Spring by Kathryn White

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

French Cuisine à la Julia Child

Last year my husband and I had the privilege of staying at a B&B called Mettawas End near Kingsville, so that we could visit Pelee Point and Pelee Island, places we had never been to before.
The host of the B&B had recently immigrated from France to settle with his wife here in Ontario. We were invited to join them and others for an evening of French cuisine, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience as it truly felt like we were in France.
One of the items he placed on the table for us with each meal was this lovely Evian water bottle with its lace motif, which I just loved! When I spotted the discontinued designer bottles in a discount shop for a great deal, I snapped them up for a future event.
With french cuisine still on my mind, I ordered this book out of the library and enjoyed reading it along with becoming inspired to attempt french cooking in my home.
Then I watched this movie and I was convinced! I loved it! Meryl Streep does such a great job of playing the role of Julia Child. The movie was heartwarming and inspiring for me.
We have been part of a dinner club of international cuisine that has met every few months to celebrate different countries through their food. Talk about a perfect time for arm chair travels. Some of us have rented travel videos, listened to music, read both fiction and nonfiction according to the country we have chosen. We have 'travelled' to Ireland, Egypt, New Zealand and India all from the comfort of our homes. So when it was my turn for the grand finale, I knew it would be France!
My library had everything I needed to research for the event.
I found items that had been packed away and gave my home a french touch.
Both of these photos are actually canvas art hanging on my walls, a gift from my daughter.
Springtime in Paris:
Touches in the bathroom including lovely smelling french milled soaps, also gifts from friends:
French lavender:
I took a little trip over to Vincenzos, my favourite European shop, for their breads, cheeses and pastries. This was the display in their bakery section; so french, so pretty:
I came home with a wide assortment of french cheeses along with baguettes.
Love the french packaging: French Baguettes:
I prepared an elegant table setting with french napkins and information booklets on France and created a french playlist for background music just to set the 'stage':
Each of the couples arrived with a french item to contribute to the dinner.
J&S brought this fantastic Salade Niçoise (niˈswaz]).
"As suggested by the name, it is a specialty of the Côte d'Azur region of France, originating in and named for the city of Nice." This salad consisted of a lovely array of cooked sliced red potatoes, sliced eggs, tuna, green beans, cherry tomatoes, olives, anchovies and capers all served on a bed of lettuce: R&K brought this wonderful orange Fennel Salad; fresh and tasty:
Beef Bourguignon à la Julia created by moi, served along along with green peas (sugggested by Julia herself in her book), white asparagus, and roasted potatoes:
The dessert was truly the crème de la crème, with the creme caramel, as well as an array of sweets including french macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons), french cream pastries, french truffles and strawberries dipped in chocolate. I also baked a cherry clafoutis which was so easy and yet looked so 'french', n'est-ce pas?
J&N brought this elegant and decadent, yet light and creamy Creme Caramel, a flan, or caramel custard which is a rich custard dessert with a layer of caramel syrup on top. We were informed that this dessert was compliments of their 15 yo daughter, who is a connoisseur in the kitchen. Well done, A! We all enjoyed it thoroughly and thank you for all the work and time that went into it!
Although Farewells and Au Revoirs are difficult for me, all good things must come to an end and so it was with our evening as well as this international cuisine event. We have discovered that although we have thoroughly enjoyed our evenings, it does require much thought and effort and as we all lead such busy lives we have decided to take a break. I did want our friends to know how much we have appreciated all their efforts over the course of the past year~Merci Beaucoup and Très bien!
My hubby and I sent them home with a little gift, consisting of a lovely
Evian bottle, a jar of Bonne Maman, as well as french chocolate for the guys:

"Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.
In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport"
~Quotes by Julia Child