Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Artichoke bouquet

When we got back from France, my business partner asked me what we'd done and I thought for a second and said, um...ate a lot!

Our trip was pretty much centered around food and wine (and cider and coffee). I don't know how much this reflects our love of seafood and cheesy products, or because we spend our vacations with a French expat living in England, or because we have small children and can't wander about as much as other vacationers, but when we go to France, we tend to spend a lot of time preparing meals and hanging out at the table.

Here's the consumption tally from our five days on the coast:
1. market visits - three. We got to know the olive stand family quite well.
2. grocery store visits - three. How I love thee, E.LeClerc.
3. ice cream parlors - four. Did you know, French scoops are thrice the size of Czech scoops? Thus rendering our family favorite of pistachio and chocolate into nearly a meal.
4. lollipop stand - one. Even Caroline, the queen of lollipops, thought one visit to the succette stand enough. The resulting lollipop remains largely intact, unvanquished by many many licks.
5. cafes - three. Mostly for their email connections. And to meet new friends! More on this later.
6. restaurants - three. Because mussels and fries taste much better in a restaurant.
7. home cooked seafood - As Will would say, not enough. In tally though we did a good job of covering the basics: cooking oysters, ray, squid, shrimp, and fish cakes.
8. cheese and yogurt - enough to start our own dairy. Luckily we could make the yogurt ourselves.
9. Czech beer consumed - one case, imported for the occasion.
10. Alsace Cremant - three bottles (we were trying to save some for posterity)
11. Brittany cider - much.

With some trepidation then, yesterday I decided to greet our scales again and see what they might have to tell me. I'm happy to note that after their news I tripped blithley to the grocery store and picked up some goat cheese (driven in from France, approximately six times the cost of E.LeClerc) to celebrate and reminisce.


lizardek said...

Mmmm...I love artichokes, also love pistachio-and-chocolate combos!

countrypeapie said...

lactose intolerance be damned!

really outstanding photographs

lee says if the republicans win, we're moving out of the country -- can we stay on your couch while we find a new place to live? ;)

Kelly said...

Oh how I miss artichokes....big, healthy, looking artichokes :) Did you bring any home???

Julia said...

I didn't since the car was packed to the gills. In retrospect though, I wish I had grabbed a few!

Lucy said...


lenabee said...

Pistachio and chocolate - my ice cream combo favorite too!

(BTW, have you tried out the calamari recipe from Express? I could eat it 7 days a week...)

Julia said...

Just looked it up and that does sound delicious. A good Friday food don't you think?