The two weeks since I last posted have been hugely busy. First we were getting ready for Kate to arrive from Canada on December 9. Then came...well, I'll get to some of that in subsequent posts. The weather has turned truly cold. Checking Dashboard, the handy little computer gizmo that tells me the temperature, I see that it's minus four outside at 11 in the morning. By Tuesday, we'll be back to more normal daytime temperatures in the 9 to 13 degree range.
So, we split logs, light the fire, close the shutters, block the draughts and eat warming food which brings me to beans. This part of the Ariège is noted for its haricots blancs. Those of Lavelanet and Pamiers are noted for their flavour with everyone rushing to get their hands on the new crop. "Pour vos cassoulets" says this sign and I can't think of a more appropriate dish on a chilly night. Which reminds me, I have a chunk of salted poitrine in the freezer crying out to get snuggly with a kilo of beans and indecent amounts of garlic, onions and herbs.