Thursday, May 10, 2012

Edible



Isn't that the oddest word? Edible? Yet, unlike its French counterpart mangeable it does sound like the act of gobbling. And what is going on with the Gallic translation of "yummy" into "miammy" or worse "miam miam"? I take my eats seriously, no need for childlike lingo here.


Especially in the spring when the market takes on Cradle of Mankind proportions. Or at least that is how I felt yesterday when the maliciously grumpy herb guy (truly he intimidates me so much that I often can't get up the nerve to speak to him) suddenly decided...to like me. I decided to brave his steely glare as he finally had zucchini blossoms after a month longer wait than usual due to the lack of rains. Can you imagine my shock when instead of charging 12 for 2,50€--clearly a bargain--he threw in everything that he had left with a flick of the wrist, mumbling something about "being special to the ladies"? I was dumbfounded but credit the strength of my perfume with this miraculous behavioural transformation and won't hold my breath for it to happen again.


Flowers you can eat! Easily amused, I giggled over the concept and placed the fragile packet on top of my other purchases, the Queens of the panier. I found it indescribably reassuring that the stems were still caked with dirt from his garden and the interiors dotted with the remains of morning dew. Stray petals clung equally tenaciously inside the basket of ruby red strawberries.



Speaking of those edible jewels, after fingering the remaining money in my pocket, I returned to buy yet another pot of strawberry jam from Tata Yette. This year, I am storing up after a woe-fully mismanaged previous year--it can't be underestimated how quickly the jam will disappear and the sadness that will produce when it does. Madame Yette is a big woman with an equally round smile and does not take it for granted that I have shunned the other, more professional artisans for her home-made confections. They have the power to heal, I tell you. Remi was cured of a life-long aversion to the fruit after just one spoonful. Woe betide me if I dare set foot at my Mom's doorstep without an offering of Tata's abricot jam at the ready--but that is another story...better to breathe in the scent of the thyme citronée and relax. 


We certainly deserve to. Over the past week tensions have risen and fallen with the fact and aftermath of the elections--something that admittedly I face with a twinge of regret. For when the times get tough, the French get cooking. Or at least my particular Frenchman does. The more harrowing the scenario, the greater his need pour s'exprimer. Lucky me as I indulged in two of my favorite dishes in recent memory: a porc roti that had, amongst myriad other spices, the smack of cinnamon on its crackly skin and individual coquelets baked in mustard that somehow seemed much more than Dijon. 



It was almost, almost enough to ask me for the return of Martine Le Pen (or as I call her in my more snarky moments Martine Le Pew) but not quite. And I tell you, I was just one glass of wine short of declaring that both meals were "miam miam". 

24 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    All of these goodly things straight from the market are making our mouths water this evening as we drool over your images. No sight nor sound of courgettes here yet, although we have already feasted on Hungarian strawberries which in our minds are so much more delicious than English ones and come a good month earlier. And by the way, that jam looks to be heaven on earth.

    Remi looks to be a superb cook. We long for the dinner invitation!!

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    1. My dear Hattats--I do believe you have a standing dinner invitation. And he would roll out the culinary red carpet, for sure.

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    2. This we know, dearest Heather, and it cannot happen soon enough!

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  2. Heather, this is so cute. What a story, but Frenchmen are known for this, I think. I love the farmer's markets in our Texas Hill Country and look forward to each Saturday when everything is so fresh you cannot help yourself, and buy waaaaay too much. Come over and enter my jewelry giveaway, it's bracelets. xx's

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    1. Isn't it true Marsha! Sometimes it is too difficult to say no. Would love to know more about what your markets are like...Have a great day!

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  3. Wow - talk about colour and flavour! It jumps out of the screen - the Zucchini flowers are enough to make me pick up my brush!!! Well shared!!

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    1. Now if I inspire you to paint, then I did my job well! :)

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  4. Oooh, I love zucchini flowers! Miam, miam! ;-)

    Seems like you're a popular lady what with the extra zucchini flowers and your flower man haha! Lucky lady. Enjoy.

