Please direct your attention to the center of the photo, neglecting to notice how dirty the electric burners are at the moment, which must be a relic of last night's dinner. Thank you.
Okay, now that you've focused on the important stuff, ie, this haul from the market, which had just been in the house a few minutes when it was photographed, here's what I got today. Counterclockwise from the top left:
* Small-leaf basil. It's still going to be a while before the big-leaf stuff on the balcony starts coming in, and with the doctor yesterday promising me my sense of taste would be 100% restored in 48 hours, I grabbed another plant of this. Just as spicy as the last one, leaves a bit larger.
* White eggplant. Why? Because, um, it's white. I've never tried this before. I assume it's exactly like deep purple eggplant, but white. If not, I hope someone tells me before I decide to use it in the ratatouille that's on the docket for a bit later this week, thanks to hints from Chef George, The Best Recipe, and cranky old Elizabeth David.
* Perfect zucchini, for the same purpose.
* More tomates anciennes, because I've decided to make a pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes this week. This is only part of the haul, because I also need them for ratatouille and salad.
* Some rather funky green peppers, also for the ratatouille. They were the best I could find except for a whole bin of ones that looked like bell peppers but were the size of small apples. I wasn't sure about them (although they were labelled "sweet"), plus they were at one of the expensive organic stands. A lot of this stuff is organic, but the farmers just haven't bothered to apply for the label.
* Three peaches, ripe and ready to go. Will be diminished by one when I finish typing this entry: lunch-time, you know.
* Two of the curiously tasteless yellow fruit I bought last time. Sweet is the only taste they have, and the texture is, as I said last time, floury, gritty. Short of distilling a whole bunch of them into some kind of brandy, I can't think of what they'd be good for.
* And another big head of lettuce for the aforementioned salad.
I had a terrible eggplant experience last week, incidentally: I don't know whether I didn't salt-and-drain them enough, or they weren't ripe, or what the problem was, but they turned hard towards the skin during cooking, and were sour and bitter enough that even with my evening's lack of taste (my taste has been turning on about noon and turning off again about 8pm, another reason to keep a basil plant around), I didn't like them. Really hope these white ones don't do that, if the doc's right and I'm about to taste again (and given that I have 30 euros' worth of pills and sprays and whatnot, he'd better be right).
I should also dredge up John Thorne's pasta-with-zucchini recipe for Saturday's market expedition. They're almost giving those things away.
Time to pack the still-life up and get to work. Well, get to work after lunch, I mean.