Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Easter WFF Part 2 - Not just my stuff

I'll try to make this quick since I'd already covered the stuff I made in my previous post. This post merely serves to show what goes on in a typical French 5-hour lunch and how expandable our stomachs really are! :)



Before we sat down to eat at this pretty table at my in-laws' place,






we gathered for the apéritif, which is not considered part of the official meal - a pre-appetiser if you will - but does its bit to squeeze out stomach space nonetheless, at this table:

From top to bottom: My foie gras (duck or goose liver) macarons - with or without alcoholic raisins, smoked salmon and blinis with tarama, crackers with egg and tapenade (a paste made of black olives), and slices of toast with foie gras and grapes. This is not the first time my MIL and I have had coinciding ideas, in this case, foie gras with grapes!




with champagne, what else? ;-) Remember, there were only 6 of us adults to eat all this, and we weren't even able to clear all these plates!






I had to take a picture of my place setting because no matter how hard I try, I am incapable of such attention to detail, so a round of applause for my MIL! The napkin ring/belt is just precious! As for the little purse next to the green-stemmed glass, it contained a couple of chocolates that mysteriously disappeared when I was attending to my kid!



There was still no need for me to loosen my pants when the cold starter was served - a scallop and salmon tartare with cubes of Madeira jelly, courtesy of my sis-in-law and her hubby. It was really good and I would have been contented to end my meal there...





...but of course the eager beaver that I was, I disobeyed my MIL's instructions to scrap the warm starter, so we had to eat my warm starter (the duck & orange tartlet) AS WELL AS the reason she wanted me to scrap my tartlets - the huge white sausage in the foreground called a "boudin blanc". :) Boudins blancs are made of pork, egg white, mushrooms and I don't know what else, and I like them a lot, but would have been happy to share it with the inquisitive chick instead, hee hee!



Did you hear me say "starter" twice? Yeah, a main dish was also waiting in the wings - a tenderloin on a bed of creamy mushrooms and a crispy crêpe. The side dishes from left to right - string beans wrapped in Parma ham, baked carrots & parsnip and a vegetable patty. See the chick-o-meter? My sentiments exactly! heh heh.. the little guy read my mind! :)





Just in case those pangs continued to act up, we each had a cake, too! :) When my MIL informed us there was a comprehensive cheese platter to be had, the other 5 of us raised our verbal white flags and voted her off, haha! In fact, I didn't even eat my cake straightaway! I came back for it after a 2-hour break!





Errr, it turned out we weren't allowed to leave without having dinner (lunch ended past 4pm), so the cheese platters - I hadn't noticed there were 2 of them, each containing 8 different types of cheese! - made their pungent appearance. My other picture, of the bigger platter, was blurry, what a pity! There were even cold cuts and assorted types of bread to go with it! I have trouble refusing cheese, so indulged in a few of them. Do you know some of those things can contain up to 40% fat?!


Whew... such extravagance! I knew my mom-in-law was finally convinced of our satiety when I saw the Périgourdine - basically a coffee and walnut ice-cream cake with bits of meringue and chocolate shavings that my father-in-law fought with to get 6 portions, haha!


I couldn't help noticing how thirsty I was at the end of the day, and now that I look back on all the dishes on offer, I'm not surprised - where in my belly could I fit in my daily quota of water?? :)

24 comments:

Lydia said...

Love the new blog banner!!!

Melting Wok said...

Shilpa, love you new header ! :)) Aiyo, you go party also never invite me harh :P Look at all the food, the presentation !! :P btw, you going home soon ya ? how long is it gonna be ? Don't come back until you try e'thing 'k ? hehe, so, will you be seeing the slim, sexy, hot mama ECL ? *oops..gonna get a knock by her by saying this* hehe, ooh, don't forget the fire cracker man ? hehe.. anyway, have a safe journey home, allright ? *hugs*

Sandeepa said...

Hi Shilpa
Great Party. I loved the table setting, so carefully done.
Since your husbands family is French, I can imagine how luxurious that meal can be. I was listening to NPR(National Public Radio) the other day and aFrench cookboo author was saying that French take their meals very seriously, they do not snack in between but meal times are important and usually long affairs.
Is that so ? She was saying many offices have a lunch break of 2 hrs too to allow employees have a relaxed lunch

eastcoastlife said...

oh my! I won't want to marry a French man. I would get fat eating like that! Gosh, you really have an expandable stomach huh! Let's see how fat you are when you come back to Singapore! hahaha....

I love the table setting and the food is simply gorgeous! I feel like going to France .... sigh...

Asha said...

WOW!!! That's a great feast!!

I know now you have enjoyed Easter!!:D

Mishmash ! said...

WOW !! Grand feast !!
I just loved ur MIL's table setting...she has given so much of thought into all the detailing !!! Pls pass on my WOWs to her :)

Shn

sunita said...

Oooh la la!!!the French and their food...can anyone beat that!!!I absolutely adore them for their attention to detail regarding gastronomics...your MIL must definitely live up to the high French standards...are'nt you lucky...when we visited France last year, I went ga ga over their cuisine...excuse me, but mention French cuisine and I'm all attention...

WokandSpoon said...

OMG, that's one crazy meal! I've had some big (and long) meals over here too - but none with 2 starters!

Shilpa. said...

