In renewing my panier for 2011, I made an executive decision. I changed the pick-up day to Wednesday rather than Friday (the better to enjoy lab happy hour), and changed my pick-up location from close to home to close to work (the better to stay late in order to prep for Thursday lab meetings). These changes meant that on my way to pick up my vegetables this evening, I also got to explore a new neighborhood – always a good thing in my book.
The institute is in the 15th arrondissement, which is the largest in Paris. I have occasionally branched out from my well-worn route from metro to lab in order to meet friends for dinner or catch a soccer game, but today’s walk was almost entirely new. My favorite part was turning down Rue Lecourbe, which is still decked out for the holidays.
I passed a boulangerie (and forgot to take a photo) that boasted the best croissant in Paris, 2009 and the best baguette in Paris, 2010. I suppose that there have to be many ‘best bakery’ awards, because my favorite bakery also claims to be the 2010 baguette champion. No matter, next week I will be sure to bring my wallet (I had just ducked out from work for a few minutes) so that I can sample – and compare. My life is hard.
I finally made it to the end of Rue Madamoiselle and to the Trait d’Ethique, a small artsy fair-trade shop filled with handmade jewelry, clothing and blankets that also serves as a produce pick-up point. The wares were beautiful and the shopkeepers extremely kind and patient with my stilted French. I will definitely be sure to keep the store in mind (especially as I will be making weekly visits) for upcoming gifting needs. After gathering my bounty, I headed back to the office for a bit more data analysis (yay, my experiment worked!) before calling it a day.
Although we have been experiencing unseasonably warm weather this January (12C today, 56F), the vegetables are still very wintery. I am slowly acquiring a taste for endives – they are often served at the institute’s cafeteria braised in butter or gratined – but I think I would like to eat these raw, as part of a hearty salad (maybe including an apple or two?). Leeks are always welcome and I am considering making this quiche over the weekend to take for lunches next week. This is my first panier to include a grain (legume?) in place of a vegetable and I am quite excited about potential uses for my lentils. This recipe from Mark Bittman’s New Years food column comes to mind, or perhaps the curried lentil recipe included in this week’s panier flier… we’ll see. Lastly, giant beets and parsnips, oh my! I am thinking that, with some lonely potatoes I have sitting around, a platter of roasted root vegetables will be just the thing if/when it starts to feel like winter again. I never thought I would be jealous of the snowstorm that just hit Boston today, but somehow I am… just a little bit.