by jemma margaret
Returning to Paris after an always too short winter’s break, I found the refrigerator entirely empty except for some garlic, a bag of peanuts and pumpkin seeds (mine), a smelly but not expired soft cheese (roomate’s), a pear (mine, and surprisingly still good), and the refrigerator door condiments.
Before leaving I had randomly prepared various dishes to use up my eggs, butter, and produce and stashed these in the freezer. The freezer is surprisingly large given the size of the fridge. In my freezer drawer I had sesame seeds, orange curd, mirepoix (now in a soup in the fridge actually), crunchy spiced walnuts and raisins, roasted hot green peppers, gingersnaps, duckfat, and frozen berries and peas from Picard (not in one bag, d’accord).
So this evening it was time for a bit of a grocery shop. I planned out a route to the organic store not too far from my first apartment on Beaumarchais. Welcome back to Paris–the store had closed down. Thus I shortened my grocery list to basic store items and went to the G20 for cheese and citrus (tried to find some tea for colds or sore throats, but the only “medicinal” teas were for digestion, weight loss, or a flat stomach (not sure how the last one would work)). Then to Picard for frozen spinach and tomatoes (I have heard frightening things about non-organic canned tomatoes, and actually the frozen ones are cheaper too).
While mixing up a soup platform for my newly imported chipotle peppers in adobo, I was quite amused that the frozen spinach was formed into many small green cubes. Seeking further information I read the side of the bag. Unlike the typical product placement type of recipes where most ingredients were indicated by brand name, this recipe for spinach casserole very subtly indicated with footnotes that certain items (onions, garlic, spices) could also be bought along the frozen aisles of Picard. However, most strikingly, while the vegetable measurements were given in exact grams, the second to last step simply called for Béchamel sauce. As if the steps for making that butter, flour, milk mixture would be well known to every potential cook and Picard shopper.
I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.