Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Alsa

We're leaving France, quite soon.
I've been here for 12 years.
I arrived with a rucksack, I'll be leaving with a family.  How did that happen?
Having spent the last years yearning for fish and chips on a Friday night, a bag of chocolate covered raisins and other nutritional (ahem) comfort food that has yet to make it over the channel, I'm now realising that I will really miss many of the foodstuffs I take for granted here.  And not just the obvious things - the abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, the lovely restaurant up the road where we go for a plat du jour on a Monday lunchtime...No, I mean the really little things. 

These little pink sachets are just one of those things.  It's levure chimique, which doesn't sound that great, but I only recently discovered that it's the equivalent of baking powder.  This means I've been able to make all the recipes I thought I couldn't do because I didn't have any baking powder.  And I've also realised that it puts the "raising" into self-raising flour, so I can get double mileage out of the normal flour. 

I love the colour, the vintage design and the little figure holding up her patisserie, a sort of Mrs Beeton crossed with the Statue of Liberty.  Cooking with this means embracing the "au pif" approach, so I always feel like a real pro when I tip a packet into my yoghurt cake...
Ah, I'll miss you, Alsa!

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