A friend of ours is a French Chef, (or a French friend of ours is a Chef). He teaches at The Culinary Academy and has a catering business as well as opening a "by reservation only" Friday evening dining event with a fixed menu that is changed every week.
Quenelles were on last night's menu; one of Hubby's favorite things. Delicate, melt-in-the-mouth, souffle textured dumplings made with fresh water pike and flown in from Lyon to be served with the traditional vol-au-vents, button mushrooms, green olives and veal sweetbreads in a light tomato sauce. Something we don't prepare ourselves and an excuse to go out with friends.
Our friend Chantal has been divorced for a while now and introduced us to her date Bob. The four of us sat at a large round table with Chantal and I being bilingual and one French-only and the other English-only speaker divided between us. I soon realized that Bob was not perturbed in any way and had, in fact, prepared in advance for this soiree.
Bob had researched the Chef and knew of his reviews and accolades; he had studied the origin and history of the food we were to eat and he had come armed with a joke; printed out in French which he fearlessly read to us and made us laugh: A French vagabond knocks on the door of a farmhouse to ask for a drink. The farmer's wife says " Of course, Monsieur. It is a hot day. Wait here while I fetch you a jug of water"
"Madame!" says the tramp. "I said I was thirsty, not that I wished to bathe."
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