Thanks Lydia! :)

Dear MW, thank you! :) heh heh, all credit for the presentation goes to my MIL, I'm not so meticulous! Yes, I'm going back soon, for a whole month, excited yet stressed 'cos I haven't bought everything and don't have time! :( And of course, I'll be seeing sexy ECL and getting pampered by her, heh heh!! What about you? Going to M'sia any time soon? *hugs* to you, too! :)

Hello Sandeepa, yes, it was a pretty table, but it's only Easter! Things get even fancier at Christmas and if this looks like a lot of food, it pales in comparison to Christmas, too! :)
But yes, it's quite true that the French don't snack a lot in between meals, although the younger generation seems to be adopting that bad habit now. In other words, those in their 40s are in better shape thatn those in their 20s!
As for 2-hour lunches, it's not a myth! :) We can have them if we want to, but I usually settle for 1 1/2 hours, which is still relaxed, and guess what? You can even drink alcohol at lunchtime! :)

Shilpa. said...

ECL, I'm going to strangle you!! I'm not fat OK?!?! :P But yes, I put on a few kilos in my first year here because I was too polite to refuse anything served to me but have since learned to say no! :) Come lah! Dun worry, I don't make people eat so much! :)

Hi Asha, yes, I did enjoy it, pity I wasn't quick enough when my son and his cousin hunted for eggs! By the time I got the camera, they'd found all the eggs! :)

Hi Shaheen, heh heh, OK, I will tell her she has admirers here! :)

Shilpa. said...

Hi Sunita, haha, I can imagine you getting a fit seeing all this food! :) Stick around to see what goes on at Christmas! It gets even grander! I just realised I forgot to take pictures of the wine!

Hi Wokandspoon! Really? 2 starters aren't the norm? :) Like my MIL, I'm paranoid about guests not having enough to eat, so I actually make 2 when I'm hosting, too! But of course, when I host, I can refuse the main dish, heh heh! I often get teased for that, they suspect me of poisoning them when I don't eat what I make! :)

Sia's Corner said...

WHAT???? blah blah blah.... i am lost for words... were there only 6 of u or 1 dozen?

tigerfish said...

5 hr lunch!? OMG! I will get restless unless with close friends whom I have lotsa talk about.
Ya lor, the table setting so nice...is it a French culture?
No indian food ar?
Have a safe trip back to Sg and enjoy.

etel said...

I've heard your blog from chris, ECL and victor koo, but have never been here...

its my first time here and I was surprised that u bake too! hee.. very very nice bakeries from you :)

will come back for more!

eastcoastlife said...

hahaha... so violent! Want to strangle me? Look at all the food, I will eat until I puke. There's so much. How to put it all into a stomach tats only the size of a fist?

Hey etel, you're smart to come visit shilpa. Being a novice baker, you have lots to learn from her. hehe....

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Everything looks so pretty, I'm amazed you had the heart to eat anything! What a feast! I'm so envious!

Elaine said...

hehehe! ECL, yes! im lucky to step foot in here :p

Shilpa. said...

Hi Supriya!! :) Haha, I'm quite sure that even if there were a dozen of us, there would still be leftovers!

Tiger, tell me about it man.. of course sometimes I get so bored, especially when stories start to repeat themselves, that I do the rudest things imaginable - I get "distracted" by magazines lying around or I go MIA, haha.. no lah, no Indian food, too spicy for their delicate palates so I didn't want to waste my time.

Halo Etel, thanks for visting me! :) No lah, my baking sucks, especially when it comes to sweet stuff!

ECL, how you know your stomach only the size of a fist? Got open and measure, ah? haha!! Dunno why you recommend my blog to etel, I seldom bake what...

Hi Lyrical Lemongrass, haha, true true, sometimes it's hard to sink my teeth into pretty food, but when the hostess starts to clear her throat one time too many, no choice! ;-)

etel said...

hehehe.. i dun read food blogs only! I read all kinds of blogs :p

WokandSpoon said...

Hehe - so you regularly make 2 starters! I'm sure your friends and family must roll out your door after a big meal clutching their stomachs! hehe!

Victor said...

Shilpa, did you cook all those gorgeous food yourself? Any help from the MIL (okay, I know that word does NOT stand for the military, hehe)? Whatever it is, it is no mean feat. And the setting is so formal - reminds me of the French dinner which I had with my first girlfriend. Oops.

Claude-Olivier said...

QUe de changement, je pars une semaine et quand je reviens je dirais que tout a changé ;-) Je vois que tu ne t'es pas embetée et tu a bien raison

a bientot
Bon dimanche
Claude

Shilpa. said...

Hi Wokandsppon, haha, not really! They're always allowed to refuse or even take away, but if they choose to be "polite", too bad for them, heh heh! :)

Victor, no lah.. read properly can? :) I only made a couple of things, the rest were all by the MIL. Err, mother-in-law, military, what's the difference?? kekeke... you must tell me more about that gf! :)

Salut Claude, merci! tu m'étonnes! moi aussi, ces derniers temps j'ai moins de temps pour blogger, désolée si je ne te rends pas visite parfois! :( je pars bientôt en vacances donc c'est la course au bureau!

Keropok Man said...

shilpa,

looking at the photos, you are truly blessed! i will eat all of it, except maybe the cheese platter.

the apéritif, looks so delicious!