Sunday, October 12, 2008

A taste of France

This weekend, we decided to check out Auckland's French market.
Held at La Cigale, in Parnell, the market features organic fruit and vegetables, roasted chickens, cheeses, crepes, and of course, a huge array of breads and pastries. Oh - and puppies too. (No we didn't bring one home!)
Despite the damp conditions, the market was crowded - too crowded really, for parents with a couple of kids in tow (especially when one insists in being pushed around in a buggy).
For some reason, we encountered the rudest people we've seen so far in New Zealand here. I'm not sure why, perhaps it was the rush to beat the crowds for coffee, cheese and wine that saw some market-goers leave their manners at home. We couldn't get near the tasting area, thanks to the hordes tucking into the free samples as if they were breakfast!
Inside, the kids and I found a few seats. Husband was making his way to one I was saving for him, when suddenly, an older man pushed past him then deftly picked up the chair and took off with it, without breaking stride. All without saying a word!
Despite the crowds, we still were able to sample some of the market offerings ... a delicious caramelised onion and feta tart was divine, while a simple lamb sausage in a roll was upgraded to gourmet status with the addition of fried onions, rocket and chutney. C. wolfed down his first taste of raclette - roasted potatos, chicken sausage and onions topped with bubbling hot French cheese. He declared it delicious! (And wasn't I pleased to see our once-fussy eater trying something new?)
H. snacked on everything like a little bird as usual, except when it came to her drink - a Kiwi Cleanser (kiwi fruit, berries, and apple whizzed into a juice). She slurped it down in record time, so it must have been good.
We took home a couple of demi-baguettes and flat bread topped with onion, peppers and garlic ... mmm, delicious.
I'd love to return to La Cigale, but unless I can convince K. to stay home with the kids, I don't think I'll be braving it any time soon. It's just too much of a struggle battling the weather and the crowds with young kids who risk getting knocked over by a stray baguette!
We had intended to spend Sunday at the beach, but after realising that would mean returning to Auckland with the rest of the End-Of-School-Holiday traffic, we decided to have a lazy day instead.
K. fulfilled a promise by taking the Dude to the movies, Journey of the Centre of the Earth. Apparently, it was 'Awesome!' H. wanted to stay home with me, claiming she still felt a bit sick. Secretly, I think she was worried the movie would be too scary. We enjoyed having some girl time.
We ended the weekend with our new Auckland family tradition - K's Sunday Roast night. This time, my clever husband did a pork roast with crackling and apple sauce, crispy roast potatoes, and vegies. Jamie Oliver eat your heart out!

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