Wednesday, January 7

Salmon Supper

8th January
We celebrated the first yoga class of the new year with an after-class supper, I attempted to take some initiative with this one, proposing that I could contribute a big tart. Mme B, astonished that I still misunderstood the etiquette of these events put me firmly in my place:
I will bring a whole salmon, we will have it cold with mayonnaise, Mme Bic can make her salad, Mme Eena will bring rillettes, you bring bread

We decided to hijack the maire's conference room for our meal this time - it has a nicer table, The Bontettes, The Bic Biros, Church Cleaning Lady, The Bank Manager, The Sheep Farmers, Scary Eena, The Instructor and myself all eating Scary Eena's rillettes under the gaze of Sarko. My neighbours are forthright in a way that some people might find rude, mostly I find it amusing. During supper the conversation turned to 'The English’, I’m used to this conversation now, it usually starts with someone asking me a question like;
Do the English eat soup?
The questions can get a bit repetitive and sometimes I answer in a way that amuses me but my flippancy will always come back to bite me and I will be informed at a later date that 'The English think soup has aphrodisiac properties’ or 'soup is only drunk at midnight in England’.

After the soup conversation we got down to the real business
The English certainly do like a drink don't they?

During Sunday's Tart Party, Bic Biro toured the tables constantly with bottles of cider, the village ladies have explained to me that the polite rule here is to accept no more than a glass or two, no matter how much the host insists. English participants, who don’t understand this game and wanting to be seen to join in properly will accept more than the correct amount of glasses - the side effect being that their French improves.

M. Bontette suggested that
The English are not a nation of alcoholics they are just Bon Viveurs

Mme B actually snorted at her husband
But they are incontinent in all ways … sex, drink, food, it’s all stories of bottoms with them … they don’t know when to stop


  1. Well the English do like bottom stories, but don't the French as well? Speaking of which, I hope the yoga is increasing the firmness of your own one.

  2. I find that people rarely turn down the offer of a warm tart Bill

    The French love the bottom stories Gorilla. Any benefit to mine from yoga has been cancelled out by Christmas I'm afraid

  3. there is a toast used frequently here in the State: "bottoms up!" - i think that goes particularly well with cider and all....

  4. This is so completely hilarious to me. The French think all Canadians are vulgar drunks, too. But in this case, it's pretty close to the truth.

    also: "I find that people rarely turn down the offer of a warm tart Bill" ... hahahaha! *snort*

  5. Your french friends are asinine.

    *patting myself on the backside for that one

  6. I know that toast Deb and have cause to use it frequently myself

    Katrocket, I know all Canadians are vulgar drunks, I've learned some shocking things in Canadian company

    not just an English obsession then Wow

  7. i think i need to become acquainted with some Canadians - but i am not a fan of the canadian blends - do you think they will hold that against me?

  8. i don't understand why you were not allowed to bring your tart, and could only be entrusted with the bringing of the bread.

    was there an earlier tart catastrophe that has now rendered you a tart-bringing failure?

  9. Deb, they won't hold it against you, they'll just drink the whole lot themselves.

    TP, the link from yoga says a little more about the entrenched opinions of the French towards the English and their abilities with food.

    During the months that I have been here I have entertained at the Lovely House, with mixed results, M.B seems to quite enjoy the entertainment but Mme B does have some very traditional attitudes and likes 'stability' so she feels it's safest to keep me on bread duty. there's a link to a story called second supper event which might give an idea why she feels this way.

  10. Your French madames sound a laugh. Why were you relegated to the bread?

    How are the draughts?

  11. I thought you'd got off lightly by being bread monitor, but I hadn't realised you were a proper grown-up cook. Perhaps you could devise an occasion where you can astonish Mme B with your virtuosity? (adding, of course, that it is only living in France that has made this possible).

  12. Surely, there is honor in bringing the bread.

  13. What is the English stance on belching? Cocaine snorting? Double dipping? Telling French snobs to stuff it? Being an ugly American I find them all enjoyable.

    A tart does sound good.

  14. FF - Bread is all I can be trusted to handle and bread is a very honourable misson XL

    BT- the Food label indicates occassions when I have tried to impress and how show-offs always get their just desserts

    Prunella - I'm sure I like those things too - but what's double dipping?

  15. What happened? I left you a paralyzingly funny comment last night and it is not here? Oh well. I write now only to reassure you that I loved this and hadn't missed it.


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