We experimented with a new soup recipe a couple of days ago at the deli. We have our favorite soups...but fresh ideas are the life blood of any business, so we decided to try one. It was a Parsnip pear and garlic soup. Quite appropriate for the end of January, and from all accounts, a hit with customers. We always have to garnish the soup, before serving it, and the recipe called for a garnish of fresh thyme. Odd, we thought, as there was no thyme used in the soup. Nevertheless, someone made a run to our local produce market, and I began chopping the fresh thyme. I noticed that the package said " Product of Columbia ". Also odd, as I have passed countless greenhouses in this area that specialize in fresh herbs. Do we really have to import thyme all the way from South America? That herb was still in my mind, as I made a quick run to my local Price Smart Foods to pick up carrots and celery. I usually shop at The Bread Box, a small produce market about 6 blocks from my place, but it was Sunday, and I wanted to make some chicken soup...so Price Smart was my only option. I started to read the country of origin for all the vegetables...and was dismayed by the lack of homegrown produce. I started to re-think the chicken soup thing, but was determined...and purchased celery from Mexico and carrots from the USA. Not as far as Columbia...but strange all the same. I know the politics and economics of Canada and these other countries determine what we eat...but the food we put into our mouths on a daily basis is becoming less and less flavourful. It is no wonder that the Community Garden is making a huge comeback.
The P-man and I went out for lunch to Le Vol au Vent this afternoon, and had a nice conversation with a lady who had just returned from Paris on business, and was having a glass of wine, a salad a steak with peppercorn sauce, and frites. She said that she was in Paris for 8 days on business, and lost 3 pounds. She said that she ate well everyday. Bread with real butter, croissant, etc, and said that she felt that because the food in Europe was so much more flavourful and filling, you could eat more and enjoy it. It was not like North American food, where you could eat and eat, and feel as if you had only consumed salt and sugar and fat...not real food.
I had spicy calamari, and a chicken and mushroom vol au vent with a mixed green salad with baby spinach and frissee, with a homemade dressing full of garlic and anchovies, and olive oil. The P-Man had cassoulet, after the calamari. We both had wine, and sat and chatted with Nanna and Michel for an hour and a half while we talked about food and family, and the good old days when we were all much younger.
I suppose the chicken soup will have to wait until tomorrow!