Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day-Old Bread

Today I went to Jimmy John's to pick up some day-old bread that will pass as garlic bread for my roommate's orzo, feta, tomato, and parsley dinner tonight.

As I walked out with the loaf, wrapped in red and white checkered paper, I thought about baguettes.

I wished that my Jimmy John's 48-cents-day-old bread was a Parisian baguette. And I wished I could stroll into a local boulangerie, say "Bon jour!" to the shopkeeper like Julia Child, and prance back home to a red-checkered tablecloth of Chianti, brie and a warm, crusty baguette. Instead, I pranced out of Jimmy John's. 

The shopping trip reminded me of how people shop in Paris. If Parisians need soap, they go to the pharmacy on the corner, if it's cheese, the cheese shop down the street, baby clothes, they have way too many around, and toilet paper, well I'm sure they have a toilet paper shop too. 

Shopping for a meal in Paris is like a scene out of Julie and Julia (can you tell I just saw the movie?) A robust, rosy-cheeked Julia Child skips from orange vendor to meat vendor, huffing and puffing "Mmmm!" and "OhhhH!" at every stop. She can't keep her hands off that fruit.

If I were a street vendor, I'd probably tell her to stop sniffing my stuff and fondling it like it's her teenage boyfriend, but that's me.

At Marquette, if I want to grab some make shift items for dinner, I head first to Marquette Gyros, where 59-year-old Gus, the gray-bearded Greek owner, will hand me a warm pita wrapped in tin foil for free (He has since I wrote about him in our college newspaper. I try to pay every time, I swear). I'd consider Marquette Gyros my warped-college-lamb-scented boulangerie. 

Then I'd go to Open Pantry, a haven for...Miller, Tostidos, unripe bananas and Stride gum. After picking up the necessities (Digiorno), my shopping trip is complete. 

Only I have a multi-patterned, beer-stained tablecloth to come home to, month-old Busch Lights and day-old bread.