Friday, November 26, 2010

Prunes and Fagots

And finally the perfect day for pruning has arrived along with my friend Emma from London so no more excuses and it was time to get out there and get the job done.  Much to the amusement of Jean Marc I decided that this year I would like to bundle up the clippings and take them home as firewood.  This used to be a common occurrence in the village with the ladies tying up the vine shoots into perfectly proportioned bundles called fagots. The fagots were then used the following summer on the barbecue and would impart a particularly delicious flavour to the meat.  Once families had enough fagots the surplus would be sold to the baker in the village to be used for the bread oven.

Today the tradition of fagots had almost died out as tractors pulling shredders do the job much more efficiently.  Making the perfect fagot is quite a task and previously was the object of much pride as fagots would be stacked up in front of houses in full view of the neighbours.  Jean Marc said our fagots were 'pas mal' but more of a bouffanelle than a fagot.  This is the local word for a small fagot and I think that mine will be put in a discrete corner of the garden.