Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday treasures



I don't usually like to write about our market. Even though it is the largest in Provence, the subject somehow seems trop facile and a bit cliché. But, today my haul just made me so happy that I had to share it! My panier or basket was so heavy on the way home as it was filled to the brim with goodies.


The perfume of the tiny Gariguette strawberries was matched by the Herbs de Provence mixture on top of the super fresh goat cheese. When I saw the sprinkles of lavender, c'etait vendu!  Similarly, I couldn't stop inhaling the warmth of the bread stuffed with green olives and pistou. Tiens, I think I need to go rip off a hunk of that right now!


Over the past two years, I have become increasingly attached to the lovely woman who sells her freshly made Vietnamese delectables. Spicy samosas, crackly shrimp nems, bouncy shrimp bouchons and the not to be missed crab farci. She grew up in Saigon during the war and Remi thinks that might be the reason why she is especially kind to me, her American client, often putting a little something extra in my bag. Today it was the crunchy shrimp and peanut salad. 


And she wasn't the only one that was generous! Yes, the flower vendor sneaked in a small bouquet of peonies, again without saying a word. They are on my desk and the roses, bought for my honey because I was a brat last night, are on the dining room table. 

The oysters and a bottle of white Côte du Rhone are chilling in the fridge. We will have a late lunch, a feast of Saturday treasures! 

Simple pleasures but nonetheless real and to be cherished...

29 comments:

  1. I'm glad you decided to write about the market; your simple treasures look like grand treasures to me! What lovely pictures, and I swear I can smell the lavender, strawberries and roses!! Mmmm...

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  2. trôp facile ?! - doesn't exist in blogworld
    a FREE bunch of peonies ?! - the man has a crush on you
    lavender on goats cheese ?! - any day
    you a BRAT?!! - I don't believe a word of it

    have a lovely weekend and don't eat it all at once
    Sharon
    xx

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  3. I would love shopping a whole lot more if I could buy some of those wonderful treats. We all have our moments of being a brat it's called life and I'm sure Remi has forgiven you.

    Enjoy your feast!
    XX
    Debra~

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  4. Sigh....and I have felt so guilty lately for not preparing dinner more often (or at all to be honest). I can now honestly blame it on the dearth of French markets in the neighborhood.


    I'm going to share this post with my dear Paul. Not that he needs convincing, but yet one more reason to move to France.

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  5. Oh, now I really need to find a flower man that likes me as much as yours likes you hahaha! Thanks for leaving me such a sweet message on my blog. You're such a sweetheart!

    ~ Clare x

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  6. Hello Heather
    I have just had lunch but now find myself wanting some of your finds. How kind of the Vietnamese lady and the Florist. These acts of kindness can truly make ones day and make us realize the goodness of people.

    Have a glorious weekend
    Helen xx

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  7. Perfectly said everyone. And yes, Sharon I can be a brat! We all have our off days--luckily for such nice people to swerve me back on track. And yes, the flower guy definitely has a crush I think! :O I think that I will take Remi with me next time...

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  8. Wish I was there...thanks for sharing your photos of my favourite market and food vendors, its the second best thing to being there! Is the old lady with the goats cheese back? She wasn't in Tarascon over the winter months.....

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    1. Hi Angela. No sadly she has not come back. I think that she has retired now that her granddaughter is having her baby. So I have gone to a new vendor which, while good is not the same. You will know what I mean when I say that this new cheese is too "clean"! The elderly ladies cheese had something of the antan in it--it was the best I ever had!

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  9. Please DO post more photos and stories about your market! Our wallpaper could be another person's dream. I love the French custom of throwing extras in the bag. It happened to me today. My favourite vegetable and fruit vendor, Romy, sneaked some of the first basil of the season into my bag. I made pistou for lunch with it. Little things...

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    1. Jennifer, you always get the goods before we do! I asked about the zucchini blossoms and my seller said "not for a long month yet"! :( I bet that pistou was yummy.

