Saturday, August 16, 2008

Au Marché

We American women have all heard the phrase, “shop like a French woman”. I see it every day in my little chocolate shop. Many sophisticated, modern, individualists enjoy the multisensory experience of patiently selecting real chocolates for their dinner parties, lovers, friends, or clients. I, too, like the thrill of shopping in funky stores and scouring markets. In fact, I’m trying very hard to remember every detail of the small fishing port in the south of France, where we lazily walked the stalls of the outdoor market this summer. The orderly arrangement of eggplants, saffron tinted paella, and sweet local Rosé wine were enough to satiate my senses for a little while. Now home, I’m back to a hectic lifestyle and I’m trying to continue those simple habits like drying my clothes on the line and riding my bike to the grocery store or work and shopping in small quantities. But sometimes like most women who struggle to balance work and family, I find myself numbly shopping for camembert at Costco or drinking hurriedly a cappuccino on my way to work. I get busy. I forget. Luckily, my son Ethan (a.k.a. “Etienne” at French camp) jogged my memory a few days ago in Seattle. We have a quirky tradition upon arriving to Pikes Place Market. Once there, my children and I stand still (no matter how crowded) with our eyes closed and take a huge exaggerated whiff. We challenge each other to test our sense of smell and see who can come up with the most descriptive scent of Seattle. Ethan won, smelling sunflowers, crayfish, peaches, chocolate croissants, ocean, donuts, and yucky cheese. He’s going to shop like a french woman when he’s older- I just know it.

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