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brunchtime in europe.

1 Mar 2012

Meals at my aunt’s house in France mirror the ones at my parents house when I was growing up, and the ones I still have when I come home to visit: a weird hodgepodge of French, Vietnamese, and English spoken at the table (usually all within the same sentence), with food to match the cultures of the languages spoken.   Weekend meals in particular got the most cross-cultural action: always a couple of baguettes, always a pot of jasmine rice, always a plate of cured meats and one with cheese, and another one with butter (President brand, and salted, of course), and the random pots of meat — oftentimes a chicken curry, and while I was in France, a beef stew — leftover from the week.

My father’s also a fan of opening up a tin of sardines in tomato sauce (lately this brand), frying up the whole thing in a pan with some sauteed onions.  In France, in lieu of sardines, we had boudin noir, freshly made and purchased from the local farmers market that morning.   And of course some fried eggs — scrambled in the States, sunnyside up in France.  While in France, we gilded the lily with some julienned strips of bacon atop the eggs, which normally wouldn’t be that much gilding, except that we had brought back some jamon iberico and chorizo from Barcelona that simply had to be consumed too, and well, you understand the gilding now, yes?

And wine.  Can’t forget the wine.

I eat ridiculously well here in New York, it’s true.  But there’s something about a family-style meal, with a gazillion things laid out on the table and conversations going every which way, in at least three different languages, and in a pace that I can only describe as being paradoxically both slothful and gluttonous — I don’t have those very often here.  And so when I get a chance in indulge in a properly slow meal, with no other plans to hinder my enjoyment … well, they’re kind of wonderful and precious and all sorts of awesome.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2 Mar 2012 12:11 am

    Lovely to see how people eat in different areas. Love the pictures. Blessings to you.

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