The big Auchan in the city centre has pretty well everything anyone could ever want, but it's a long way away. Too far to walk. But there is a moderately sized Carrefour about 15 minutes walk away, so this morning I hied me away to pillage Carrefour.
We wanted flour. And yeast. But also icing sugar. And specifically self-raising flour. Earlier this week Mrs Davey went there and came back with some T65 bread flour! What a prize! I had high hopes.
Anyway last night we had a family quiz night with our son and daughter-in-law and her parents, whome I whimsically call the Texan Outlaws, since her father is from Texas.
I hate quizzes. For some reason they miss the fun zone by a mile and land slap bang wallop in the middle of the terminal examination zone. Out of a possible 35, Mrs Davey and I got a paltry 19. It was pathetic. I couldn't even remember the name of the movement in art to which Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat belonged. The shame was unbearable. Never mind the fact that nobody else got more than 14, I was plunged into misery.
So to take my mind off it we watched the next in our series of Marvel films. We've had Disney+ for ten days and I've watched 4 episodes of the Simpsons and we've seen the first four, I think, Marvel films. You can see why I maintain that we're busier in confinement than we would normally be! Last night's film was "The Avengers" and it meant we got to bed later than usual, so I was a bit later than I intended leaving the house this morning to walk to Carrefour.
Initial success filled me with joy! They had loads of dried yeast and big jars of the peanut butter we like (pâte d'arachide - "spider paste") right by the entrance. Ramadan approaches so the stores are full of couscous and the less sweet North African peanut butter.
The flour aisle was empty though. There was nothing. NOTHING! Just a couple bags of instant naan bread and some boxes of waffle batter. I scoured the shelves for anythng else we needed, but what we wanted was flour.
The staff were hard at work filling the shelves. Perhaps... I went back to the flour aisle. It was still empty. But just beyond... What was that. A pallet containing - some flour!
There was T65 bread flour for our bread-making and there was T45 flour for the chocolate cake that I shall make either this evening or tomorrow. No self-raising, but I know how to add baking powder (levure chimique) to T45 to make self-raising, so we can do that.
Armed with my spoils I headed for the till. Carrefour have installed a strict queueing system, plastic barriers and you pay at one till but go through the lane for the till next door. I was scarfed and the cashier was masked. "It's hard not being able to smile." She made a kind of panting sound and agreed - perhaps she was laughing. We buy chocolates for the cashiers and she said she was touched. It's three times nothing, I said.
I walked back a different way and I think I saw the police clearing some squats. It's hard for the homeless. The city has made accommodation available for them, but some of them don't trust the authorities. I saw one coughing and spitting on the ground. It's not easy.
Later my honey and oatmeal loaf was ready for the oven. I use no-knead recipes that use small amounts of yeast and long proving times, so I'd mixed the dough yesterday morning and it got baked at lunchtime today. Here's the loaf: