Dining in

posted 25 February 2005

Dinner partyA week ago last Saturday, we gave our first dinner party. The guests were my Smith College classmate Nancy Reed (middle) and David's colleague Laurence Guidi-Guilvard (right).

The glassware provided by Pierre et Vacances is limited to tumblers in two sizes (small and very small), so David asked Laurence to lend us three wine glasses for the evening, but when she came, she brought us a little pink package of the particularly good almond "callisons" from the Puyricard candy-makers in Nice and a box of 12 new wine glasses--they had been on sale at Carrefour. Then Nancy arrived bearing a potted miniature rose and--having been served wine in a tumbler during her previous visit--a box of 12 new wineglasses! So we now have, count 'em, two dozen wine glasses--we could host a wine tasting for everyone we know in Villefranche, the whole staff of the résidence, andJeff the nice meatcutter from l'Entrecôte!

As an hors d'oeuvre, I served "rilletes du Mans" (a rich pork spread) with bread. The first course was tiny roasted new potatoes, cooked beets, and fat green asparagus, all at room temperature, with an "aioli" sauce (a mayonnaise flavored with saffron and lots of garlic). The main course was leek and sausage pie (recipe available on request) and corn maquechoux (recipe in my cookbook). Dessert was macadamia nut pie (recipe in my cookbook). I had to wing it a little on the pie --no chocolate chips, so I just diced a dark chocolate bar; no corn syrup, so I used Lyle's Golden Syrup, which the stores around here stock for the British contingent; and no pie plate, so I used a straight-sided, disposable foil tart mold--but I was able to make authentic American-style pie crust for both the main course and dessert because my last box finally came in the mail, the one with the Crisco in it.

The pie came out fine (if a little dark in color); you can see the remains of it on the table, along with the callison package and the potted rose (both below the telephone).

previous entry     List of Entries     next entry