Saturday, July 15, 2017

To Market, to Market

15 July 2017

Saturday, market day.
Bus up-hill. Another old woman is waiting for the #8, with her rolling shopping bag. We chat. She and her husband live alone, except for occasional visits from her children. Her knees are bothering her. Mine, too.
We arrive. I walk in a counter clockwise direction. First, this takes me past the bakers. I heard the other day that merely smelling food can cause your body to retain what you’ve consumed. The odor of pizzas and tartes, fresh from portable ovens, was worth it.
The preparation of gruyere and cream tart.

Then the cheese-mongers.  They come from France and Italy, as well as our canton, Vaud, and others.  I am eating with my eyes, but cannot resist the blue eyes of one cheese vendor who has Caramel Gruyere---aged so long that it takes on a sweet, nutty flavor. We chat in English; he’s traveled to about 15 states. We discuss politics and multi-lingual Switzerland. I gather that the French-speaking zone of the country is the most liberal. I have to start paying more attention to the newspapers here.
I stroll farther to the bricolage vendors. (Is that where our word bric-a-brac comes from?) I climb the steps of the Museum and can see the vendor tents spread out, like some medieval encampment.
Unpacking for sale. Could those be lotus? Orientalism in Lausanne?

     Now I wonder thru the center of the open square past the fisherman’s truck. He has filet of the famous Lac Leman perch, as well as lake fish from Neufchatel. I am tempted but know I won’t get them home quickly. Besides, it strikes me that we should eat our first lake fish at one of the restaurants that serve it by the shore, cooked in butter.
I begin the descent and encounter the vendor who delivers a weekly C.S.A. box of seasonal produce. I get their card and bundles of mint and thyme.
Shopping bag quite heavy, I climb on the bus.
            At the apartment, I’m learning culinary French, the names of vegetables, herbs and spices.  I’m using a cookbook that gives ingredients in metric, but that is the least of the mysteries. Celeri rave isn’t in my tiny dictionary or tinier vocabulary. Even the supermarket seems to call it something else.
Ingredients and instructions.

            Lausanne is friendly to me. Am I falling for the French language with all its cognates of lost English words? The young helper at one of the farm stands told me that they were not organic, but parsimonious with their use of chemicals. I love that word. It smacks of my WASP ancestors, those parsimonious Puritans of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. If I were to use it in my speech, would I be labeled a snob or an egghead? Maybe such words can be used, if employed with humor.

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