The Norman Conquest
December 03, 2009
The Norman Conquest
Tonight our neighbours invited us to dinner.
It was excellent.
When we got there, at about 7 o clock we were given some Blanquette de Limeaux and some cherry tomatoes which were stuffed with cream cheese and herbs.
Next our hostess ( she and her husband are from Normandy) arrived out of the kitchen with some rounds of toasted brioche with a round of grilled Boudin Blanc and some buttery fried apples on top, this was superb, I must have eaten about four and she kept coming out with more.
Then a table and with some nice local Sauvignan the surprise for the foreigners was produced; les Cuisses de Grenouilles, Frogs Legs, these had been soaked in milk and then fried crisp in oil with garlic lemon and parsley (I asked her ) and tasted delicious, my first frogs legs but not my last.
Next our hostess produced for us a beautiful and very thin tart of smoked salmon on thin crisp pastry, another success.
Our main course, which we ate with a local Corbieres, was a Roast Guinea Fowl
which she served with another delicious Sauce from Normandy, made from Cider Calvados walnuts and cream.
My main regret was that I had eaten so much already I couldn't manage seconds.
After that came le Trou Normande, a stomach boring shot of Calvados, one that they had got from a farmer which was strong enough to open a channel right down to your toes but still redolent of apples and quite superb.
(I have recently read that the finest French Digistif is a Calvados Fermieres, correct,but it must be eaten halfway through the meal a la style Normande)
We changed the wine to an excellent Faugeres for us to drink with our next course of Camembert and Rocquefort. (thanks to the Trou Calva I could fit just a little) and then the lady of the house arrived out with some poached pears with chocolate and toasted almonds.
(It was at this stage that I realised that it was midnight and we had been eating for five hours )
A real triumph of a dinner but a true cause for alarm.
I am going to have to ask them back after Christmas.
What in the name of God will I give them!