You would think that having lived in France for the best part of five years, I would have got to grips with the concept of seasonal vegetables and would know to plan menus accordingly. You would think? But no, having recently invited some friends for dinner, I set about planning the menu. Carrot and orange soup to start. The supermarket is practically giving away the seasonal carrots. Chocolate mousse for dessert. What to have for a main course? Boeuf a la mode? More carrots! I know, we will have crispy duck stir fry with Mangetouts. Got the duck. Alas, no mange tout. Oh well, haricots verts will do. Spring onions? Mmm these look sort of like them. They are a bit more bulbous than I would like but they will do. Chinese water chestnuts? No, there are none in the tinned vegetable section. None on the foreign food shelf either, oh well I have some bean sprouts to substitute. Nearly left without picking up the cashew nuts. Jim dashed back to find them. Despite having written a shopping list I got home to find I had forgotten the green pepper. The local shop had none. They are not in season, she explained. Oh well I have plenty carrots I will use some ribbons of carrot. I think my guests enjoyed their crispy duck stir fry with green beans, carrots and bean sprouts minus the all important cashew nuts which were forgotten at the cooking stage.