Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Marathon Meals

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Husband and I attended a wedding in Normandy this weekend. After the ceremony, we were divided up into teams based on the reception table arrangements and given a scavenger hunt type plan with a bonus math problem. All of the information gathered was supposed to help us discover the location of the reception. The math problem was for a prize at the end of the night, which of course we missed as we were the first to leave.

As I looked at the 3 page, typed document, I thought, what a pain in the ass and then I thought, man, dinner had better be good.


I can't complain too much (at all) about the info scavenger hunt episode. PM and L pretty much took care of the whole thing (except the math thing which was handled by Husband and another husband {not mine}) as they had lived in St. Lô for 10 years. The rest of us spent the alotted 90 minutes drinking cold beverages at an outside table of a biker bar.

Once everyone arrived at the place, which was a renovated 18th century farmhouse and stable, it was time for apéritif. Which was crappy champagne mixed with some strange blue-green liquid and small pieces of crustless white bread (seriously, it looked just like the Wonder Bread of my childhood) topped with saumon fumé (lox), saucisson sec (dried, cured sausage), or cucumber slices. All three were themselves topped with mayonnaise or cream.

The first course was the best. Scallops and langoustines in lemon zest and cream sauce. There was much mopping up of sauce at our table.

The main course was magret de canard (duck breast - which, by the way, if you haven't ever tried it, you MUST, it's {when not overcooked or served with a bad sauce} delicious) with a sauce that very closely resembled the turkey gravy served at the Dixie Truck Stop somewhere in between Astoria, Illinois and Shorewood, Illinois. Only here, they added some airelles (huckleberry or bilberry) and not enough salt, which was never the case at the Dixie Truck Stop. The duck was served with dry gratin dauphinois and stringy green beans wrapped in a slab of bacon. While charmed by the company and thrilled for the bride and groom, I was not happy about the food situation.

The cheese course was disappointing as well, very classic cheese, a camembert, a pont-l'eveque, a swiss (really! holes and all) and a processed goat cheese log. Served with a few leaves of boston bibb.

Dessert. You know, I'm hard to miss on desserts. I love sugary things. And yet. It was a mille-feuille aux fruits rouges. Basically, a two finger size of sponge cake topped with a tablespoon of raspberries, strawberries, and pineapple (which is yellow, not rouge - but now I'm just being bitchy), covered with a strange half pastry cream half butter cream thing and the mille feuille which looked and tasted more like a strange sweet cracker than a pastry. I ate the fruit and the sponge cake and left the rest. Coffee was served next. It was rancid. There was a chocolate coated almond on the saucer which was excellent. I stole and ate Husband's. He was out smoking at the time so I figured he deserved it for having an excuse to leave the table, and just for smoking in general.

The entire meal, not including apéritif, lasted 4 hours.

I am told that the meal after my own wedding lasted just as long. But in my foggy memories of that evening, the food was good.


zeb said...

The gravy at the famous truck stop made your blog, your grandmother would be so proud.

My son is still waiting for an email about the WC.

Nicole said...

Zeb - speaking of, I got some pictures in the mail today.
Re the wc, I'll relay the message. BYW, have you seen what the Italian player said to Zidane?

beth said...

I didn't know that a bad meal could be served in France. . .isn't that some sort of crime or something? I agree with you, I am also hard to miss on dessert - I love sugar too! Too bad!

julie said...

the food at your wedding was wonderful. I especially remember the crayfish served for us vegetarians and the cake that looked very funny but tasted awesome!

Also remember the great dinner the night before.


Nicole said...

Beth - oh yes, unfortunately, bad meals can be had here too. I usually manage to avoid them though.

Julie - I'm thinking your memories of that evening might be a little foggy too. Although I'm sure you're right about the food. I do remember that amazingly ugly but amazingly delicious strawberry cake.

charlie said...

I once had coq a la creme somewhere in France which was a cream against humanity and which proved to me that the French can be appalling cooks when they want to be. Most don't want to be, though.

I've never had a chocolate coated almond, but I wish I had. I intend to hunt one down in the near future and report on its exceellence or otherwise.

Four hours! Not as long as usual then?

Lorraine said...

Oh, yes. The food at your 4 hour wedding reception was amazing. I still salivate when I think of the duck breast in peach sauce. HMoG, I want to be buried in a vat of that peach sauce!

Oh, and the salmon and the rose at the dinner the night before (the one you had to leave)...such good food memories!!!!!!!!

NYC Taxi Shots said...


Nicole said...

Charlie - I cannot believe you've never had chocolate covered almonds. If you can't find any on that whacky island you call home, let me know and I'll mail you some.

Lorraine - While the food memories of the that weekend are foggy for me, the rest of them are clear and beautiful.

nyc taxi shots - I'm not quite sure how to take that. Since it's thursday, let's say I'm vexed.

pierremarie et laurence said...

voilà qui rappelle de bons souvenirs de cette soirée passée ensemble. nous découvrons ton blog à notre retour de vacances. PM et L