Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Frenchy Dinner

One of the nights we were in Lille, we were invite to dinner at Pasquel and Ludavine's house. Pasquel is the person who invited Houston to give the talk at the university. Pasquel picked us up at the hotel and whisked us off to her place, about a 10 minute drive.

Pasquel, Zoe, Ludavine. They have two daughters, (the other one was upstairs at the time of photo taking) and the girls look like twins born 2 years apart.

A parade of neighborhood cats tiptoed across the tall wall surrounding their back garden.

I was delighted to see their postcard of 'Hope'. They followed our election eagerly.

The meal started around 7:30 and didn't end until 11:30. I really do like the way the French eat, one dish at a time, but it makes it hard on the hosts, always getting up to get the next course. I'm sure we went through their entire stock of glasses, dishes and silverware. They were even in washing dishes between courses. We started out with wine (of course!) followed by the very sweet, rich wine (more like a liquor). We ate guacomole out of apertif glasses for a starter. Then came a medley of olives and cantelope with mint, accompanied by a French pate served on a crisp piece of toast. The main course was slice of pork covered in a thick, rich cream sauce (surprise!) and heavenly mashed potatoes. After all those dishes were cleared, out came four types of cheese to choose from. And all the time, French bread.

And if that wasn't enough, this feast ended with the creamiest ice creams, currants and grated dark chocolate. Then espresso. WOW! I really don't know how those French women stay so skinny. With all the pastries, cream and bread, you'd think they'd be huge. Their are even books written about how the French women are so thin. (They walk, walk, walk, eat fresh ingredients, don't hurry when eating and eat in moderation.) Gotta try that.

I kept making moves to leave, as it was approaching 11:30 and I knew they had to get up by 6:30, but Pasquel and Ludavine were quite content to just sit and talk with us. It was such a pleasant evening and it was so nice to be able to visit with these lovely women in their home. But finally we did get up to leave and I caught this scene on their street.

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