A Nursery Rhyme

… with a slight modification …

Incey wincey spider climbed up the spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
Incey wincey spider climbed the spout again.

Today, regrettably, we seemed to be missing out on the "out came the sun" bit. The rain was a little unscheduled too, really, since we hadn’t moved on yesterday. Pattern broken.

We didn’t need much shopping but we did need a working wi-fi so, rather than sit in the caravan with faces as long as a poplar tree, we drove back into Niort to visit the unadvertised McDonalds again. Neither was it "sundae de saison" weather so we opted for two espressos. While I was playing "big spender" and buying these, Carol found a suitable table and tried connecting to McWiFi. Wonderful! The previously McBroken McWiFi had been McSorted and was McWorking. Several quick clackety-clacks on the keyboard and our outstanding four blog posts were published and we’d tidied up our email inboxes.

For some reason we could also access Météo France unfettered and it looks as though, after today’s grizzly weather, we may have a couple of reasonable days. Sunday looks pants, though. In fact, it looks as though a nasty depression is heading for northern Europe for the beginning of next week. We’ll have to keep an eye on where we should be.

Maraichine Since it’s a naff day and there isn’t much else to write about, let’s turn to food. It isn’t just making food out of unusual ingredients, specialities like anguilles (eel) and rigondin (coypu), that distinguishes individual areas of France, it is also the way an area treats or presents regular, day-to-day food items. Here in the Marais Poitevin, they have a loaf of bread called a maraichine which resembles a baguette but has strangely forked ends. ("White man bake with forked bread".) The flour is different, too – it has some small seeds in it, so it isn’t simply a presentation affectation.

Grilled chicory, raw ham and goat cheese Keeping the foodie theme going, for lunch, we tried cheering ourselves up with some grilled chicory (a.k.a. Belgian endive), goat cheese and jambon cru (raw ham). While we’re at it, let’s have a little grumble about rip-off Britain prices. Over here, six or seven good sized heads of chicory prepackaged in a bag: about €2.50. In England, two or three small heads of chicory in a bag: about £1.70 (if you can find it). Roughly the same price for less than half the goods.

The evening meal will be (yes, I’m writing this early), come hell or high water (probably the latter), a Weber-roasted joint of pepper-encrusted fillet of veal accompanied by céleri rémoulade (celeriac with a mustard mayonnaise) and taboulé. The veal will be roasted under the rain-shade if necessary, where we may well be glad of the heat thrown out by good ol’ portable Weber.

For the insatiably curious, the yellow creation backing the bread photograph is our outside, plasticized, washable table cloth depicting olives and sunflowers; very Provençale. The dark red creation under the grilled chicory is one of our two inside real material table cloths, both the same material, depicting olives and cicadas; also very Provençale. There are some very pleasing, sunny table cloth materials available over here.

(I had to write this early before the vino plonko rosé took effect.)

Posted in France, 2008
One comment on “A Nursery Rhyme
  1. Rosemary says:

    Is there an animal entombed in the bread? A long rabbit?? PS _ thanks for info on tablecloths, which are lovely.

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