Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Sunday.........on Wednesday!

I came home from lab last night to find an elegant Easter dinner being prepared for "my family" by Madame Luthie. I guess they had discussed having Easter dinner early while I was away in Paris for the weekend. Mr. Farahad leaves for Lourdes (his hometown) on Thursday's every week and Madame Luthie will be going to her sisters beach house for the weekend. So, we celebrated le Ressurection (Easter) early, and she served an incredible 5-course meal:

  1. Apertif: Saucisson (sausage) smoked and rolled in black pepper. A sweet White Bordeaux accompanied the meal.
  2. Entree: Deviled eggs stuffed with bechamel sauce and fried in sunflower oil. Served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce.
  3. Main Course: Duck leg confit cooked in its own fat, drained, then poached in an oxtail (tail of an ox!) broth with poached carrots, leeks, and ratte (small potatoes).
  4. Dessert: Baba au Rhum, a small, rum-soaked cake served with chantilly (homemade whipped cream). Apparently their wasn't enough rum, so she pulled the bottle out of the cabinent and suggested another shot be poured directly onto the cake. Do as the chef says!
  5. Digestif: Champagne, not to be confused with sparkling wine. In France, it is illegal to call a wine champagne unless it was produced in the Champagne region 2-hours northeast of Paris.

This may have been my first dinner complete with our own dining cart to stack our fine china on in between courses.
Out came the Baba au Rhum for dessert, complete with fresh chantilly and an extra shot of rum from the French colony island of Martinique in the Caribbean!
And the finale, a nice glass of the bubbly. As the "guest" so to speak of the house, I was given the honour of opening the Champagne. Instead of blasting it into the roof, I popped the cork the elegant way, into my folded napkin and then poured everyone a glass. At this point, I had to shut down and not accept a second glass, but my family finished off the bottle for me. It is funny how goofy and talkative the French get when a little bit of alchohol is served at the table :) This was a highlight of my trip so far in France, even after seeing all that Paris had to offer. My greatest joy in life happens at my family matter where it may be. I look forward to replicating the dinner for my family back in Arkansas one of this days. Until then, Bon Appetit!

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