike, Abraham and victor were the lucky ones to get these kayaks. All they did was go in circles, when they paddled, making progress going forward very challenging.

Patrice and Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After extreme sunburns and sore muscles we finally made it back and were all very grumpy. Patrice who had one of the 3 best Kayaks, still managed to capsize twice, losing the car keys in the river. Hence no way home. Victor and Mike ended up walking home, while the nice lady at the canoe rental place took the rest of us home in her van.

At chateau de Romefort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At one third of the way, after a well deserved picnic: a pretty happy group!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we could not get in the car, we did not have the keys of the gates of the chateau. So Abraham had to climb the 10 foot stone wall to let us in. On top of that Myles left his wallet in the nice lady’s van. We got back at 6:30 in the evening and at 8:00 we were having 6 people over for dinner (chef Denis and his family and his sous-chef, Jessica). we had to rush, take showers, set the table for 15, make the bbq, set out the appetizers, etc. etc. etc. all in that time. Thank God for chef Marianne who prepared the salad and the burgers to bbq. Well, all ended very well indeed with a huge table under the linden tree, a makeshift soccer game, and sparklers to commemorate the 4th of july.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica made the most delicious strawberry pastry, who took hours to make and we gobbled-up in seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait!  We forgot our informal and unwanted dinner guests: Romeo and Juliette (our geese):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor showing some of the 4th of July traditions to Denis’ and Stella’s little girls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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First work week finished! Finally!

Progress on the fountain… well we think we have removed literally tons of soil and boulders, but it looks like we are only halfway to the bottom. I think we all want to quit, but we have to stick it out. Truly hard work. the second part of this is much more fun… how to recreate the fountain such as the design of the plumbing and planting and what the water jets will look like. We need to have it recreated exactly in the 17th-18th century style.

Half way there

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much more exciting progress in the 400 year old billiard room… we are almost done with the demolition work. We uncovered an enormous oak beam made from one tree. It supports 2 floors of the house. The stone walls we are uncovering will be lovely when cleaned. Patrice will be showing how to stain and refinish the oak stairs, shelves and beams. We have no idea what the monks originally used this room for – they surely did not play pool!

Saturday not-so-free day. Where did this day go??? We all pitched in to clean the mess we made during the week, and in the evening, all went out to dinner at Dennis’ (l’orchidee restaurant) and Patrice and I snuck away on our first ‘date’ in over 3 months. Nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resting with the poultry after  a hard day’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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One of France’s Biggest Open Air Markets

It is our luck that today, after the great output of our first day of work, we got to take a morning break to visit the largest open air market in all of France- only on the 29th of each month and thankfully only 25 minutes from the chateau.  This market sells everything from plants, clothing, cookware, farm equipment, furniture, food, to livestock, especially livestock.  We went with a definite purpose in mind – to buy chickens.  We stuffed ourselves in the car and set off.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few stops for purchasing the best sheep cheese we have ever tasted, buying a case of red sparkling wine, trying on hats, and tasting salamis made from animals that we probably shouldn’t discuss, we made our way to find those chicks.  Sharon spotted some packed and peeping in a plastic box.  Well, we bought five, one for each of the apprentices. After that, we rused back to make a decent home for them in a big “chicken” wire cage. Victor has taken the role as mother hen, he even finds worms for them to eat from the excavated dirt from the fountain.

Victor petting a horse for sale:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the many choices of hats:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon mesmerized by the baby chicks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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First Day of Work

Our first official day of paid apprenticeship training. By majority vote, we decided on trackling two projects to see them from beginning to end. The first, the excavation and restoration of an 18t century fountain/basin that was mysteriously filled in with soil and rocks about 100 years ago. The second, restoring  one of the original rooms from the 17th century monestary – removing the plaster to expose 400 year old stone walls and uncovering enormous oak beams.

We have started the grunt work of demolition. This first day proved to be fun for all especially when given the permission and encouragement to hit a wall as hard as you can with a pickaxe! Great release and great exercise!

 

Myles and Abraham taking a much needed water break from digging

Mike and Monique select the best tools to remove the plaster from the stone walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon and Myles are totally into the archeology of this project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone picking at the walls, even chef Marianne – The noise is almost unbearable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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Day at the Country Fair

The day begins all piled up in one car… seven of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our future draft horses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our future poultry:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the fountain of youth (filled with rubble… and five incredible youth, of course!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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Fountain of Youth

Fountain of YouthThe apprentices tackled an ambitious project on Tuesday by excavating the walk-in fountain in the front of the property, in the middle of the circle driveway.  Steps lead down to the fountain bed, and one can assume that it was a soaking pool of sorts.  Maybe one day in the future you can walk into the 2+ feet of water and relax with a bit of mineral salts in our own fountain of youth!

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WOW! What a day! (Part 2)

The day, less than half over, continues…

Myles and Sharon are await pieces from the newly demolished wall to be passed down into the cellar to be wheeled out.

Myles & Sharon await the bricks from Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We return to the brassiere where the Baked Alaska is now ready.  Chef Denís receives a well-deserved round of applause for his creation,

Denís receives some applause

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor freezes the delicious dessert in time,

Victor and his dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Myles reacts after engaging Denís in a flexing contest, possibly the result of a sugar high.

Myles & Denís

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was a hike into the lower acreage of the chateau property to learn a bit about the now overgrown architectural elements beneath the canopy of the trees.  But what better to accompany a Baked Alaska on the hottest day of the year thus far than a little canoeing on the Croix River?  We weren’t in the water 10 minutes before Victor capsized in his canoe losing his glasses in the clear and relatively shallow water.  After an hour of searching and nearly giving up Abraham blurts out “I see them!”, immediately stands up in his canoe, dives head first into the cool water, and emerges 10 seconds later with glasses held high.  A collective whoop from the group could be heard up and down the river as attentive Abraham is given a hug of gratitude from the victorious Victor who had already begun to accept that the next few days were going to be a bit blurry.

Abraham gets a hug from Victor

 

 

 

 

 

 

After some showers it was over to Regis’ house for a bit of conversation and a demonstration on the art of carving.  Victor tries his hand at the craft, just grateful that he can see well enough to soak in all of these moments of an incredible day.

Regis instructs Victor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lives are changing right now.  Please be a part of our efforts by passing along this blog (www.chateauvertintl.org/blog) or by making a tax deductible donation to Chateau Vert via PayPal.  You can use a credit card, and no PayPal account is necessary to donate.

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