part 2 of my oh so beautiful and perfect day in quebec. (part 1 is here.)
n introduced me to the most delicious veggie burger ever. then she had things to do, so i explored quebec city for the rest of the afternoon.
but 4:30 rolls around, and it hits me… if i want to buy things at the farmer’s market, i need to do it soon because i knew deep down in my heart that farmer’s markets don’t stay open very late. so i high tail it as fast as i can to the marché.
“madame, je vais fermer dans cinq minutes” says the first lady i see selling strawberries.
i’m nervous. what!? nononononono, please don’t close on me!
“okay, j’achète les fraises!” and off i go with a huge basket of the most delicious strawberries ever.
oh no, i wasn’t done. a good fruit needs a good fromage to go with it! so i kept scurrying around the market finding people who were still open.
“qu'est-ce que c'est?!?” i’d never seen them before. [what’s this?]
“cerise de terre, madame,” replies the shopkeeper. [cherries of the earth, miss]
“cerise!???? vraiment!!!???? je n’ai jamais vu les cerises comme ça!! j’aime beaucoup les cerises! okay, je les achète!” [cherries!?? seriously!?? i’ve never seen cherries like that! i love cherries a lot! okay, i’m buying them!]
*in english, we apparently call them physalis.
but now, i was even more pressed for time, i needed to find some fromage québécois before they closed for the day!
ah, safe. they were still open. i always like to trust the fromager to recommend a cheese for me. so i simply asked, “qu’est-ce que vous préférez avec les fraises?” as i pointed to my basket of reds. and off i went with a very strong, soft, and ooooozy quebecer cheese made from happy quebecer cows. yum, yum!
i had safely purchased everything in about 8 minutes, good thing they don't close on time!
but. then it hit me. this was my last day in québec – i needed to buy a book. if not, my flight was in the morning and i would be at the airport before the shops opened up the next day. and it was 5:15. i’m pretty sure bookstores don’t stay open very late. i start freak-out session #2 and start power-walking to the bookstore near N’s apartment.
and at 5:45, i come skidding to the halt in front of open glass doors. YES! i check their hours: 10H-18H. 6PM. that leaves me 15 minutes to browse and find my perfect book. oh no!! okay, well, at least they weren’t closed!
i held up 3 potentials, and asked, “quel livre est le plus quebecois?” [which book is the most quebec-ian (?) ? ]
she points to one of them, and says, “celui-là. absolutment.”
i chat with her about how the other one was actually a french author, while the other was from quebec and that it would be pointless of me to buy a book from france when i was in canada. but then she says there are more that i need to see.
“plus!??? ahh! beaucoup de choix mais pas beaucoup de temps!!” i say. [more!?? lots of choices but not a lot of time!]
she laughs, and pulls out more books for me.
i start browsing through them all, trying to figure out which one i liked best.
and then… i stop at one…. and keep stopping… and i know it’s the one.
and why? just look at my photo. look at all the pages dedicated to strawberries from quebec! BINGO, this book was mine! any book that focus on local products, especially when its my favorite fruit, and especially when i have a huge basket of them with me, is an instant winner.
so off i go with Parce qu'on a tous de la visite: cuisiner en toutes circonstances by ricardo larrivée along with my strawberries, cherries, and cheese.
*ps for those who are interested in buying canadian books, the publisher to keep an eye out is Les Éditions La Presse – i noticed every book that had their logo was published in quebec. it’ll help you save time if you find yourself in a situation like mine.
6PM, and i am done. this is what happens when you put all your shopping off at the last minute.
and the day couldn’t have gotten better, but it did!
crepes need milk. and thanks to me, there wasn’t much much milk left. i volunteer to run out and buy some milk, and i’m really only sharing this mini-story because i love the name of the brand of milk here: quebon. is that not the best pun ever? quebec, quebon! [bon = good] i have a soft spot for puns, and the more clever or stupid they are, the more i adore them.
YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM. i was so full. of food. and happiness, too.
and that, was the end of my last full day.
the next day, i got up at 5AM because there was yet another show I wanted to see.
and that, is the end of my favorite day ever in quebec.
posted by cathy about her travels in quebec a few weeks ago at 12:29 am in evreux on october 1st 2009, but it really is just a late late late night on sept 30th! the day does not change until i go to bed and wake up.