frontdoor foraging in the garden-at-camont

“You could plant a stone at Camont and it would grow!”

I think of Vetou saying this 20+ years ago as I first started gardening at Camont. First a swath of  English-ish border plants lined the pathway to the canal: poppies, roses, lavender…

Next, Jhon Corbin- artist/matelot/friend, created a wine bottle border sculpture- Camont Woman-that filled in over the years with day lilies, delphinium, and more roses…

Until she was rousted from her slumber and the front path was ‘landscaped’. Sort of like trying to dress this old woman in a business suit of pine bark. Uck, it looked bad and didn’t work…

Over planting years came next. Weed-invaded textile ripped up, trees re-introduced, a jungle grew of crabapple, rosa banksiae, magnolia, almond, fig…

Are you getting the picture? Wild. Sauvage. Growing like stones… 

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M’aidez! c’est May Day! Sirop des Roses…

From paté de foie to canalés and farçoux to tarte au fromage, the kitchen at Camont was hoppin’ this weekend with good food, new friends like Olwyn & John Fleming and beautiful Spring weather. But what topped the Weekend of Tasting Gascony after a trip to Nerac’s fabulous Saturday market and three days of cooking cooking cooking, was a May Day inspired afternoon of ‘foraging’ Camont’s shaggy spring garden.  Drooping off the garden shed, my old heavily-blossomed and heavenly-scented Chrysler Imperial roses made easy pickings to create a sirop des roses for summer garden kirs. A sweet souvenir of this most beautiful Spring of 2011.

Rose-scented Sirop mixes with sparkling water, cava, champagne,or pour over strawberries, raspberries and peaches. Mix it with Rosé!

This weekend we’ll use it to make a Rose/Rosé Sangria for a Cinco de Mayo Rose fete with friends… here at Camont! We’ll be wearing roses in our hair, on our hats, doux-rags and everywhere. If you’re in the Gascon neighborhood drop by!

la recette: Sirop des Roses de Camont

  • one large basket full of deeply scented red roses- organic, of course!
  • 500 gr sugar
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 fresh lemon squeezed

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring until all sugar is dissolved.

Simmer gently about 10 minutes until rose petals are pale- they will have given their color and scent to the syrup.

Let cool, then strain and decant the sirop into lovely old armagnac bottles. Top with a slug of alcohol and cork or seal.

Next, make nice labels from old gardening magazines.

We made about 4 small bottles of rosy magic.

It’s a nice gift to offer when you come to the Gascon table…

Strawberries drunk on Rosé & Roses by TC.

 

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