Here is Nicolas pretending not to understand me. “Where is the fri-gi-daire American”, I say. “What, what”, says he, trying to pretend that he’s heading into heart surgery instead of retrieving some of his tools through the window.
An American refrigerator in France doesn’t necessarily mean an American brand. It’s just a normal sized refrigerator. An American refrigerator can hold at least a week’s worth of food in the refrigerator section and about 2 weeks in the freezer section. A French refrigerator is sized to conserve energy, period. The only real reason that I can see that the French decided to go for refrigeration is that it added a bit of modernity to their decor. Heck, they shop about every day and never have any left overs because they only buy exactly what they need! Boy Howdy. It’s un-American!
Anyway……The French refrigerator is narrow. This is a good thing because it can fit into the teeny, tiny little spaces that would normally contain a potted plant. The French refrigerator can hold a day and a half’s worth of food. This actually works out because the market days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. People usually have a big family meal on Sunday; croissants, baguette and coffee on Monday morning and then stampede to the market, because there are no leftovers.
Oh! There’s the dog, but we’ll talk about her later.
The American refrigerator is at the warehouse waiting for Nicolas to build a really cool box for it. The box recesses it, hiding the sides so that all you see is the door; the door which has an ice maker and a water dispenser. Since I don’t have a stand alone freezer, the ice maker is absolutely necessary for the ice needs of our family. A drink with ice here means one marble sized piece of ice; again it’s because of the size of the refrigerators. If they made more than one tray of ice, that could take up half a day’s food space and somebody, God forbid, might have to go to the supermarket where everything is not farm grown, handpicked, cut when ordered, still furry and un-plucked.
Today is Friday so I’m heading to the market. The market is a covered, indoor market and is about 4 minutes walk from my house, situated on the town square, opposite the cathedral that was built in 1140. Cafes, bars and restaurants line the sides and in the summer, chairs and tables fill the square. The market has several butchers(pork, beef, game, offal, lamb and horse), 2 fish stalls, numerous fruit and vegetable stalls, fresh eggs, charcuterie(sausage, ham, pate), cheese, bread, pastries and more. I’m going to the Vietnamese lady’s stall today. She makes Asian specialties at her home and sells them in the market, along with soy sauces, spices and noodles. I saw her this morning when walking the dog, her house is about a minute away from mine, and she told me that she made crispy pork belly so I’m going to swing by. Chablis tonight.