Food + Friends = First weekend

6 Sep

“You don’t win friends with salad” – Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

This quote may be true in the U.S., but this weekend I can honestly say I found it to be the opposite when I indulged in lunch at one of our friend’s homes.  A buttery feuille de chêne (oak) lettuce lightly drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette was served as part of the cheese course and I can simply say that I’ll be back for more…of their company. 

Our first weekend in Lyon was spent reuniting with our friends over large meals and getting over our jet lag.  On Friday night we visited our friends Alex and Julie to celebrate our friend Pierre’s birthday.  We didn’t start eating until close to 10pm, but the wait was certainly worth it.  For the apperitif we indulged in sardines marinated in olive oil and shallots; white salmon on buttered toast; and big juicy grape tomatoes.  Everything here is done so simply yet has so much flavor.  For dinner we had veal chops with a red wine reduction; chantrelle mushrooms; and grape tomatoes in a balsamic syrup and a “tarte à la praline” for dessert.  I wish my camera was working that night, as the plate presentation Alex made was five star quality.

On Saturday we got a late start, as you would assume would happen in the land of wine.  This day we went to the house of Pierre’s parents in the countryside for a barbeque.  No, there were no hot dogs or hamburgers in sight here, but instead a six hour feast of beef and pork kebabs; salad; white beans; and baby potatoes, as well as cheese and dessert.  Enough food to send us into a food coma which had us to bed by 9pm not to awake until 9am on Sunday.

At this pont I would say I had my fill of food, but I then learned we were off to Greg and Audrey’s house for lunch.  I was actually excited, as Audrey is an amazing cook and makes most everything she serves from scratch; including the berry crème glacée (ice cream) we had with our dessert.  The lunch was lovely spending time with them, their three kids and our friend Jean-Charles, who is the godfather to one of their children.  Midway through lunch it began to really rain and I believed it to be the first rain I’ve seen in all the time we’ve spent in Lyon.  It must have been a sign that summer was over as school started the next day.

It was bright and sunny for the first official day back from vacation for everyone in France yesterday.  The streets were filled with kids by the time we set out for our day at noon.  Here, the kids only go to school for half the day on the first day to get their schedules and so the cafes were filled with teens reuniting after a long summer.  I couldn’t help but also feel the end of summer too as I await to start my first day at university tomorrow.  Until then, today is my first day exploring Lyon alone while Baptiste is off at a work retreat in the countryside.  My first mission, to get to the Parc de la Tête d’or to run off all of these calories!

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One Response to “Food + Friends = First weekend”

  1. terri September 13, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    It looks beautiful, and all this talk of scrumptious meals is making me hungry. We celebrated chad’s bday with your parents yesterday…Everyone misses you guys company…will be strange without you. But sounds you are really enjoying your new adventure. Love all your blogging…

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