Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday 24 January - Oysters and Organ

After a little overnight rain it became quite warm today.  We did a lot of walking and found our winter clothes too much.  Rue de Levis is always interesting on Sunday mornings with the scent of rotisserie chicken and roast potatoes mingling with the scent of fresh baked baguette.  The green grocers were dueling to see who could make the most noise to sell their fruit and vegetables.  Little old ladies with small dogs.  People walking through with an armful of baguettes, one of which was broken off and being consumed on the way. Squadrons of little (and some big) kids on scooters dodging through the crowd.  Carpet sellers hopefully draping their wares over their cars.

We walked down to Le Pied de Cochon which is near Saint-Eustache and  ordered a dozen Normandie oysters.

Fred told me to sniff each oyster before eating to ensure that I don't get a bad one.
Colin sniffing an oyster.
Sniffing oysters didn't work out too well.  The first time I got vinegar and chopped shallots up my nose. The second time I was told in no uncertain terms that oysters were for eating and should not be taken nasally - other substances are available to sniff.  After that I just ate them normally.  They were all very fresh and really delicious. 

We had a half bottle of a white Macon Villages.  The waiter drew the cork and put it down in front of me.  I refrained from sticking it in my ear and saying "That sounds alright, pour it".

Having consumed the oysters orally we shared a plate of razor clams which were excellent, very sweet and with no sand or grit. These are known as razor clams in English because the shells look a little like a cut throat razor.  In French these are known as couteaux (knife).  Mary told the waiter how much she liked the couteaux and he raced off to his serving drawer and produced two table knives of different sizes saying "Yes, we have two types."

We then proceeded happily each to have a bowl of onion soup gratine which was excellent with a very good flavor, nicely caramelized onions and a good helping of cheese on top of the well soaked bread.

We then walked along the rue Montorgueuil and back to La Madeleine,  The patisseries have got over the frenzy of selling gallettes du roi and things are returning to normal.

The organ concert at La Madeleine was a disappointment.  The first piece by J.C. Bach was a transcription and the themes were lost in the overall noise from the organ.  "Sheep may safely graze" was good but "O Little Town of Bethlehem" came over as a dirge and Viernes Westminster Carillon was poor.  We left at this point.

The walk back, mainly uphill, was uneventful.

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