    ~ Clare x

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    1. Clare, I remember reading about an elderly gentleman that brings you flowers once a week so I don't want to hear about it! :)

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  5. I love cooking with squash and zucchini blossoms and like to lightly stuff them with a mascarpone mixture. I can’t wait for our farmers markets to open or at least for something in my garden to pop up. It’s so cute all the flower men you have falling under your spell!

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Marscpone! Oooh, I bet that gives them a tinier bit of a sweeter taste. Hmmm...something to try next time!
      Bon weekend et bisous!!
      PS. Totally thought of you with Little Augury's 18th century French silk on sale at OKL...

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  6. I too love to fill squash blossoms and then dip in batter for a quick fry in oil and plate with a tomato salsa. Yum!

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    1. Bah, tomato salsa?! My friend Virginia in Melbourne (Glamour Drops) suggested the same thing. Yet another thing to try!

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  7. Hello Heather
    Remi better chaperone you to the market in future. We don't want you running off with the zuccini man.Don't let a hand-full of blossoms lead you astray!!!
    I'll be serious, that was a lovely gesture on his part and the strawberries look miam miam.
    We love oven dinners, such as you pork dish.
    Have a glorious week

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen, this made me laugh so hard--if only you could see how scary and scowly he is!! But I really might ask Remi to chaperone me to see the flower guy, he is getting out of hand!

      Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  8. I'm starving NOW!Looks delicious everything!Love the story of the grumpy Blossom Man!

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    1. Ohhhh like you don't make folks hungry with your meals! Pssh.

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  9. Heather, your post is almost edible! I could eat it right up. Glad that you won over the grumpy Herbman -- just in time for summer's bounty.

    It was so interesting in Paris last Sunday, you would hardly have known it was an election day. During the day as we walked the city we saw/heard very little related to the vote-- a couple "France Forte" posters for Sarkozy and nothing else. In the evening we met up with friends who recently relocated to Paris and had drinks on the terrace of a bar on rue de Buci... a brief cheer went up at 8pm when they called the election. Some girls went running down the street yelling something disparaging about Sarkozy. And that was it. Of course had we been over by the Bastille it would have been a different scene. But it made me wonder if this was a normal showing on an election day or representative of the way the French were feeling about this particular election? Would love to know what you think - were we just in the wrong place to witness, or was something else at play?

    Hope you enjoy a delicious weekend! XO

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    1. Whoa, that surprised me! Here, people were honking their car horns and yelling all over the place after the results were announced. Not during the day, that goes along with French politeness, although I could really feel a buzz in the air. But I wonder if it was different in Paris, perhaps the votes were more divided? I am surprised that there wasn't more serious celebrating in the 6th (even though who are we kidding there are probably plenty of folks who are against Hollande's tax reforms there)--were you at the Bar du Marché by any chance?

      One thing I will say is that it always surprised me that on Bastille Day when the President heads down the Champs Elysée people don't cheer, they maybe, maybe clap politely but that is the maxi. In the States people would be going bananas!

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    2. Interesting! Well, maybe the folks in the bars on rue de Buci were more worried about their aperos than anything at that momement. We couldn't find 4 seats at Bar du Mâché, so were a few doors down-- I think it was called Jade. It's always such a lively area, which was another reason we thought there would be more of a reaction...

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  10. Well, please note the fine perfume so you can woo M. Grumpy encore! My mouth just watered at the thought of those blossoms and the strawberries look about to explode with sweetness. Perhaps you should carry a little bag of pastries to him as a bribe for the next excursion into herbed/vegetable bliss!

    Your porc roti does look divine!

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Merci tellement Genie! But trust me, oooh there is no random flirting in this part of France! In the South, even the most innocent of batting of eyelashes are wrongly seen!

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  11. Oh for the french markets in late spring...SENSUAL! Might explain the zuchini man...hehehe
    hugs h

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    1. Heather! You are so silly. If only you could see him!!!

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