Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Revisiting the French Connection

We didn't have many leftovers

We had DVDs of "The French Connection" and "Amelie" sitting beside the TV, but we never got around to watching them at our French-themed dinner party last Saturday.

But we did have lots of food and lots of fun at a shindig that lasted nearly 10 hours.(Even I didn't realize it lasted that long until I just did the math.)

Paul began cooking Thursday night, continued all night Friday and got up early Saturday to finish it up. Our menu included:
  • homemade bread and herb butter 
  • mini quiches
  • Caesar salad 
  • french onion soup and gruyere-topped bread
  • beef bourguignon
  • cassoulet
  • spinach souffle
  • ratatouille
  • chocolate truffles
  • clafouti
Not to mention Paul's Belgian-style (but the French-speaking part of Belgium!) saison homebrew and some French wine. Although you can surmise that this year our crowd of 15 guests were mostly beer drinkers -- we nearly ran out of bottles before Paul grabbed some more drinks across the street. And yet somehow we ended up with about twice as much wine as when the party began.

Homemade bread and herb butter

The party started early -- 5 p.m. We were still putting the final touches on a few of the dishes (and the ones that were better warm, like the quiches and souffle, had yet to be made), when the buzzer first rang. The last guests were out the door at nearly 3 a.m.

Our apartment held a mixture of work friends, neighborhood friends and a few that don't fit into a category, including one of my college roommates who now lives in Maryland. As usual, it was fun to see them all mixed together in the same room.

Paul and I even dressed the part -- or tried. Paul borrowed a blue and white striped sweater he wore when he finally got out of the kitchen. I dug out a black skirt plastered with sketches of the Eiffel Tower and other French scenes.

My cooking responsibilities were even lighter than normal -- I made only the quiches, truffles and clafouti, a kind of cherry-filled cooked custard that went over well. But even though I didn't spend so much time in the kitchen, I had my hands full, generally with cleaners and a dust rag. Our apartment was probably the cleanest its been in years. Or at least since our party last year. I wonder how long it will last.

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