I can't believe there is a stigma about cooking for oneself. The preposterous idea "I don't want to cook if only for me." I actually find pleasure in it. At least you can cook for yourself and not have to worry if the other people like it or not. I've been making all sorts of soups for myself since it has been cold and because they are just so darn easy to make! When I was living in L'Estaque, I sometimes took the 36 bus home from le métro station Bougainville. The bus drives through some shady looking neighborhoods complete with trash, run down buildings, street vendors selling stuff that they probably picked up from the tops of their dressers and inside their closets. This neighborhood may not be a place you would want to visit with your grandmother. The bus would pass by and I would be thinking "No siree bob, I will not be getting off at this stop-ever."
Well, I met a wonderful fellow assistant who told me "There's this great market! Want to join!?" I, being very excited about shopping and in desperate need of some produce, agreed. So where might you guess do we end up? Yes, in this shady neighborhood I vowed never to visit. I may sound disappointed, but ladies and gentlemen, no no no, I was tickled fancy! Ok, yes all the undesirable traits were present, but the market was magical! Us three ladies walked through the market, marveling at what the vendors had to offer. We were definitely the minority of the bunch, I could feel eyes from all directions.
The outdoor vendors didn't have much that held our interest, bins of shampoo, umbrellas, italian coffee makers, but then we entered the indoor market. Inside this large warehouse were booths and rooms with an assortment of vendors. It was awesome. If I were to summarize, it was a busy, north african type market. There was "street food," there were spice shops, rugs, live chickens, kitchen supplies, you name it, but most and best of all, there was produce. Yes my friends, tons of it. I picked up some eggplant (reminds me of my mom) carrots, lemons, and some clementines. I had no idea what I was going to make with it, but they were just so delightful looking. When I paid at the check stand (yes there was a little non-operating conveyor belt next to the cashier) you know how much all that goodness cost? 1€85 (about $3). I also picked up spices. Piment fort (spicy pepper) and some cumin. It was legen- what for it... dary.