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Thursday, 26 June 2014

End of food; end of hol

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 S├Ęte 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.


Rouchswalwe said...

Tell the Zachster we're all mobilising for the Germany v. USA game today ... it's going to be a wild one.

Mussels! Funny how, before I knew the language, I learned words for delicious foods first and foremost when I moved to Japan.

Stella said...

(I am having some trouble posting this morning.....apologies if I show up more than once.)

Do I detect a hint of wistfulness? The best vacations leave us satisfied and enriched, often in ways not immediately apparent. Only as memories unravel will you discover what a fulfilling time you've just had. Laundry awaits! Travel well.

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (zS): Wild? Nah. more like placid. On your behalf I watched the second half. Saw a German team devote their infinite skills to ensuring they never made a mistake. Saw a US team standing off in defence, giving the German acres of space to roam in. According to the pundits - all of whom admired the US team disproportionately - it was a great game. But the US had only one shot on goal - count them: one! - and that occurred in the last minute. I loathe soccer and the atmosphere it brings with it, but if you're really interested watch one of the South American teams - undisguised passion. Alas, Uruguay will never be same in this World Cup - Suarez has been banned for nine games for biting an Italian defender. The third time this has happened - once in Britain where he plays for Liverpool.

Stella: Wistfulness? Perhaps. I had other things on my mind and was not at my best. The sense of unity after the karting was a magic moment but it was just that - a moment. Have booked the villa again for next year. I worry about the sunsets - they were elegiac.

Blonde Two said...

Oh oysters, oysters. In my head, these can only be eaten in New Zealand. As I am not travelling down under this year, thank you for reminding me that they can be obtained in other hemispheres.