Monthly Archives: October 2009

The good news is here: We know when we’re opening!

This Saturday we went to see the progress in Tourteron. Although we were kept informed by Stepháne on a regular basis, we were not sure what to expect. In the end, even the three-and-a-half-hour drive does make us feel a bit helpless. It’s the same with any construction project: being there at least speeds the workmen.

Sanding Mess

Sanding Mess

When we arrived, the whole place was barricaded with hardboard. All the windows were closed and covered with black plastic. The larger ones were even covered with wooden panels. We couldn’t enter the house by the front door. We had to take the second door uphill. Entering bedroom 3, we stepped into one big, dirty cloud of grey dust. It instantly grabbed our throats. What happened here? Throughout the house the floor was covered with a 5 cm-thick layer of black crystal sand. OK, they have been sanding the wood. In the bare light coming through some holes in the roof and windows we could see the result. All of the wooden beams had become this beautiful light-brown, rough oak colour. Fantastic!
The second fantastic thing that happened was this: the water meter had been moved from the inside of the house to the outside. As strange as it sounds, the meter was originally installed in the middle of bedroom 3. That can be quite unhandy when you need to check something while people are renting. So Monsieur de l’Eau Official came, dug a hole, and placed the meter outside of the house. This resulted in a completely hidden water system. I love it!
The third thing I love about this update is the letters from the officials. The first letter  came from S.P.A.N.C.; it’s the official note telling us we have to wait another two weeks before we’ll know if we can install the new 4000-liter eco-friendly septic tank where we want it. Why does that make me happy? Because it means they have at least approved it! There’s another bureau involved who’ll have a final say, but this is a good start.
The second letter has not arrived yet. Why does that make me happy? It means we have to wait one more week. No news here means the complete building permit has been approved and we can start on the roofs and windows in one week.

Our plan is to open for rental guests the third week of March. Saturday March 20 will be the first time somebody can rent the first Super Gîte. That’s right before the Easter holidays.

In the next weeks we’ll have a reservation module online at the official site, but any early birds who really can’t wait should contact us here: marco AT artmiks . nl . Because we would appreciate the risk you’d take by making a reservation on a project that isn’t even finished, we’ll have a very nice proposal waiting for you.

And you probably wonder what rent costs at the mill. A full week’s stay–Saturday 14.00 hours to Saturday 10.00 hours–will be 1200 euro in high season and 800 euro in low season. This includes double fireplace, four bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a 90-square meter living room, designer kitchen, and a warm welcome. It does not include electricity, wood for the fireplace, or cleaning. So, who’ll be our first guests?

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10 Things French you instantly like (with recipes)

Here are 10 ‘sweet’ recipes from the famous French kitchen. I consider myself a ‘chef’, although I only cook when we have guests. Call me lazy, but it’s true! These 10 recipes represent some of the easiest ways to impress your guests. They are simple and fast and – with one exception– sweet. The recipes have been picked randomly; I hope they are all as good when you make them as I have written here! 😛

tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin is probably the most famous apple pie there is. Besides that it’s easy to make, it looks good, smells perfect, and tastes like heaven. For a guy like me who’s not that much into sugar, it’s great. If you have a sister, make one when she’s coming. She’ll forever love you – unless her name is Suzette.

crêpes Suzette

Crêpes (pancakes) are eaten all over the world. There are Dutch ones, American ones, even Korean ones. But in France they are the best. They are thin and sweet. You can get them on almost every corner of the bigger city centres. You can have them with any sweet topping you’d like. I prefer these Suzettes with Grand Marnier.

iles flottante

It’s just a miracle to see those foamy balls of beaten egg white in the yellow vanilla soup. As a child I was a huge fan. Now it’s just toooooo sweet. Another warning: Don’t try this at home after a few courses. 😛


This sweet cake-kinda-bread matches perfectly with foie gras. It’s really good when you make it yourself and eat it while it’s still slightly warm.


Macarons are a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar. No wonder they’re sweet. This chocolate recipe is mouthwatering… A MUST TRY! This is a good thing to prepare with kids, if you can manage to keep some around to eat after the preparation. 🙂

bûche de Noel

This is the thing to eat in France at Christmas…NOT my taste but it is sooo French that it simply has to be in this list. I think these heavy logs are just made of too much butter: it’s all FAT. Brrr.


The croissant is named for its distinctive crescent shape and it’s my every-Sunday starter. I eat them the Dutch way: cut open and filled with either cheese or homemade jam and accompanied by fresh orange juice and coffee. Done.

galette Bretonnes

The only salty recipe in here, but since I love them I thought they couldn’t be left out. A galette is a salty crêpe with toppings like meat, cheese, veggies or eggs. Love ’em!


Possible in any taste thinkable, from sweet to salty. There’s even a great recipe for chicken liver soufflé. Just try a new one every day! 😛

oeufs au lait

The simplest recipe here, and believe me – it’s tastier than you could ever imagine!

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Perfect Tarte Tatin

First step to the Perfect Tarte Tatin: 'melting' the apples

First step to the Perfect Tarte Tatin: 'melting' the apples

Tarte Tatin is an upside-down apple tart in which the apples are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.

Tradition says that the Tarte Tatin was first created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, in 1898. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.

But who cares about the origin if it’s simply the richest type of apple pie on earth. It’s famous all over the world, and it can be made with a zillion variations.

I’ve found a great recipe from BBC Food that I tried the other day with my own apples harvested from the mill’s orchard. 🙂

And, if you prefer Dutch: Probeer dit recept.

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Back in business

Today we heard some big news! The French doctor declared Stepháne ‘able to work’. We’re back in business. They are picking up the work again.

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