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".