France

Why France?

Lani has chosen France. And I can’t wait!

It would be extremely remiss of us not to go to France during this adventure – France has given the world so much lovely food, we are surely obliged to pay serious homage to it.

Flicking through Lauren’s French cookbook, I have tagged so many recipes.

My experience of France

I had four days in Paris during my two-year stay in the UK, and loved every moment of it. I don’t think I have walked so much in four days ever (although a weekend in New York with Karma might come close).

It was the first time I had “real” French onion soup. I visited quite a few cemeteries and saw the graves of Alexandre Dumas, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Marceau and Edith Piaf. I went to the Louvre (hello Mona Lisa, hello Venus de Milo), the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge. I saw Rodin’s The Thinker. It was awesome, and I think I will have to go back to Paris one day.

Earlier in my UK stint, I also got the ferry from Dover to Calais, which is a lovely town, and home of the very impressive statue of the Six Burghers of Calais.

Preparation

We had planned to go to France for lunch on Saturday 14 July – it being Bastille Day. But Saturdays are too difficult for me, and don’t suit Jan, who can’t escape from work until after 4:00 pm. So we’ll go to France on Sunday 15 July.

Our guests will be a family from school – Abby and Sam and their lovely kids, Sunday and Jude. Sunday is the same age and Liam and Jude is the same age as Lani, so we should have a great day!

The menu

I have had to do a serious cull form my initial list. There are still 13 menu items, but I just can’t cull it any more.

Here is where we’re at as of 7 July:

  • Champagne cocktail
  • Baked brie with caramelised onions and pistachio topping
  • Cheese puff ring
  • French onion soup
  • Vichycoisse
  • Quiche savoyarde
  • Garlicky scallops and prawns
  • Chicken chasseur
  • Garlic escargots
  • Croque monsieur
  • Macarons
  • Crème brulee
  • Croquembouche

Elysia makes the perfect macarons, so she will bring a batch of those, and Liam and Lani want to make a croquembouche. Lunch in France falls at the end of the school holidays, so we will make the croquembouche on the Friday. That’s going to be a big day for all of us, I suspect.

I originally had a dacquoise on my list of recipes, but that might be overkill. But I still want to make one! I might make one and take it into my ever-willing guinea pigs at work. Yes, that’ll work!

Here’s the fact sheet – Factsheet_France

And here’s the place-mat – Place-mat_France

Watch this space!