SAM_1627 (2)

I am amazed and thrilled to announce that the Ukraine has just become the 50th country in which my blog is read! So to celebrate, I am reblogging one of my very first posts. HUGE thank you for all of you out there who have supported and encouraged me on this little journey. 

Another major difference that I had to adjust to in the way I shopped for food when I moved here was ‘The Market’

Very picturesque and romantic, and all very well if you are just mooching around having fun on holiday, but faced with this as a real shopping option caused me to break out in a sweat and come home empty-handed (or with an empty large provincial style shopping basket, or beat up old shopping trolley – if you’re going to do this, you must look the part)

market 1

This was due to a number of reasons:-

– My lack of French, so I was confined to pointing as I did not know the names for most of the produce, and if I did, my accent was SO off piste that I might have well been talking Chinese

– My utter lack of understanding of metric weights and measures

– My Brit tendency to queue!

Before moving to Paris, I lived in the lovely northern city of Lille for 5 months, and my friend Annie, realizing my fear, began leaving me shopping lists in French to buy things from the very small, very friendly, queue forming, un Parisian food market, which for me, even this was daunting (to tell the truth, I always found St John’s market in Liverpool a little bit overwhelming also……)

This little exercise was going swimmingly, and I was getting the hang of asking for apples and potatoes, when she threw eggs into the equation…..

Now I knew that 1 egg was ‘un oeuf’ (pronounced almost as ‘enough’) But Annie asked for 12……….wracking my brains as I got nearer to the front of the queue, I could not for the life of me think of the plural for eggs…

So I asked the man for “un oeuf, douze fois” 1 egg 12 times! This caused uproar amongst the other shoppers, but I proudly went home with not 12 but 13 eggs and the newfound vocabulary ‘ douze oeufs’ (pronounced almost as ‘uh’)

Today, I am not phased by my regular Sunday morning trip to one of 4 weekly markets that we are lucky enough to have here at Joinville. And in fact one of the criteria that would influence my choice of location if returning to the UK to live, would be the proximity to a local farmers market. Feast your eyes on some of the wonderful sights from this morning…….

market 2marekt 4

marekt 3

I could not resist those gorgeous red peppers, so here is a nice simple starter recipe that I use regularly

Recipe roasted pepper starter


Half  a red pepper per person
4 or 5 cherry or baby plum tomatoes per person
1 or 2 black olives per person
Half a teaspoon of capers per person
Olive oil


Slice the peppers in half lengthways, removing the seeds, but retaining the stalk if possible (purely aesthetic) and place cavity side up into an oiled brulee dishes or similar shallow ovenproof dish

Fill the cavity with either whole tomatoes, or cut in two if too big

Break up the olives and scatter them between the tomatoes

Fill any spaces with the capers

Roughly break up the mozzarella and scatter this on the top

Drizzle with a good glug of olive oil

Place on a baking tray and cook in a medium oven for around 30 minutes

I usually put a part baked baguette in the oven at the same time so that it is nice and crusty to eat alongside and mop up any juices……….

marekt peppers



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