Les recettes

by jemma margaret

My sister keeps months of receipts in her wallet.

This goes to show that she does not buy groceries  in France. Unless, she has a very very very big wallet.

Given the size of my wallet and the extent of my food purchases, I choose to keep my receipts in a different place (the garbage).

While I am not buying more in France, my receipt intake has quadrupled. This is due to a lack of comprehensive inexpensive grocery stores like TJ’s or WF’s where I might make all my purchases for the week (and they might even ask whether or not I want a receipt) as well as the cash registers at the produce markets. I am not accustomed to counting pennies so often. In previous places I have lived, an apple purchase worth exactly $3.07 would be rounded down (California or New York) or rounded up (Vancouver) to something ending in 5 or 0. Here, everyone stays honest and small coins enjoy a wide circulation.

I imagine the market stall receipts are primarily for the accounts of the vendors to calculate the days earnings. Although now that I pause to think about it, considering the vast amount of paperwork required to do anything here I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few people kept a dossier of their fruit and vegetable expenditures. I haven’t yet reached that level of insanity, but I was very grateful to have documentation yesterday when I realized that what I had thought was a rather expensive 200 grams of spinach and mushrooms, turned out to be a mistaken charge of “cresson.” I do love watercress, and maybe should have picked some up. Instead, I returned to the vendor, waited patiently in line again, and managed to communicate (“J’ai acheté seulement les epinards et les champignons.”) enough to be refunded my 2.25 (enough to buy a used book or two baguettes–not enough for a cup of coffee or tea IF you want to sit down). Not only did one receipt come in handy that morning, but I actually pined for another one after a delightful purchase at my new favorite store on earth where I bought two different kinds of dried beans and immediately forgot their names. A bit of internet browsing revealed the one as Haricots de Chevrier, but I am stumped as to the other. Any ideas for a white bean beginning with “Ploj” (that’s what’s written on the bag)?

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