Thursday, 24 October 2013

An Autumn Sunday in Paris

It's that time of year when the nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping and it's not unusual to awake to discover Paris shrouded in clinging grey mist. When it suddenly becomes easy to find a vélib and the crowds in the metro become a sea of winter black. Winter isn't here yet, but you can feel it coming, and the temptation to prepare for hibernation is strong.

This autumn, however, with memories of how last winter trailed on endlessly into April and already feeling the effects of métro, boulot and not enough dodo,  Understanding Frenchman and I are trying our hardest to resist.

Jam plums ...
but they were delicious fresh,
so the jam hasn't quite happened yet.
 We started our counter-attack on Saturday with a very reasonable grasse matinée until around 9am. (Perhaps it would count as a semi-skimmed morning). After that it was time for a brisk, healthy walk down to the Marché d'Aligre, one of my favourite new Parisian discoveries. Most French markets have some particular charm of their own, and at the Marché d'Aligre, located in the heart of what is traditionally a multicultural, working-class area, it's the sheer diversity of what's available, and all at very reasonable prices.

Can you spot the soggy mushroom?
Food blogging at its most honest!
At the fruit stall where we did most of our purchasing, most things were 1.50 per kilo, including some delicious yellow plums and even kaki, which sometimes cost that much just for a single fruit.We did splash out at the mushroom seller's though, and that turned out to be a bit of a mistake, because the cêpes (porcini mushrooms) were delicious but the girolles were going soft even by the time we cooked them for dinner.

We followed up our healthy shopping with a healthy bike ride in the Bois de Vincenennes. Paris is never a great place for spotting glorious autumn colours - I think it's because it's too warm and wet, and because the pollution turns the leaves grey and brown before they get to be glorious reds, but there were some very pretty yellow beech trees, and these beautiful vines.

I spent the rest of the afternoon making jam, although my production line was a bit limited by the fact that most of my jam jars were  abandoned in the move, followed by a mushroom risotto that I was pretty pleased with in the end. The risotto was definitely improved by the bunch of parsley that the nice man at the mushroom stall threw in for free - yet another bonus point for the Marché d'Aligre!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are trying to make the most of the season. That's the spirit!