Sometimes, I truly hate doing the weekly shopping.
I try to time it so the store is the least busy, meaning that I'm checking out around 1:00pm when every proper French person is sitting down to their 3 course lunch.
Unfortunately, that means that things like shelf restocking and floor sweeping are also going on.
I was in the produce section, looking for green garlic (having bought out the entire supply at the little green grocer I go to first). Some bright bulb had decided it was more decorative than vegetable and, rather than having it grouped together in a logical place, had tossed it about the entire produce department…. And very little of it at that.
As I stopped to look about, an angry employee came at me with a broom and demanded I and my trolley move to the other side of the aisle.
She needed to sweep.
No sooner had I done so than another angry employee, this one on the big floor cleaning machine, came up behind me and demanded I move.
I was already pissed off that I had to track down the green garlic one stalk at a time, and now I was trapped between two opposing cleaners, both demanding that I get out of their way, which was impossible because the other was in MY way.
I felt like a pull toy between two dogs.
I acquiesced and maneuvered out of their respective ways.
They then proceeded to have a chat with each other.
Thoroughly disgruntled and vowing to boycott the store forever, I went to the cashier.
It being lunch time, very few were open; it being Easter weekend the lines stretched on forever.
Never let it be said that the store would open up more lanes because they were busy. The customer should know and accept that it will be busy and have patience.
At supermarkets in France one bags one's own groceries…. And one brings the bags to do it.
It's usually a frantic race for the customer to finish putting their stuff on the belt at one end, then race through and get it bagged at the other while the cashier sits and serenely scans the items.
The American in me demands that I finish bagging at the same time she finishes scanning. I don't want to be the one holding up the line.
Not true of the French who are both leisurely and methodical.
I finally get close enough to the cashier to monitor the proceedings.
There is a lovely, older woman having a bit of difficulty bagging her groceries. The cashier got up and started helping her, filling her bags. But the bags were too heavy for her to lift into her trolley. The woman ahead of me moved ahead and helped get everything neatly packed into the trolley.
All the time the three were working, they were chatting and laughing.
It was nice.
No one, ahead or behind me, was upset by the delay.
Maybe I won't boycott the store after all.
Besides, they always have an ample supply of puff pastry (unlike some other stores)
This makes a light and crispy pizza – and is so quick and easy it should be considered fast food…
Perfect for dinner after playing Easter Bunny.
Puff Pastry Pizza with Prosciutto
Use regular 'pizza' mozzarella for this, as the fresh balls have too much moisture in them and make a soggy crust.
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup (4oz, 125gr) shredded or sliced mozzarella for cooking or pizza
4 thin slices Prosciutto, (3.5oz, 100gr)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Lay the pastry crust out on a baking sheet.
Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible, 8 – 10 slices per tomato. Tear Prosciutto into small pieces. Arrange the tomato slices on the pastry. Lay the Prosciutto on top. Sprinkle with herbs, then cheese. Bake in a preheated oven, 400F (200C) for 20 – 25 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown.
for April 2 we have Sole with Browned Butter and Capers, Emerald Soup, Roast Leg of Lamb, Pasta with Leftover Lamb and White Beans, Chicken with Bacon and Mushrooms, Stir-Fried Turkey with Spring Vegetables….
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