Monday, December 20, 2010
the 12-hour lunch
Last January, we had a 9-hour dinner with friends to celebrate Christmas together. This year we had a lunch instead and it ended up lasting 12 hours. We were invited to arrive at noon, and soon after arriving we were served apéritifs with various hors d'oeuvres, including mini-quiches and pâté en croûte. After a good while, we were invited to sit down around the table and we were served oysters with a shallot vinaigrette, accompanied by white wine. Next up there was a salad with crispy lardons and a seafood terrine. Afterwards, we started to play "blind test" where the host played a few seconds of songs and we had to guess the artist and the title. Luckily for me the host happens to like English music, so I was able to participate. The main dish was roasted duck thighs with garlicky fried potatoes and green beans. By this time we were on to the red wine and it was all very delicious. After the cheese course, and another round of "blind test" we got around to dessert with champagne. The host had purchased omelettes norvégiennes, which are a sort of ice cream cake that is is flambéd before being served. I think we finished dessert around 6pm, at which time coffee was served and we helped ourselves to chocolates and mandarin oranges. I kind of expected that things would wrap up, but no! Everybody continued eating chocolates and some started drinking beer. Somehow time flew by and then the host appeared with apéritifs, charcuterie and cheese. Round Two! Thankfully there were no further meals planned, because I was still full from the first one. After apéritifs with snacks, the wine came out again (I had been drinking only 1/2 glasses and was drinking solely water since dessert). Yet more chocolates and coffee and tea for some, with wine and beer for others, until midnight, when everybody decided it was time to pack it in. Jean-Marc and I ended up winning the blind test and we won a CD that was mixed by the host. I don't think I've ever sat around a table for so long, but I think that everybody else there thought it was perfectly normal. It was a great time with friends and their kids.