Before leaving for Korea for round two, Tom and I managed to fit in a family holiday to St Simeon in France, which is around an hour east of Paris. There were thirteen of us in total which made for some hefty catering encounters.
It was Jennifer's birthday while we were away so as well as a very delicious gold Casio watch from Urban outfitters, we prepared her a true French breakfast of fresh croissants and pain au chocolat. Victoria practiced her very best French with the bread man who visited our cottages daily and we laid out a spread of breads, pastries, butter, tea and juice. Seriously bad week for my waistline but hey, Tom and I are going to be faced with no decent bread or cheese for another year so I can lose a few pounds then! I also did not realise how much French I have actually retained from five years of study. I think Tom was sick to death of us naming and reading everything in French by the end of the week. Poor Tom :)
We enjoyed a day of relaxation which included animated ping pong, leisurely swimming and shopping at the hyper supermarche in preparation for Jen's birthday party in the evening. We planned to make Bouillabaisse but the fish counter was closed, apparently everything is in rural France on Sunday. So instead we settled on a goulash with couscous and planned to make the French fish stew later in the week. It came off pretty well not that I really contributed much, Tom and Jennifer did the cooking. They made a pork and vegetable goulash using tomato, crème fraise, paprika, onions, and wine, which they poured over roasted vegetable couscous. I was impressed with the veggie sweet potato version too.
We polished it off with two very beautiful French desserts, a continental take on a strawberry cheese cake and a traditional tarte tatin.
Here is a link to a very lovely looking tart tatin recipe, however I think the one we tasted was pretty unbeatable, there is a challenge!
Dad also purchased what he thought was a French dessert wine, but it turned out to be a Hungarian nail varnish remover wine!! Not too palatable. The red wine at 2 euros a bottle however went down very well. Other French encounters to follow.