The ‘national dish’ of the Ardennes is Salade au Lard, consisting basically of potatoes, diced bacon, onions and dandelion leaves – although people often use lettuce.
This is the time of year to pick the pissenlits (wet the bed) and you find vendors in the street in Charleville: even Mireille, an old lady well-known for cheering up the town with her mobile music (pushed round on a trolley) is selling them.
On Sunday there is a Fete de Pissenlits but we won’t be going because it clashes with the Repas des Anciens – a feast not to be missed.
I have tasted our local speciality made with lettuce but I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite. Maybe one day I’ll be persuaded to try the pissenlit version but I still regard dandelions as weeds which are difficult to get rid of.
Perhaps eating them is a way of getting your revenge.
Talking of local ‘specialities’ – Claude wandered in at teatime yesterday asking if I had an elastic bandage. He had fallen over in his garden, landed on his hand and then bumped his head. If I understood him correctly, he reckoned he had lost consciousness. He certainly had a bruise on the side of his face. I said he ought to have his hand x-rayed as it was swollen and hurt to move but he insisted he wasn’t going near the hospital in case they ‘kept him’.
He has an appointment to see about a job today and he wasn’t going to risk not being able to go along.
If I don’t get some work soon I’m going to “peter les plombs” ( see title) he insisted.
That was something I had to look up in the dictionary after I had put ice on his hand and given him a beer.
It translates as ‘to go off the rails’. In Claude’s case that probably means drink even more alcohol. Fingers crossed that he gets the job he’s after.
If you want an update on the Fourniret trial go here.