Friday, 16 January 2009

The joys of brown sauce

I have sinned! Yes, I have! Only a small bit, mind you, but yes, I have faltered! Are you interested in knowing what I've got up to? Well, let me tell you:

Now I am in living in France, I have made up my mind to eat French food. Now this is really hard when everything is in French. All my previous food-eating habits are non-do-able here because the French produce is different to the UK. Even veggies are different. Confronted with a black parsnip / carrot type thingy, what am I supposed to do with it? "Cook it", you might say! "But how?" I will yell back at you. Frustration often rules the day in the supermarket!

Now there is an English section at our local Intermarche, but I have avoided making a purchase of anything on the shelf. I am in France, so I will continue to try and get to grips with French food.

As an aside here: can anyone tell me why French cheese smells like smelly old feet? It's not too bad when first purchased, but after a day in our caravan fridge it smells really dreadful. Anyway, I digress. I love the way that France grow all their own produce, even though they are an 'in season' country. What I mean is; that you can get loads of a produce when it is in season, and then you can't get it again until it is in season and plentiful again.

Unlike the UK supermarkets where you get the same veggies all year round. No glut. No seasonality. No having to wait for it to become available again many months hence. Sameness. And easiness. One can whip round the UK supermarket, just buying the same things week in and week out.

Not so here. You eat it in glut, then you don't see it again for months. Makes life, eating, and cooking interesting to the say the least. Always I seem to be racking my brains as to what to do with certain types of veggies and fruit I have never seen before.

So, yesterday I was taken by a friend to Marciac market. Lovely place. Browsing round the hats. MMMmmmm "Not today thank you" (said in French, which went something like "non!") On to the home-made cardi stall. Had to move on swiftly from that one as the stall holder quickly dropped her knitting needles and made ready to pounce on us.

And Lo! There! Before my eyes! Brown Sauce. Yes!!! BROWN SAUCE! English Brown Sauce. HP no less. 'Twas on an English produce stall. And, oh dear me, oh, oh, oh! Just along from the sauce was....wait for it.......Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bars. Oh joyous day! How could I not have know how starved I have been for English chocco!

And so I sinned and bought a bottle of sauce and a chocci bar. Only small ones, mind you. But I am ashamed to say that they were purchased.

To sweep away my sinfulness, we sat in the local church, had a quiet thought, and shared the bar of chocco.

Not the bottle of brown sauce though! That stayed safely in my shopping bag, to be relished this Sunday on my 'egg and chips Sunday dinner.' (I don't do cooking on Sundays).

And the choc bar remains a delightful, if rather brief, memory.

I may sin again. I may not. But I am of a certain age when sinfulness is allowable. Something to do with the scrambled neuronal pathways in one's head!

Waving gleefully from a not-too-cold France. Bye for now. Oh and the Pyrenees were showing off today. We could see them quite clearly and they were gorgeous. Which means it will rain tomorrow, but heyho. I had my chocco and still have my brown sauce! Singing "I CAN do French supermarket shopping, I Can, I CAN, I
can!" I flit off to my bed.

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