Let's see, what have we been up to?
1. Made falafels. The NYT's Mark Bittman (The Minimalist) showed how to in a video. We followed the method but winged the quantities of ingredients. Ours turned out green, fresh-tasting and moist, the green was from loads of parsley. They were also too garlicky, next time we'll halve the quantities. I like my falafel in sandwiches, and assembling it was equally easy- add salad, tahini, yoghurt and melty roasted aubergines.
2. Got bored with eating strawberries. Now it's plums and apples. Still waiting for rhubarb. And I am in a major pamplemousse phase, right now there's three varieties in the fruit basket. We are eating ever so healthily these days. Hardly any pastries, cakes, pates and only a bit of cheese. The fruits and vegetable baskets in the pantry is piled high with beautiful produce which gets depleted quickly, it all tastes delicious see, even the boring old cucumbers and beans. This is the benefit of living in a country that grows its own food.
3. Erm, the other day we made honey and yoghurt muffins but did not have any baking soda. So I doubled the quantity of baking powder and folded in some whipped egg whites in the vain hope of giving the cakes some 'lift'. The muffins emerged scone-like with weird bubbles. But strangely enough, the kid and dogs loved them.
blah blah blah, so boring. Let's talk about something else. Such as.....shopping baskets and bags!
In France, and most of Europe I would imagine, when you buy things at the bakeries, markets, etc, they don't always give you a bag or plastic carrier. Breads are wrapped in paper, fruits in dinky paper pockets, and well, if you are not prepared, it can get very unwieldy. People bring their own baskets or 'chariots' -tall, waterproof-cloth covered trolleys with wheels- to do their shopping.
This is our chariot. It is actually a made-in-Japan dog stroller, complete with breathable panels and many flaps and buttons to suit the weather. It is expensive but worth it, and it isn't available here. The dogs take turns to sit inside but most of the time we use it when we go to the market. It has 4 wheels and can take up to 12kg comfortably, is not too wide as to be inconvenient for other shoppers, and quite smart looking, as the admiring glances and comments from the locals can verify. Very useful for the heavy stuff like meats and potatoes. And even more useful when it rains, the shopping stay drier than us humans.
On our coat rack there is also a selection of marketing bags. The green one was bought at BHV for about 4 euros, the Pocky bag was from Sungei Wang in KL and the pink striped bag was a mistake 'fashion' buy from 5 years ago. These are good for carrying breads and delicate vegetables.
And because I always end up buying something after school or between other errands, I keep a foldaway bag inside my handbag. This is a nifty example from BHV,
about 4 5 euros (the price went up since I last visited, blimey!). It comes with a little bag with snap buttons as well as a clip to attach to say, an appendage or ring clasp from the main handbag. My fourth sister bought a yellow one when she was here, her friend liked it so much she gave it away. I have to go get her a replacement unit soon.
The bag inside, unfurled. It is big enough for baguettes and supplies for a quick dinner. There are similar examples of this bag sold in household stores like neighbourhood 'drogeries' and Muji.