14 July 2007

Stage Six: Semur-en-Auxois > Bourg-en-Bresse


Stage Six saw English rider Bradley Wiggins break away on his own in the 2nd kilometer of a 199.5 km stage. Eventually he got over 17 minutes ahead of the peloton, which finally reacted and caught up with him 190 km later, with about 7km to go. It was another bunch finish, one for the sprinters, and finally the popular Tom Boonen pullod off a stage win, his first since 2005.

It was great to see Vinokourev (looking a bit like The Mummy with all the bandages on his knees, arms, and hands) and his Astana teammate Kloden, both badly injured in Stage Five, get back in the saddle for the sixth stage. However, there is speculation that the pair might not be able to get through the next two stages, when the Tour hits the Alps for two consecutive gruelling days of racing. It is widely expected that we will see a shake-up in the General Classification over the next two days, particularly with the two team Astana favourites in less-than-perfect form. Another question mark hangs over another Yellow Jersey favourite, Oscar Freire, who has suggested he might abandon the race due to a cyst on his backside which is giving him problems.

The standings at the end of Stage Six are:
Yellow Jersey: Fabian Cancellara (his lead is 33 seconds over 2nd place Andreas Kloden) (standing unchanged)
Green Jersey: Tom Boonen (9 points ahead of Erik Zabel)
Polkadot Jersey: Sylvain Chavanel
White Jersey: Vladimir Gusev (only 6 seconds ahead of Thomas Dekker) (standing unchanged)

We're a week into the Tour as of today - how have the knitters gone with their goals?

Lots of people are working away on socks. Socks are the plat du jour aren't they! Ozknitter is still plugging away at her socks, and feels like there's a hole in her finger to prove it! Meredith has turned the heel on her sock and is heading down the home stretch. Donna Lee is trying to finish her sock before it gets away from her, and Thursday's sock is showing its colours:

Auntie Jimbo has dragged herself away from birthday presents, luxury yarns, and ring shopping to get back to work on Clementine...Sharon is thinking she might not have enough yarn to finish her project but is contemplating not going and buying that extra ball because we all know the fear of running out makes you knit faster! Cindy has six rows done on the body of Fawne and Mrs Pao has eight more rows done on Kiri - and she has posted more photos from the Tour parade in Canterbury - check them out! Mary Heather is now so confident with her cables that she's planning next year's TDF project!

We have two finished objects to report. Janet has decided that she is quite happy with her circular blanket, thank you very much, and has cast off. Doesn't it look great! The black marker at the right is where she picked up at the beginning of the Tour. She's decided it's time for something completely different and is now making a baby tank top.

And Ingrid has finished Beau, which needed to be finished by the 13th - way to go on the Intermediate Sprint, Ingrid!

Ravelry notice
I only put my name down on the waiting list for this new toy about 2 weeks ago so I have no idea what everyone is talking about yet but I have been asked to pass on the information that a TDF KAL link has now been set up on Ravelry (by Mishaele) so if you're on Ravelry, you can sign up and link your projects there. But if you all do that, don't spend all your time over there on Ravelry because it'll make me feel like I'm missing out!!

In honour of Bastille Day, I thought I would share a super-simple recipe for Tarte aux Prunes (Plum Tart) which featured on Gabriel Gate's Taste le Tour during the 2006 Stage 17. If you like plums, this is an unbelievable recipe! (Sorry about the metric-only measurements... but that's a sign that this is a Real French Recipe!)

Tarte aux Prunes
  • 80g sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp of plum liqueur, kirsch, brandy, or Pear William (not essential. leave it out if you don't have an appropriate liqueur at hand)
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 1 Tbsp plain flour, sifted
  • 1 batch of Sweet Pastry (see below)
  • 8 large plums
1. Cream sugar and butter. Add whole egg and egg yolk. Add liqueur, ground almonds, and flour. Blend until compined.
2. Roll out pastry to a thickness of about 5mm. (This can be done between two sheets of baking paper for easier handling.) Lift pastry onto 25cm square OR 28cm round flan tin (I just use a pie plate). Press into the sides but elave edges untrimmed.
3. Spread the almond cream made in Step 1 over the pastry base and a little on the sides.
4. Halve plums and remove stones. Arrange plum halves, skin-side down, on top of almond cream.
5. Bake in oven preheated to 200C for 20 minutes, then trim the pastry edges. Decrease temperature to 150C and bake for a further 35-40 minutes or until the pastry base is lightly browned.
6. Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving.

Sweet pastry
  • 50g almonds
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g icing/confectioner's sugar
  • 250g plain flour
Chop almonds in a food processor into small pieces. Add butter, egg, vanilla and salt and blend briefly until the butter has softened slightly. Gradually add sugar and flour while blending. Contine to blend until well mixed. Form pastry into a ball with your hands and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out.

So now it's time to look forward to the scenery of the French Alps and celebrating Bastille Day during Stage Seven! And while you're enjoying the televised broadcast of the Tour, why not partake of a little Phil and Paul Bingo! Thank you Knitty Professor for calling our attention to this classic game from 1999!
A bientot!


Anonymous said...

and a happy quatorze juillet to everyone!

Cindy said...

I have to say I think the "Liggettisms" have been a little thin this year... ah but the mountains loom and that's always good for a quote or two!

Wow, some great looking projects! Great work KALers!

Auntly H said...

MMMMMM Tarte aux Prunes! A favorite in Paris. I can't wait to try this one. Thanks!

Cecile said...

Your updates are great. My hubby is out of town today, so I can whatch the tour this morning for as long as I want. My elbow is getting sore from so much knitting though, so I may have to pace myself.

There certainly are some beautiful projects coming along. That blanket is fabulous!

Auntie Jimbo said...

Merci for the recipe! It looks delicious!

You know, it makes me SO nervous when people touch the riders! Get out of the way, crowds! Aieee!!

The_Add_Knitter said...

Happy Bastille day to everyone, and thanks for the tarte aux prunes recipe, mmmmmmm......

Nikki said...

great update! I actually got to watch the Tour this morning instead of the recap and WOW... I thought the nightly recap was fun. Although, like Auntie Jimbo, those crowds closing in on the riders made me nervous...

5elementknitr said...

What a tasty recipe, I will definitely give it a try!

Kristen said...

I've never heard of Phil & Paul but just reading the bingo cards gave me a good laugh.

whitney said...

It just broke my heart yesterday, watching Vinokourev all bandaged up like that. Poor guy!

::giggles:: about the "Real French Recipe"! When I was in high school, we hosted a French exchange student, and he was supposed to prepare a traditional dish to bring to some event. He had his mom email him a recipe and we got all set to help him make it, only to realize that we had no kitchen scale, and all of the measurements were weight-based! Let's just say there was lots of math and guesstimating going on that night!

Anonymous said...

woo hoo, I went for a wonderful bike ride today. happy to find it wasn't too hot, I don't do hot weather very well.

mari said...

Is it ok to join a week late? I watch the tour every year and knit while I do so. I love Phil and Paul! They make the tour the tour for me. Can you imagine it whitout them? No!
Anyway, I would love to join the KAL, in the GC competition if possible. :)

Chris said...

Not much progress to report - I'm into the gusset increases on my first sock...

Westozcaat said...

Just letting everyone know I just updated my blog with pictures of my progress on my 2 KAL projects

mrspao said...

Felicitations! I am happy to report that Bastille Day was a charm and I completed about 42 more rows yesterday. I think it must have been the French menu we had yesterday :)