Some of the major perks of working in France (and the stuff of legend to my American friends) are the many holidays and vacations standard to the system. During these days and weeks (sometime months, see: August), Paris empties out as everyone heads to the beach, west or south of the city. The metro is almost a pleasure.
So it probably should not have come as such a surprise to me that, during their Spring Break school holiday (the two weeks before Easter), many businesses also closed up shop, including my panier pick-up. Each year the panier goes on vacation for two weeks in the Spring, three weeks in August and two weeks in December. I understand the need for time off as much as the next girl, but in Spring as the rhubarb is just starting to ripen? And then again for the majority of August when stone fruits are at their succulent best? Seriously? In the interim produce-less period I entertain myself with thoughts of my fruits and vegetables on vacation – zucchini sunning themselves on the Cote d’Azur and nectarines avoiding consumption by fleeing to Asia. Cut me some slack; it made me giggle.
In the meantime I wished a fond farewell to those long, cold winter months by ridding my kitchen of the accumulated, leftover stock of apples. Applesauce was made and then turned into coffee cake, or just eaten with a scoop of yogurt for either breakfast or dessert. There were copious amounts of sauce and it turned out pretty tasty; however, if I don’t see or consume another apple before next fall that will be just fine with me.
At about the time that I thought another scoop of applesauce might drive me to commit hara-kiri, the panier returned from its holiday – relaxed and rejuvenated for Spring. I was not quite prepared for the epic lettuce harvest of 2011 (those are two massive heads of green leaf back there), but I was able to give half away and use the rest for SAAM (salad as a meal). The rhubarb was roasted with some citrus and vanilla and was a tart but delicious replacement topping for my yogurt, once the applesauce stock was finally drained. Lastly, the cauliflower, new potatoes and spinach all were featured in a Thai green curry made for Ladies Love Lebowski night, which seemed to be a hit, held shortly before my departure to Nepal.
Now I am on vacation and have stopped my panier pick-up for the interim. This means I’ll get double batches for the two weeks following my return. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they aren’t saving the last of the apples for me.
Note: More adventures in Nepal are forthcoming, however I also wanted to use vacation time to wade through the blog backlog, so there will be alternating Paris/Nepal posts, if all continues to go well.