Thursday, May 7, 2009

First 2009 appearance of a summer stand-by

On average, we probably eat salade Niçoise once every ten days once the warm weather sets in.. Yesterday and today, it's been 26 degrees. Today was another day at Brico Depot. Those who really want to know the gory details, skip to the end of this post. 
   We left well before 9 a.m. for the drive to Carcassonne (which I'll rhapsodize about at some other time. Let's just say that today the vines are in new green leaf, savage yellow mustard is blooming in the fields and by the roadside and the first scarlet poppies are in flower).   
   Tonight's supper was salade niçoise. Put a pot of water on to boil. Add some quartered potatoes, red, white, doesn't matter. When the water comes to a simmer, throw in one egg per person, piercing the shell with a needle so it doesn't send out wisps of white. Add green beans if you have them. Or asparagus. Drain everything once it's cooked and let it cool. 
   Make a bed of lettuce. Upend a can of drained tuna at stage centre. Slice some red pepper, green onions and tomatoes. Those go on too. Shell and halve the eggs and splosh some mayonnaise on them topped with anchovy fillets. Strew everything else around the perimeter. Garnish photogenically with black olives. I always serve the vinaigrette on the side but it's up to you. Anyway, enjoy. All you need otherwise is bread, and maybe fruit and cheese for afters. 
   For those of you who hung in for the Brico Depot segment. We spent almost two hours there this week. I'd worked out that we needed two 10-litre cans of blanc cassé paint for my office, the landing, our bedroom and divers other places. Only problem: blanc cassé doesn't come in anything larger than a 2.5 litre can and a number of cans this small would be excruciatingly expensive. Together the paint-mixer lady and I figured that there was a custom colour that was pretty damned close (although we did only buy one ten-litre can to be on the safe side). Meanwhile Peter worked out which custom colour he wanted mixed for his studio walls. 
    And then the lights all went out which meant, of course, that the paint mixing machine wasn't working. 
   Eventually it did. Eventually we left with that colour, plus a terra cotta colour for the downstairs bathroom, and only had a minor glitch at the checkout when they refused to believe that we actually owned the Brico Depot carrybag we bought last week for 95 centimes... We also bought a new shower fitting for the downstairs bathroom, putty for the many windows that need replacing and a couple of paint rollers. And you thought it was all sitting in the sun sipping rosé. 

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