January 1, 1970August 12, 2008
I realize that I use -- or want to use -- this common French expression often so I thought that I ought to explain it. This is the perfect place.
As you might suspect from the hyphenated word, it means a lunch that lasts so long and is so copious it becomes dinner. Few things give me as much pleasure as enjoying this kind of meal with good friends. This is part of the reason I live in France. Americans tend to eat like this once a year, on Thanksgiving.
It's true that France's equivalent of Generation X tends to be too busy to eat like this -- except on Sundays or holidays when they visit their families in the provinces. I hope the tradition doesn't die. That the children of the Gen Xers, influenced by grandmothers, will perpetuate it.
Here's a menu from a family in Anjou, who lived in Rablay in the Coteaux du Layon and made wine, including Coteaux du Layon-Rablay. (The person who gave it to me cautioned, "We weren't rich.")
Wait! There's no need for anonymity here! The menu was given to me by Mme Robin, the mother of Chantal Morgat, former owner of the Chateau du Breuil, where I was, at the time, renting a room. Chantal is the mother of Eric Morgat, a rising star on the Savennieres horizon. (Eric was living at home. He had just started business school. He would later drop out to become a vigneron.)
The menu is printed on a small, hand decorated card, with the name of the person whose seat it marked written on the back.
MENU 12 Aout 1905
Consomme Marie Louise
Poularde sauce Mayonnaise
Escalope veau aux champignons
Gigot roti/ Flageolets
Fruits de saison, St. Honore
Thouarce le Champ, Rablay