Question – What is the connection between fruit salad and car boot sales?
Answer – It is the bowl.
I found this rather lovely lead crystal bowl for 10 euro (around £7) at the local ‘vide grenier’ (literally ‘empty attic’)
In the UK from spring to autumn, ‘car boot sales’ take place up and down the country almost every Saturday or/and Sunday. There are designated sites (farmer’s fields in the country, car parks in the towns) and they are exactly what the name implies. People arrive with a car boot full of unwanted household goods, they pay a fee to the landowner and set up stall next to their car. In fact this is how I got rid of most of my surplus possessions before moving to France.
In France however these sales take place only twice a year, and on a designated street which is closed to traffic for the day, so it is more the people who live on or near this particular street who benefit (many open up their gardens to lay out their wares!)The other major difference is the attitude of the sellers. The French are much less ‘entrepreneurial’ than the Brits (even though this is a French word, in French it means a skilled worker such as a plumber or electrician who is contracted by another firm, while in English it implies someone with a flair for business and making money!) The Brits are much more open to offers and take the attitude that if you no longer want or need something, then it is in fact worthless, so to let something go ‘for a song’ is preferable to going home with a full car boot and empty pockets!
The lovely lady who sold me this bowl however had exactly the right attitude. She was asking 20 euro in the morning but when I returned in the late afternoon and offered 10, she took it (I am sorry that I didn’t also take the larger ‘trifle’ bowl that is in the photograph also!)I love fresh fruit salad – it is different every time that I make it depending on what is in season and in my fruit bowl (be it strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, melon, mango, peach, apricot, orange, apple or grapes) but I always include fresh mint from my window box and my own dressing (syrop) to give it a little ‘je ne sais quoi’
A good selection of fruits of different colours either sliced, cubed or balled
Fresh mint leaves finely chopped
1 tablespoon of citrus olive oil – I use ‘Oliviers & Co.’* olive oil with mandarin and lime.
1 tablespoon of a fruity vinegar – I use ‘Oliviers & Co.’* apple fruity condiment, but IKEA apple wine vinegar with lingonberry works well, but just use a dessertspoon as it is quite strong.
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Layer up the fruit in a large attractive serving bowl, sprinkling a little freshly chopped mint between each layer
Pour the olive oil, then the vinegar and finally the lime juice over the fruit and ‘toss’ together to evenly distribute.
Cover with cling film and leave in a refrigerator for at least four hours to allow the vinegar to draw the juice from the fruit, to make a delicious tangy, fruity syrup.
Serve on its own or with a little serving of ‘Lindy’s fruit Chantilly’(see next post) on the side
If you have a ‘sweet tooth’ then you can distribute a dessertspoon of castor sugar sprinkled lightly in between the layers of fruit, but I prefer a fresher taste and try to avoid sucrose if possible.
*Oliviers & Co. products are available from stores or by mail order in France and the US,