Thursday, November 02, 2006

Speed-Scratch French Dinner among Friends

Several months back, in the chilly, pre-spring part of the year, my friend Mary C. and I ventured out into the wilds of a Cincinnati suburb previously unbeknownst to me, (possibly Mt. Washington), to have dinner at her friend Mary G.'s home. Mary G. is a writer who has travelled extensively in France and also served as one of the testers for the 1997 revision of The Joy of Cooking for her friend Ethan Becker. Mary G. lives with her family in what, to me, seems to be the country, in a beautiful Japenese-style house. All I know is that it was very dark on our way there, with almost no street lights along the way. The stars punctuated the cloudless, black night sky emphatically, with only the light of the full moon to show us the way to the wood pathway leading to the front door.

Mary G. had worked a full day and was apologetic about our dinner, mainly coming readymade from Kroger's, with just minimal home preparation required. Still, it was speed-scratch cooking at its best and delicious: hummus and a baked cheese-artichoke dip with triscuits; whole grain baguette w/butter; mashed potatoes swirled with pesto (yummy!!!); chicken cordon bleu; roasted asparagus; spring salad mix with balsamic vinaigrette; and Dove cookies; all accompanied by a kir royale aperitif; a flinty French Chardonnay with dinner; and a swirl of cognac! It was the best dinner I've had in a long time, no doubt made even more so by lingering at the table sharing our various adventures in Paris. Since the three of us are Francophiles, at least we didn't bore each other... ;-))


Blogger Liz said...

Proof positive that good company and good conversation can be the perfect sauce to a meal!

"a flinty French chardonnay" NICE!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Willa Frank said...

Dear Liz,

Well said! :-) And the funny thing was that Mary G. kept apologizing for not having had the time to cook for us (she's great at that, too, from what I hear) -- but, as you said, it's so often true -- it's the company we keep that makes the meal special, whether it's in a greasy spoon, a 5 star restaurant, or a home...

4:26 PM  

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