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    2. Warmer weather and greenhouses are the key! The pistou was indeed fab. Come visit...

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    3. Oh my, I do think that we would get along really well...something to think about, especially as Remi has photo shoots coming up in Antibes which is closer than farther to you!!

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  10. Delicious! Feel the aroma...
    And roses... Wonderful image.
    Thank you Heather for lovely comment on my blog.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome Nathalie--that post was insanely beautiful!

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  11. You were a brat?? Good to know you are human like the rest of us. Heavens, if I had to buy flowers every time I am a brat they would have to set up more florists in town. What a charming "forgive me" gesture!

    Interesting that the packages are in blue plastic. Not paper. And that punnet of strawberries looks enormous. I was going to say ours are smaller and in punnets of 250gm but now I am not sure. I better go buy some more strawberries before making such statements!

    Generosity from vendors is a wonderful thing - so simple, but it makes for loyalty. And something which seems to be special to markets.

    The food looks delicious. Not sure if my mouth watered more with the description of the Vietnamese delights (a favourite cuisine) or the crusty fresh bread with goat's cheese. You are making me hungry! And here it is breakfast time, so the timing is good! xx

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    1. Sometimes the packages are in paper AND plastic! I have slacked off about not taking the plastic when I don't need it--this was a good reminder--especially as, brace yourself--Arles doesn't recycle!! I know.

      That is a 250g box of strawberries. But they have much, much bigger at this time of year, I just didn't have enough money left! Virginia, when you come to visit, it would be so wonderful if we had a Saturday morning so that we could visit the market together!

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  12. YOU a Brat?I think NOT......could never image YOU being a brat!Perhaps, tired or moody............but never a BRAT!Look how your market vendors treat YOU!They donot see a brat!!!We never see a brat in your posts.......you are a very generous,caring,giving person....I can see that by your photos and how you express yourself.A BRAT NEVER!So, happy you had a lovely get away!xoxox

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    1. Trust me. Brat. I am a Leo after all and sometimes that roar comes out whether I want it to or not!!

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  13. What can one say!!! Enjoy ---- we are all salivating!! Well bought!!! What a wonderful market!!

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    1. Wyn, I think that you would be so inspired by all of the colors! Especially at this time of year.

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  14. I just love the French markets. So far I have been to the ones in Apt, St Remy de Provence, Cannes and Aix. I have put down the one in Arles as the one to see next. Thanks for the great article. You are so fortunate to be able to live there. Lucky lucky you....

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    1. It's a choice, Karen and it isn't always easy! But for moments like the market it really is a great pleasure. Arles has two markets--the big Saturday market but also the Wednesday work-week market. Both have different sellers and personalities.

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  15. Someone once told me to share my daily life on the blog.
    He said that the beauty in my daily routine that I take for granted would actually be appreciated by other people who have different experiences.
    I couldn't agree more!
    Your selections from your market are divine.
    Thank you for sharing your daily life in Provence with us.

    xo
    Brooke

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    1. Good, good reminder Brooke! I fear MOST of my daily life isn't so thrilling but true, I should let you all decide that. :)

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  16. The food you are able to buy in your market take my breath away. They all sound so delicious and genuine -- no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup. The vendors sound so kind and generous as well. You are living a life most would treasure. It is a pleasure to taste the food and smell the flowers through your words.
    All the best...Victoria

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  17. Ohhh, I so envy you having those French markets! Such wonderful choices. So much better than driving to the local Publix, filling up a cart and taking "groceries" home in plastic bags. But it'll bebetter here in a few weeks, when fresh produce begins arriving at farmers' markets.Things are changing now as more people realize eating fresh is better. Soon my market finds will resemble yours. No, not exactly true; you are in France, after all!!

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    1. Oh, I don't know Sanda, there are wonderful eats all over! I am always so impressed by how much the US in particularly has changed in regards to their eating habits in the past ten years--and that hard work is paying off. I love and miss the wornderful fusion mix that can be found in the States.

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