Saturday, June 27, 2009

"C'est la France"

Every time we are invited for lunch with our friends, I feel like I am on a Food Network show. The setting, the people and of course, the food! No, we do not have any cameras filming us, besides my little Canon that I keep with me at all times, but we could definitely be filmed for a show I would name, "C'est la France". Enough about my crazy ideas and on to more important, the way the French lunch.

We arrived at noon with a bottle of Pic St Loup, a red wine from the Southern Rhone Valley. Greeted by our good friend Aurélie with the traditional French hello of kisses on the cheek, we were then led to the table where the apéritif was being served. The French always have an apéro, the short version of the word apéritif, before starting a meal. It is to help stimulate your appetite and prepare you for a meal of no less than three courses. An apéro can be juice, I guess if you are pregnant or something, but it mostly consists of wine, pastis or beer. Today we had Viognier, a white wine from our region around Vienne. The Viognier was served alongside a simple platter of crudité, a raw vegetable platter, with a creamy yogurt dipping sauce. After two bottles of wine, a few beers, some juice (Emilie just had a baby) and some great conversation, it was time to for the first course to begin.

Today the menu was simple, delicious and all homemade. Aurélie definitely out did herself on "C'est la France"!
Fresh pasta (homemade) with bolognaise sauce
Bowls of gruyère cheese
Mixed field greens with balsamic vinaigrette
Cheese course: St Félicien, St Marcellin & Comté
Crusty baguette from our village bakery (we can walk there!)
Homemade cherry sorbet
Genépi, Vieille Prune & Calvados (digestive liqueurs)
Another espresso
We sat around the table eating, drinking, chatting and watching passing clouds in the deep blue sky. The lunch was coming to an end and it was FIVE O'CLOCK! This is the part that makes the lunch so French. Note if you are in France and invited to lunch, make no other plans for the day. Sometimes it goes on so long, like with my French family, that you stay for dinner too! Being around the table with friends and family has created some of the best memories of my life. Thank you to my French friends that have helped me integrate into my new life in France. Without them, the days wouldn't be as fulfilling and tasty!

1 comment:

  1. i am SO JEALOUS of this meal! aurélie's pasta is amazing! i miss yall!!!!!!