Monday, January 11, 2010

the nine hour dinner party

This past weekend we were invited to an annual dinner party in Jean-Marc's home town with all his childhood friends. Normally it happens before Christmas but, since there was a lot of flu going around in December, it got moved to the new year. We were asked to arrive sometime after 4pm, when Epiphany galettes would be served (a puff pastry pie with almond paste filling) and a king and queen would be crowned. Traditionally a "fêve" (nowadays a porcelain figurine) is hidden inside the pie and whoever gets it in their slice, gets the crown. So we arrived around 5pm and sat down for some galette and bubbly. This was the beginning of our evening and it continued until 2:30 am. We spent over 9 hours around the table, eating various courses and discussing everything from politics to local gossip and, of course, food.  Here is a rundown of our meal.

5:00 pm - galette with sparkling wine
7:00 pm - choice of cider or rosé w/grapefruit syrup
9:00 pm - pumpkin soup with croutons
10:00 pm - pork roast and pommes dauphines
10:45 pm - green beans fried with garlic
11:30 pm - cheese course
12:15 am - dessert (we brought apple tart and carrot cake)
1:00 am - coffee/tea with chocolate and mandarin oranges
2:30 am - we went home

I should mention that there were 19 of us, including 8 kids ranging in age from 6 to 14. The kids were awake the whole time and I remember the 6 year-old girls playing twister at 2:00 am. There is definitely a different attitude towards kids' bedtimes here!

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