amuse-bouche glasses filled with about an ounce of warm spicy pumpkin soup. The darling glasses came with their own tiny spoon that was bent allowing it to perch on the side of the glass. More champagne was poured and trays of toasts topped with tuna spread were passed. At the request 'a table' we took our places at the beautifully laid table and began the first course, coquilles St. Jacques...scallops sauted in shallots and garlic topped with a thin layer of melted cheese and served in a pretty scallop shell. A lively and crisp slightly sweet white wine from Alsace complemented the shellfish perfectly. The main plat was pintade wrapped with foie gras and roasted. I've never had pintade before and the lusciousness of the melted foie gras gave it a delicious pork-like flavor. Little round 'cakes' of diced mixed vegetables accompanied the meat along with red wine, either a rich Gailliac or a lush Cahors (or a glass of each!) The cheese course followed with a selection of a hard Emmenthal, a runny flavorful Camembert and a soft round of goat cheese...all delicious. But wait....we're not done yet! How do you finish off such a rich meal? With a not-too-sweet pineapple charlotte made with a creamy custard and soft melt-in-your-mouth cake. I glanced at the clock as others around the table sipped an armagnac digestif or a shot of coffee...11pm! We had eaten and chatted the evening completely away. (Well, they chatted; I listened.) The dinner party broke up at midnight, and as Laury and I walked down the hill to the Chatette, I thought to myself: "J'ai tres bien manger." I have eaten well!
PS...here's the answer to yesterday's 'Guess' post: those stalks are from tobacco plants. The leaves have been harvested and are now drying in specially vented tobacco barns. The stalks have been bundled and laid out in the line. I'm not sure what happens to them from here. I'll let you know!