Notes from Rabbit Hill | SUNDAY BROCANTES
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"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy ... they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  - Marcel Proust


Our fall here has been filled with so much activity -- the projects are endless at the house and farm and we have been in constant brainstorming mode for plans for 2017; renovations, improvements, new directions ...  I am so excited about 2017 that I have caught myself already using the date in place of 2016 by accident.  It is as if I already have one foot out the door for this year (which I have loved!) and am ready for the next and all of the good things that are ahead.

In the meantime, other areas are being consciously slowed down ... moments are being savored, like this past weekend when we celebrated what I am calling 'Frenchgiving' ... and gathered around the table(s) with new friends to celebrate blessings current and future. God is good and in control of every event in this life -- and that is the biggest reason to have a heart filled with gratitude. New friends make that even sweeter.

Whereas last month was quite 'lifey' with large struggles and small annoyances, this month has been active and full. Not perfect, but fine. Better than fine. At Maison Rabbit Hill we launched into the (longest-project-ever) entry walls reno. Wow -- if you caught the images on IG there is some crazy structural surface stuff happening that has made us stand in the stairway and shake our heads multiple times.  Although the brickwork is charming, the majority of it is in a crumbling state of not-so-charming -- and although my IG followers have begged that the brick be left, sweeping it off the floor and shoveling chunks of debris daily is not really practical.  We are doing the best we can to save the 'patina' and honor the age of the house (built in 1640) and I know we will love the result. (So be kind out there brick-lovers and decor critics when I share the after pictures!) Our goal is to have it done before Christmas, but considering we have lived with the walls in a much worse state for almost 4 years -- New Year's would be totally okay!

If you remember last month's newsletter, I spoke a little about the idea of 'belong'.  I am ever so determined to dig my heels in even deeper here in France which means to finally get through the complicated immigration process and also to work ever harder on my French language fluency (required for long-term residency and citizenship). This week new private French lessons with a lovely teacher commence twice a week and my hopes are high that my French brain will kick in (at last!) and I will be babbling away with Marie-Dominique in no time!

I will stop here as there is so much more I can share, but I plan on doing another newsletter next week for the holidays and am off to spend a very chilly morning in the barn shooting vintage items for this weeks online pop-up.  Look for news below about the opening which is pushed to Saturday, the 3rd.

Thanks for being a part of this French country-life.  My days are brighter because of your support and interest! More soon ...
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Rabbit Hill Foodie ...  French markets and cooking workshops.

The BIG NEWS for 2017!


This month I hosted two RH Foodie workshops, just a week or so apart. One of the things I love most about doing the workshops is sharing ideas and demonstrating techniques (and a few secrets too!) We talk a lot about the food, ingredients and French culture and tradition. I really adore every moment sharing our home and life in France and making new friends.

If I was to admit to challenges with the workshops -- it would only be ones of time and space.  I would love to teach even more of them, and would love to host even larger groups -- which leads me to share some very exciting news!

Drum roll please ...

We are currently searching for a NEW kitchen! We recently decided that it was time to grow and pursue the dream of teaching workshops here in Normandy even more and to create a new space from which to host, work, teach, reach out to our local community and culture and progress on creative projects that have been in the works for some time now.

Many of you know that a book-project has been on the back burner for me -- for too long. It has been more than difficult to find the time to write and organize this endeavor. Having a kitchen 'studio' away from our home, would greatly increase the possibility to focus and finally do it!

By having an off-site kitchen-studio we could also host local producers, artisans and even guest chefs which would promote even further my integration into French life. (Again - remember my last newsletter about the topic of 'Belong'?)

So here we go! I have to admit this first stage of the plan is pretty dreamy -- as we search for the 'place' ... It might be a barn out in the country, a cute shop-front in town, and old building ... truly all we need is a place to start creating the extension of my kitchen at Rabbit Hill.  If you follow me over on Pinterest -- you can see that I am pinning ideas (on those late nights when I am so excited that I can't sleep!)

Future workshops will include time and activities at our home and farm of course and instruction will take place at the new workshop/studio/kitchen -- yet to be named!

We are so excited!  Big plans for 2017 and we hope that you come experience it with us!

If you have a trip planned to France next year and would like to add a day, a weekend or several days of going to the market, shopping at cookware shops and epiceries, searching for French vintage goods ... and cooking with me at Rabbit Hill and maybe even in the new studio-- I would love to host you!
 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Hope to see you in 2017!

December Shop NEWS ...

Keep on the look-out for a shop NEWS newsletter coming out in a few days -- but the most important note is that the first of the month pop-up will be on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd (not on the 1st) ... It is a busy time of year and I pushed the opening to the weekend for those that have a hard time shopping from work on a weekday.

There have been a few late fall flea markets to stock the online shop with French vintage finds and now the season will become quiet until the bigger weekend open-markets resume in March.

Be sure to read the newsletter coming out on Friday as it will explain holiday shipping time-frames and also announce the addition of a few new items!

Until then -- Click HERE for more information about the shop!
 

Around the farm ...

Just the littlest bit of news as fall has brought on a beautiful calm here on the farm. Our new addition (my birthday present) to the goat family, Flora has transitioned into the herd and has not only made friends with the youngest of the group (and our odd sheep - Juniper) she has also managed to stand her ground with the older goats -- all while being the sweetest goat we have ever had.

Even the geese have 'mellowed' -- but just a little. And the chickens are slightly reducing their egg contributions and seeking the coziness of the coop earlier in the evenings as it gets dark around 5PM now.

And lastly, the cows (the season-4 ladies and Curley the bull) have departed for their home farm for the winter months. Izzie, our Corgi, still searches for her 'copines' daily and for her, spring and a new herd of cows can't come soon enough!

Rabbit Hill Kitchen - Recipe Cards

If you have purchased from the shop in the past few months you may have received a sample recipe card. Recipe card collections will be available in the online shop next year and in the meantime, large shop orders will include a new recipe card each month.

I love cold weather comfort food and I am creating season recipe cards that honor French tradition and rustic cooking. Current favorites are Cider Braised Pork, Cassoulet, holiday spiced poached pears ...

I am also mindful of 'belle sant√©', so many of the recipes will include tips on reducing fat and carbs and still creating delicious dishes that fill and satisfy. 

Follow me on Instagram for in-the-moment culinary tips and recipe ideas! And look for a recipe card tucked into your order from the December shop opening coming up on Saturday!

An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born. - Unknown

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Sunday Brocantes · Rabbit Hill · Normandy 14800 · France

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