|"The circus animals are not for sale"|
This morning when the bugle sounded at dawn, it was cold and overcast outside.
Over breakfast, I was hoping this was the last bit of crankiness left over from the weather temper tantrum we'd been having all week that involved high winds, thunder, lightning, stuff blowing around everywhere and rain that seeped in under our front door.
Saturday is my favourite day of the week. When I was a kid it was because I got to watch cartoons but as a grown up, it's because I get to go the market to buy food. So the cool, grey day and my moody mood didn't stop me from jumping out of bed and making my way to the Menton market. I just felt a bit melancholic and had a craving for comfort food like mashed potatoes and pie.
Figs, walnuts, pears, squash, root vegetables, cabbage, and mushrooms dominated the scene this morning. When you stop and think about it, fall is mostly about what comes from the trees and from under the earth.
On Saturdays, the Menton market is fortified with locals who bring all sorts of interesting treats with them. Sometimes the goodies are edible and sometimes they're not.
Today someone brought a portable "fund raising" petting zoo. For a few centimes, you could pet a piglet and a baby goat. I'm always a bit conflicted when I see animals being used like this but if it saves the piglet and the goat from the soup pot, I'm all for it.
One vendor was selling her "Clémadrine" which she explained was a fruit from a mandarin tree on which she'd grafted some clementine branches. I was a bit dubious but I bought some anyway. They were about the same size as a mandarin but a bit juicer and sweeter than usual. Delicious. I just hope there are more where those came from and she grafted a lot of branches on that tree.
Another woman was selling little Granny Smith apples. I love that the French call Granny Smith apples, "Granny." The surprise was that these Grannies were grown in Menton and until I saw them, I'd always thought that Menton was too warm to grow apples. These proved otherwise. The apples were crisp, fresh and as locavore as you can get: they were grown on the same street as our seaside shack.
The Chapellierie or, "hat shop" was doing brisk business from people who arrived under-dressed and thought a pretty, warm hat would take care of the problem.
With the Fall season unfolding as it should, I'm looking forward to picking up other other earthy treats to cook with, all bundled up of course.
Must dash, the timer for the apple pie just rang!
|Goat cheese from my favourite cheese vendor|
|Local figs and dangerous prickly pears|
|Pink garlic from Lautrec, Potiron squash|
|Fresh local walnuts and Fijoa|
|And a cat|