Today's quote from pages 81-82
And then came December in Paris. Overnight our neighbourhood covered marked, Marche Saint-Quentin, was transformed into the movie set for a Dickens musical, complete with garlands and strings of lights. Our favourite fromagerie put out boxes of tiny quail eggs and three hitherto unfamiliar kinds of chevre, produced only for the Christmas season. I was staggered by a mound of fresh mushrooms, big and ruffled like hats for elderly churchgoing fairies. It was only when the marchand de fruits asked me if I was quite sure I wanted that many that I realized this particular fungus cost the same as our rent.This is also a good post for Weekend Cooking so I am going to be a bit cheeky and link up two Weekend Cooking posts this weekend! Consider it my gift!
Paris is always a materialist's playground, but December is in a class by itself. One day I wandered into the gourmet department of Galeries Lafayette to find that it had sprouted tables piled high with decorative flourishes for holiday baking: jars of edible gold leaf, silver stars, candied violets. The display was designed to tempt the unwary shopper not to gluttony per se - but rather to the pure beauty of food, to the ways it can be decorated and dusted and presented, turned into something that can take your breath away. I instantly succumbed to a wild desire for Staub mini-cocottes, enameled in a shiny burnt crimson. I bought eight of them, kissing the dream of an austere kitchen goodbye. Surely antioxidants taste better in cocottes.