|Grandad doing his duty by Zach: Translating interminable soccer articles (about which he knows nothing) from L'Equipe colour mag.|
|Bella: Dressed to kill, obviously|
At the end of the holiday the exotic food we acquired impulsively is eaten up. But the impulsive act cannot be entirely suppressed, A van equipped with a weedy loudspeaker tours the village and announces something which I do not catch. OS says to me, “Bella (her daughter) may not know French but she recognised the word for mussels.” And we're off on foot in the scorching heat.
The mussels will be stuffed (farcies). I look at the van's vast mussel container and try to guess how many I'll need for six people. Foolish speculation, simply ask the guy who's selling. “Two and a half kilos,” he says. We lack parsley as does the village's tiny green-grocery. But you can't have everything. The mussels are being prepared as I write, garlic blowing its own trumpet.
SEASONAL Hot weather can cut the need for bulky food, bolognese sauce (qv) excepted. Soup fills the lunchtime bill – mainly vegetable, sold in waxed cartoons. But I made a mistake a couple of days ago. Savoyard soup, from the mountains, sounded OK but turns out to be invalid pap. Main constituents: potatoes and an unnamed cheese, the former dominating the latter. What remains will probably thicken something liquid. Or be chucked out.
BOUZIGUES A small port near Sète specialising in fish restaurants. Last year I had daurade (sea bream) and saw no reason to change my order. VR went for the menacingly named loup de mer (sea bass rather than sea wolf) and OS for lotte (monkfish). An odd phenomenon with fish; the portions may be small – certainly when compared with meat – but they are remarkably filling. Oysters to start with, of course; anything else wouldn't be cricket.
|Darren: uncharacteristically grim. A rock of reliability: knows the garbage collection times, hands me a cool Leffi when I most need it.|