Thursday, February 08, 2007

Everything comes...

Back in the autumn I wrote about my frustration at not being able to buy organic produce delivered to my door, all fresh and sparkling. I was not able to trek into the centre of Montpellier to the Arceaux marché on a Saturday morning, and no one seemed to be offering a home-delivery service.

All I had to do was wait though. Instead of hunting, I just expected something to fall from the sky, and it always ends up doing this. The other week, a flyer was put into my letterbox telling me of a home-delivery service of fruit and vegetables available in my area. Ha! I rang them up, and spoke to a very personable chap. I know it's de rigueur when talking about French contacts to say 'Oh, yes, Marcel the plumber' or 'Pierre le maçon' as though you're in with them because you're vaguely identifying who they are, but I'm going to refrain from this.

I had a good chat on the phone with PersonableChap and established that the cultivation was not organic, but raisonné which means that they use a minimum of stuff to keep the nastiest bugs at bay, but avoid gratuitous chemical abuse, so it's half way between organic and regular production. He told me the 10-12kg box would cost 28Eur and there would be a good variety of fruit and vegetables, and I could change anything I didn't like, like okra I suppose. Can't stand the stuff and would refuse to cook it, touch it or let it in through the door. I had it in Egypt and found its texture that of snail slimy gloup, and the taste very nasty. So, no okra. Not a problem.

We were delivered of our box this evening - yes, at home, after my working hours. Amazing! PC is a jolly chap, was interested in the British household and stayed for a cosy chat. I told him about French markets that have been springing up in the London area on a regular basis, and how they charge the earth for a large pot of Norma's Dijon mustard which costs 43cts down the road. I don't know whether I planted a seed, but I hope not. I don't want PC disappearing off now that I've found him!

This evening came the Great Tasting. We had pancakes with leek and onion sauce, served with a side salad (and the boys had frankfurters as the day's crappy eating). I must say, it was all beautifully fresh and crispy. The carrots were delicious and the salad tasty (quite apart from the marvellous vinaigrette...). Great stuff, then. I hope this will encourage us to up our veggie intake (well, the boys') as it's so easy, and very exciting finding out what's in the box. I love surprises!

So you see, never despair. You never know what's around the corner and things fall from the sky all the time (except promotions...). It may not be gold dust, but the veggie service is certainly worth it's weight.


  1. Can't believe you have no use for okra, Sarah. J does me a fantastic gumbo ( Creole recipe, she says, with prawns etc) that just wouldn't be the same without those little rounds of okra. Sure, there are gums in okra, but they probably help to give some body to the soup. Most of the commercial soup recipes have plant gums as thickeners -tragacanth etc.

  2. I ate it in molokhia - slimy, sitting in its slime on a bowl of rice with chicken. Mega-YUK! It kinda put me off for life.

  3. I use to have to eat it to be polite when I lived in Nigeria. I thought it was disgusting - like green mucus. They call it "draw soup" there.

    Oh yuk yukky YUK

  4. It sounds horribly British. Big Brother decides which vegetables you eat. We have two wonderful fruit and veg shops where I choose what I eat. Long may it stay so, and keep the Brits out.

  5. You are obviously the type who looks at calendar pages before the month, Richard.

    As long as I can ditch things I don't like for something else, I'm all for the box. It may encourage us to try different things too, and be inventive with what's available. Anything to perk up the tedious nature of planning everyday meals.


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