Monday, December 5, 2011

My First Dinner Party

I hosted my first dinner party in France last night, and I'm very pleased with how it all turned out. It's difficult to cook and entertain in a kitchen outfitted  by someone else. Since I rented my house furnished, it also came completely stocked with dishes, glasses, flatware and cooking utensils. So the only things that are truly mine on this table are the blue table runners and my grandmother's silver which I shipped here last summer. Dinner parties and aperos are the social events in this village; I've been invited to many of both, and it's time to start paying back those invitations! I decided to start small, though, and invited Laury, Jean and Greg for my first attempt. Since my oven is very tempermental (gets too hot, stays too hot and I have to turn it off and open the door to keep the right temperature) I wanted guests who I knew would be happy to eat mac and cheese if I cremated the roast. I also knew they would be honest and tell me if my dinner party was up to French standards, so I can invite my French friends next time. They were all fine with being my guinea pigs!
I set up my bar on the little kitchen trolley I bought at BUT. On wine, kirs, and cinzano.
Pre-dinner 'nibbles' on the coffee table in the living room. Lucie's taking a nap while she waits for the party to start.
We gathered at the table after drinks. First course was stuffed tomatoes, celeriac remoulade and a taboule salad, followed by the main course of turkey breast roasted with sliced red peppers and shallots, a side dish of carmelized carrots and fennel, and a potato/cauliflower gratin. We sipped a nice minervois with dinner which also paired nicely with the cheese course: a brie, a slice of gouda, and a tomme with plum chutney. Dessert....slices of a fromage blanc cake (much like a pound cake) topped with some of my clementine preserves and either creme fraiche or cream. I also put out small slices of the pastis that I bought up at the Telethon. Coffee, more wine and water to close the evening. The verdict? My guests gave me a thumbs up, and said I'm definitely ready to invite the French!

It was a fun evening...good friends and good conversation. And a nice way to say 'a bientot' to Laury who left this morning for two months in Holland.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say you did yourself proud! How nice and isn't it wonderful to feel a part of a community on a more permanent basis. Here's to many more such gatherings. Enjoy!