Would you like me to prepare this for you?
Actually what they said was something like- "Voulez-vous que je pre´pare ceci pour vous?"
I don't speak French. But my husband does... a bit.
And that's where the story begins.
The butcher was asking Jon (my husband) and I about the chicken he was holding. It was a real chicken, feathers and all!
This was over twenty years ago. We were visiting my sister in France. (Who does speak french and she knows a thing or two about cooking too.) For many years Bridget was a professional chef. She’s worked as a chef at Chez Panisse with Alice Waters. Bridget knows her stuff.
My parents were also visiting. This is a crucial part of the story. Hint: Dad grew up on a chicken farm.
So…. back to the question.
"Voulez-vous que je pre´pare ceci pour vous?”
Husband looks a bit puzzled. Jon tells me what the butcher has asked. We’re both thinking the same thing.
No. No thank-you, we don’t want the chicken to be cooked. We’re going to cook it ourselves, back at the house.
You know what’s going on here, don’t you?
Oh, the beautiful surprises that come from language barriers.
Butcher shakes his head when we decline his offer. Chicken is taken to back of shop and wrapped up. It was our assigned task to shop for dinner ingredients. It didn’t seem like a big task….
Back at the house now. We unload our goodies. Dad unwraps the chicken. Yes, you guessed it. The chicken has not been “prepared”. Head, feet, innards… feathers too.
Dinner took a bit longer to prepare that evening. Wine was enjoyed during the de-feathering.
It’s a food story that makes me smile each time I think about it.
I wonder if my dad and sister have the same fond memories… they were the ones who “prepared" the chicken that evening.
So… what’s for dinner tonight? Poulette?
P.S. Find these cute chickens by MORE JOY running around in the shop.
P.P.S. Do you have a favorite food story? I'd love to hear it.