Monday, August 17, 2009

Poitiers, France

When we were living in Bend, OR, and I was more than half way through my pregnancy Alan came home from work one evening and told me about a French guy he met in line at Subway. What a coincidence, Alan shared, that this other French guy was also married to an American woman who was also pregnant. I knew I had to meet them. A few weeks later we had Sylvain and Jessica to a dinner party at our house and became fast friends.

The crazy thing is that they ended moving to Europe two months after we did. They hadn't really planned it that way, but they're doing great in Poitiers, which is three hours southwest of Paris. On our way east to the Alps, we stopped to see Sylvain, Jessica, and Isabelle and were treated to the most fantastic evening. Isabelle will be two the beggining of September and is just a month younger than Anatole. Even though they didn't interact all that much, we enjoyed watching them together, particulary since we remembered our get togethers when they were tiny, immobible babies. How times change.

Our evening began with an apperitif that included snacks such as chips, nuts, and cheese bites as well as a bottle of bubbly. After we put the kids to bed, we sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful dinner of grilled salmon and mixed, grilled veggies. Then there was the cheese course. The cheese! The only reason I don't have a photo of it is because my camera was upstairs at the time and I didn't feel like leaving the table to shlep it down. What a pity. It was a beautfiul and delicious display of four different cheeses.

For dessert we feasted upon the most delightful cake. My photo is terrible and doesn't do it the least bit of justice. If I saw a similar looking cake in the U.S. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. That's because cakes like this in the U.S. typically look really pretty but taste really bad. However, this was both lovely and scrumptious. The cake texture was soft, light, and creamy and the crust was sort of a crispy but moist puff pastry. It's difficult to describe because I don't have the slightest clue how it was made, but it was the best dessert I've had in a long time.

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